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My 3 Year Road to Staying Home Full Time

Dec 31, 2021
photo by Harvest Joy Photography

photo by Harvest Joy Photography

It’s easy to step into the middle of someone’s story/account/life and think that it’s always been the way it is now. They’ve always had that husband, that house, those kids, that paycheck, that hair. I’m as guilty as the next girl of this oversight.

I currently stay home full time with my kids aside from this Debt Free Mom work that as of today almost a year in, I’ve never had childcare in order to do. I’ve been a mom since May 19, 2015 and I’ve stayed home full time since May 28, 2018. Which means I had 3 full years of motherhood and multiple part-time jobs. I’ve never worked full time since being a mom, but I have done up to 30 hours a week at times. This bullet point timeline is the story of my journey to staying home full time to round out the story and show you there’s so much behind each person’s story that you don’t know when you step into the middle of it!

2011

got married on the last day of the year, hello school grants!

2012

worked part time jobs and were full time students

2013

March - took a $5,500 car loan from a family member to buy the prius we still own.
May - I graduated from college with $7,000 in student debt. That’s a story in itself, but I’m so grateful the amount was so small.
August - moved to Arizona for Kyle to finish an internship to complete his degree
November - my loans come out of deferment and we start paying minimums.
December - Kyle graduates

2014

May - Kyle accepts a full time job with Camp of Champions USA where we worked together in high school and where he is now the Executive Director. I accept a full time teaching job at a school in the neighborhood where I grew up. Both earning salaries in the low 30s and both receiving benefits. He starts right away, I start in August.
September - find out we are pregnant with our first. At this point we care about paying off debt but we are not using a zero-based budget and have not been introduced to Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.

2015

February - I decide I am not going to return to full time work the following school year. I am currently earning more than Kyle and have better benefits so we know that I will have to still bring in a decent paycheck in order to make this work and continue paying off debt.
April - the church we were attending offers me a part-time job 25 hours a week: 2 days in the office and one day from home.
May - Milo is born and I work my last day at my FT job. Thankfully since that job was a contract teaching job, I received full paychecks through mid-August.
July - buy our first minivan in cash!
August - begin part time church job and get offered a tutoring job for one of my former students. His parents pay $60 an hour by choice! I credit this job with the speed of our debt payoff and emergency fund.
December - Kyle starts listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts, asks for Total Money Makeover for Christmas, and we both read it. Life. Changing. Is an understatement.

2016

April - pay off all debt 100%, also find out baby #2 is on the way.
June - begin taking Financial Peace University with Kyle’s family, start using the zero-based budget spreadsheet that I still use to this day and budgeting by pay period. All I could think was “how have I not always been doing this?!”
August - quit the church part time job and just have the tutoring job
September - go on a vacation to Florida to celebrate debt freedom
October - Kyle accepts a second part-time job as a coffee roaster to begin in January
December - baby #2 arrives

2017

Feb - I took 2 months off of tutoring then return in February after baby.
March - emergency fund fully funded
May - move to a rental home instead of apartment, almost doubles our rent.
November - sell our first minivan to buy a slightly newer, lower mileage van in cash
December - beef up our side hustles to take a 2-night trip to NYC without kids.

 
carly hill 1.jpeg
 

2018

February - find out baby #3 is on the way.
May - finish the school year with tutoring and decide to tell my student I won’t be doing it anymore since baby 3 is due in September. I am now a full time 100% stay at home mom with 3 months until my 3rd son is born.
September - Jude is born! Kyle has to go roast coffee the night he brings me home from the hospital (same night as that picture above) and decides to make moves toward only having one full time job.
December - plan out enough in the future with the zero-based budget to confirm that we will buy a house in 2019

2019

January - file our taxes super early so we can get back our $4,400 tax refund and use it towards closing and down payments .
February - put in an offer that gets accepted on our current home
March - I start posting regularly to my Debt Free account that I’ve had a little over a year.
April - close and move into our home.
May - Kyle leaves his additional part time job to be home with us more. Less income more time. I also do my first ever round of coaching calls!
September - Debt Free Mom starts becoming a semi-regular income stream, we put both boys in preschool.

2020

goals: 10x my income from DFM compared to 2019 and max out Kyle’s Roth IRA contribution. Continue to prioritize time together over things and paychecks. End the year with more contentment and more joy and more giving, not just more wealth.

My full-time stay at home mom status took 3 years longer to come through than I wanted. Turns out now that I stay home full time, I miss working and having some sort of time out of the house without my kids to focus on something else. Maybe you’re in a similar boat. Don’t wish away the time even if it is a season you’re hoping ends soon. To quote Andy Bernard:

I wish there was a way to know we were in the good ole days before you’ve actually left them.