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After more than three decades of taking in sewing at home and doing alterations for stores, my mother began her working-outside-the-home career when she was sixty, or was it fifty-nine? A local business asked her to come to the store at designated times and demonstrate how to make crafts. Soon they had her cutting fabric. Before long, she was a regular employee in their fabric department. She continued her late-in-life career for seventeen years. By the time she retired, she had made a big difference in her retirement standard of living; and she had done it during years when many people would have already been retired.

As homeschooling mothers you sacrifice financially. If you homeschool while working part-time or even full-time, you are still making financial sacrifices. Sometimes you may wonder if your family will ever get ahead financially. God has many ways to bless His children. He blessed my mother with a late-in-life career. I hope that hearing about her experience encourages you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your earning years and make you afraid to continue doing what you believe you should be doing right now. Who knows how God will decide to take good care of you?

I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
Psalm 37:25, NASB

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  1. I really needed this encouragement today, Charlene! I work 30 hours a week in addition to homeschooling, and my earnings are the main income for our family of four. It’s a heavy load to bear at times, but I am very thankful that God has provided a job that I can do mostly from home. I do wonder sometimes how we will manage in our “retirement years,” as there is no pension or 401(k) waiting for us. But I know that God will always provide for our needs. I believe that He will undoubtedly honor the sacrifices made on behalf of my children all these years, for He is such a good and loving God!

  2. Andrea, last year I was where you are! Now I am “only” responsible for homeschooling, housekeeping, and being a wife, and I am much more sane, and my husband is happier.
    I thought it was a good point when I read once that it makes better sense to start a career after children are grown, because there is so much a twenty-year-old doesn’t know about everything, that entering the same field at forty (or fifty, or whatever) you would be much more useful much sooner to an employer, and would tend to be paid more, not compared to someone who’d been in the field for all that time, but compared to yourself as a twenty-year-old, which is the fairer comparison.
    Of course, if it’s not financially necessary, why give all that knowledge and experience to some random employer in those years when you could give it to your family.

  3. To begin with, let me say that I appreciate and respect your point of view, Karen; it is a completely valid one. I am so happy that you are able to focus your time and energy on your husband, children, and household without the pressures of an outside job. There is no higher or holier calling, in my opinion. I wanted to respond to your thoughts, and I hope and pray you will not see it as “preaching,” but merely a sharing of my heart.

    The whole time I was growing up, I never really dreamed of having a fancy career. All I wanted to do was be a wife and mother, keep house for my family, raise my children to know and serve the Lord, and minister in my church and community. God had other plans, though, and with the exception of a few short years while my children were small, I have always worked at a job out of necessity, not desire.

    It’s been many a day since I’ve seen “twenty-something.” My children are in their teen years, we are now navigating the high school waters, and graduation and college/career choices loom on the horizon. I’ve homeschooled while being a stay-at-home mom. I’ve homeschooled as a single mom. I’ve homeschooled as a working mom. I even “home” schooled while I was homeLESS for a few months after a disastrous marriage fell apart, I lost my house to foreclosure, and my children and I lived in a shelter. Through it all, God has graciously provided for our needs. And though I would happily tender my job resignation tomorrow if I could, so far He has seen fit to keep me there.

    That, to me, is one of the beautiful parts of homeschooling. Different families can do it successfully in a variety of different ways. There is no one “right” way. While the traditional family model where the husband works a job and the wife cares for the home and children is certainly a huge blessing and to be sought after if at all possible, many times it just isn’t. Simply because the wife works doesn’t mean that she values career over family, that she refuses to submit to her husband, or that they are living a luxurious lifestyle that demands her income. Often, especially in today’s economy, Mom’s paycheck is vital to the family’s survival.

    One of my favorite phrases in the Bible, appearing over and over, is “But God.” I read it in places like Genesis where Joseph’s brothers meant to harm him, BUT GOD intended it for good. Another one of my favorites (mostly found in the KJV) is “And it came to pass.” Nothing lasts forever; to everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven. Whatever comes today will pass sooner or later. Where am I going with this? My family/work situation may not be ideal, but God will still bless our sacrifices on behalf of our children and our efforts to raise them up in the way they should go. And this is but a season of my life, it will not last forever. Quite literally, “it came to pass.” In fact, I only have another 4-1/2 years before my youngest daughter graduates high school. If the only way I can continue to educate and rear my girls in the greenhouse of home is to work a job in addition to caring for our household, then I will do it gladly and with thanksgiving to the Lord for His gracious provision.

    The Bible tells us in I Samuel 16:7 that “The Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” None of us knows another’s circumstances or motives the way that God does. I’m so thankful that He gave us each other – a homeschool community – to support and encourage us on our journey. No matter what our individual paths may look like on the outside, we’re all headed in the same direction. And we’re all doing it out of deep love for our children and a desire to partner with the Almighty in raising them to be all that He lovingly designed them to be. God bless us, every one!