When Sandy and I got married, we knew that we would have children someday. Whether natural or adopted, we wanted to raise children and experience that aspect of life and giving/loving.
We also knew that we wanted to share the experience of being stay-at-home parents. We feel that it is important to spend time with your children and that the attachments formed in those first years are critical for relationships and development. But is it possible?
We knew other couples who thought like we did, but they eventually did not choose to stay at home and raise their children. It seemed to us that their choices were made for financial reasons -- or should I say -- lifestyle choices. They had become accustomed to living on two incomes and didn't see how they could "cut back." The mortgage was too big for one income and add to that the car payments and the added expense of children and it seemed to them undo-able.
Our solution: From day one of our married life and until the children were in school we lived on one income. During those first few years with dual incomes, we saved every penny of the second income for a down payment on our first house. We became accustomed to living within the means of one income and adding children to our family did not change our financial picture all that much. And the money saved for the bigger-than-average down payment on the house kept the house payments lower too.