Q&A – A Path Back Home

Question: I am one of those women who would love to stay home with my children, butthere is no way we can live on my husband's salary. Can you offer some suggestions for how I might "step off the train," as you called it, without facing bankruptcy?

Answer: There may be a way to get it done. Donna Partow, author of Homemade Business, has offered specific advice about starting your own business, which could involve desktop publishing, pet grooming, sewing, consulting, transcribing legal documents, or even getting into mail-order sales. Choosing the right business is the first of three preparatory steps. Consider taking a personal-skills-and-interest inventory to identify your abilities and to discover what you might enjoy doing. The second step is to do your homework. Begin by asking your librarian to help you research your chosen field. Look up books, magazines, and newspaper articles. Talk to other people who have done what you are considering. Join an industry organization and a network. Subscribe to industry publications. According to Mrs. Partow, the third step is to garner as much support as you can. Get your children, your spouse, and your friends on your side. Setting up a small business can be stressful, and you'll need as much encouragement as you can get. Then marshal your resources and go for it.15 A home-based business might turn out to offer the very best of both worlds.

Before telling me why this alternative is impossible in light of your circumstances, let me tell you about the Van Wingerden family in Colorado Springs. They have twenty-two children, twelve of them adopted and ten born to Lynn, the mother. Theirs is one of the most impressive families I've had the opportunity to meet. They own a strawberry farm and all the children old enough to work are involved in it. Believe it or not, Mrs. Van Wingerden homeschools all the kids personally. The family is highly organized and structured, with the teenagers having specific and rotating responsibilities for routine tasks and for the care of the youngsters. Visiting their home is a delight. The Van Wingerdens prove that many things are possible for those who set their minds to it.

I hope you find an answer to the very important question you asked. I believe you will.

Book: Bringing Up Boys

By Dr. James Dobson

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