Saturday, August 6, 2016

Working from Home

One of my loyal readers asked me to explain my lifestyle and my decision to work from home. That issue is a bit of a "hot button" in today's society, but I do not intend for my response to spark controversy.

For those who don't know, I attended public school through tenth grade and then switched to homeschooling, by my own choice. (For more on that, read "My Homeschool Journey.")

I hold a bachelor's degree in journalism, which includes a public relations certificate and a business concentration. Upon completing my education at age 20, I worked in the Communications department of a nonprofit organization for several months before marrying Mr. Handsome. I now work from home as a blogger and am also writing a book based on my grandmother's WWII story (more updates on that to come).

Working at home isn't for everyone, but I really enjoy the flexibility. Most days, I spend 4-5 hours at the computer and 4-6 hours running errands, cooking, cleaning, and doing paperwork/bookkeeping for Mr. Handsome's business.

We have been married for almost 14 months and are praying about starting a family in the next few years. Mr. Handsome and I would love to have at least four children...and perhaps as many as eight or ten. We plan to homeschool, as both of us had wonderful home education experiences. I hope to continue working from home while being a mother (and teacher), but my husband and family will always come first. 

61 comments:

  1. Anonymous8/07/2016

    Keep putting first God"s kingdom and his righteousness.

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    1. Anonymous8/07/2016

      Amen praise the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth forever.

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    2. Amen to that! :)

      Ellie

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  2. Anonymous8/07/2016

    The hours you put in now show that when you have children, or are pregnant, and when, then, there is more to do, or you are not feeling as strong, then you will not have enough hours in a day.

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    1. Anonymous8/08/2016

      Women are more than capable of working and being mothers at the same time. Please get your head out of the 1950s and into the 21st century. Also, what makes you assume that Ellie will be less strong when she is pregnant? She is in excellent shape and works out a lot. I'm sure she will still be able to do it all.

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    2. Anonymous8/08/2016

      Pregnant women need to lie down and sleep, in the first trimester especially. Ellie is weaker than the average person, she needs all kinds of therapies to keep up her health; she told everyone about it already. There are surprises in pregnancies, no one can predict a perfect pregnancy. My own baby died at 35 weeks. I was shocked. I never thought that was going to happen. It had a defect in the cord and it pulled and twisted shut. Pregnancies are not some of hand thing, they are very real and completely absorbing of a couples energy. Bragging ten is ridiculous, and it is ridiculous to expect on a public blog you will only get polite nods of encouragement from everyone. That is like being a dictator of all the responses, demanding only a certain category of response.

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  3. Anonymous8/07/2016

    Proverbs 29:18.

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  4. Anonymous8/07/2016

    Does Mr. Handsome have his own practice, or is he in with a group of dentists? (He's a general dentist, right, not an orthodontist?) Are you the only one doing the books?

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    1. He works for another dentist in our area. I don't do the books for the office, but I keep up with all his licensing, etc.

      Ellie

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  5. Anonymous8/07/2016

    I think that's great! I hope to do the same :)

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    1. Thank you! Do you have any advice to share?

      Ellie

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  6. Good for you, Ellie. You'll never regret putting your family first.

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    1. Thank you, Jemma. Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

      Ellie

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  7. I have also chosen to be a stay at home mum and home school my children. I have a teaching degree but I have to decided I would much prefer to have less money and care for my husband and children then have stuff that we just fade away in the end.

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    1. I feel the same way! I understand that it's not possible in all circumstances, but it is a blessing to be able to homeschool.


      Ellie

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    2. Anonymous8/08/2016

      Unfortunately I am not in that situation. I live in New Jersey with my husband (no kids and no family around us) and it is very expensive to live here! We are not in the position to move to another state right now and we need both our incomes to make ends meet. I worry financially what we would do when we have kids because childcare costs are ridiculous and we would definitely need both of our incomes. I always get that those couples that could swing it on one income were very lucky!!

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    3. I wrote the original comment. I do have to say we have it pretty good at the moment in Australia with free health care, a lot of financial support to study and the government at the moment really supports families and stay at home mums. Sometimes I forget how good we have it in our county. We don't have a lot but we have the basics and a lot of love.

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  8. Anonymous8/08/2016

    You are doing a wonderful job Ellie.

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  9. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Sad that you refuse to contribute to your household income. Young people should learn the value of hard work...and you don't have children at home yet.

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    1. Anonymous8/08/2016

      How rude!

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    2. Anonymous8/08/2016

      She is writing a book, which will contribute to her household income. Plus she finished college early which certainly requires hard work!

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    3. Anonymous8/08/2016

      She does indeed contribute to the household!
      By taking care of it and her husband.
      Her husband is a dentist, that is certainly hard work.
      He comes home to a lovely house and meal after a long day.
      I'm sure he would tell you that is something he couldn't put a monetary value on!
      And writing a book is far from easy and something that takes discipline.
      None of that is sad.
      It shows an amazing young woman and wife.

      Sad that some people are rude and presumptuous.

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    4. Anonymous8/09/2016

      She has three very popular blogs and is writing a book. That is work! People can and do make money from blogging.

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  10. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Sounds great, and the negative comments are ridiculous. I am a full-time out of the home-working mom who (obviously) doesn't homeschool. But you are educated, and have thought it through. Go for it! Congrats for having a plan! Also I have many writers in my family, and writing a book is hard, long work! I don't think everyone always realizes that :).

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    1. Thank you for that encouraging comment! That's neat to hear that you have writers and your family. What types of books have they written?

      Ellie

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  11. Anonymous8/08/2016

    I totally agree with the concept of young people working, and it's great when a couple without kids can work together to save towards a house and their future. But if it can be swung economically, it's also OK for the wife or the husband to stay home and take care of other things - things that would still be there for them to do after a long day away from the house at work. And I don't mean staying home just to clean the house. There are other matters that always need to be attended to during the day, things that keep the household (and life) running smoothly...errands, banking, car maintenance, appointments, waiting for repairmen to come, etc. If a family can afford for anyone to be available during the day do those, things are less stressful all around.

    Every family has to decide for themselves what their balance is between paid work and non-paid work. Problems come when one spouse feels the other isn't "pulling their weight" in one way or the other. I know someone whose husband calls non-working women "spongers," which is totally unfair. He couldn't possibly do what those non-working women are doing all day.

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  12. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Not that you need our approval, but I think it's good that you intend on having your activity, while running the house and in future taking care of your children. :)
    Family is a beautiful thing and I hope to have one of my own in the future, but if you don't have your own interests (may it be a job, or a hobby, or even volunteering), when your children leave the nest you could feel like you don't have a purpose anymore.
    I really really don't mean to make you feel sad, but that's kind of what happened to my grandma: her only purpose was her family, which is noble, but when her children (and grandchildren) became adults living in other cities, and also because she became a widower pretty young, she was very inclined to depression.

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  13. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Do you have any siblings? If so, were they home schooled too?

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    1. I have a brother who is three years older. He was not homeschooled, as he was in college by the time I started homeschooling.

      Ellie

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  14. Anonymous8/08/2016

    I admire your convictions. I work from home for my job & it provides flexibility. I save money on clothes & commuting. Is it hard to switch gears from writing the book to writing the blogs?

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    1. Thank you! I agree; it sure is wonderful to save money on clothes and commuting. I'm a task oriented person who enjoys checking things off my to-do lists, so switching gears isn't usually difficult for me.

      Ellie

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  15. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I love to hear of other women choosing their husband and (eventual) children and home over outside work. It is great to enjoy your home and husband before you decide to have your family, it will be such an adjustment when/if you have them but it won't feel as drastic of a change since you are already at home! God Bless!

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    1. Anonymous8/10/2016

      It's sad to read something like that. It's not a choice between family and work, it's to find the best of both worlds. For many families, it's a matter of making ends meet. Being a stay-at-home mom when you barely can pay your rent doesn't make sense, you see. And a woman loves her job, why should she quit it when she gets married? Think about all women who are doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, nurses... We need those women. Some of them may save your life someday.

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  16. Anonymous8/08/2016

    I am amazed that so many people think they know what is best for you and your family. I am college educated and work full-time outside my home. My family is now and has always been cared for. My home is clean, the children and husband are happy, and to be honest...my husband does most of the cooking (he's so much better than I am in the kitchen). I love my job, and it is what works for my family.

    Ellie, nobody knows your family like you do. I appreciate your acknowledging that what you do isn't for everyone, and not one of us readers should think that what we do is for everyone.

    We should all remember that despite our differences, there is so much we can learn from each other. Thank you for all that you share.

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  17. Anonymous8/08/2016

    Do you have a workout routine? Gotta prioritize it while you're young

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    1. Anonymous8/09/2016

      There are a lot of good youtube channel about exercising. For example I like Fitness Blender, which is run by a married couple: they are really encouraging, great professionals, and they create many different routines (easy, hard, long, short). Check it out!

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  18. Anonymous8/09/2016

    Moms who are able to stay home and homeschool are very lucky indeed!
    I feel very lucky and blessed.
    It's not easy but it's very rewarding!

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  19. Anonymous8/09/2016

    I think you do a great job working from home.
    I do think it's possible to work from home , write blogs and books and be a stay at home mom.
    Tricia Goyer is a work at home mom who has adopted kids and is homeschooling them.
    Have you heard of her? She writes a lot of books.
    As far as school goes , I think which ever you do as long as it is Gods plan is good. God could call you to homeschool or put your kids in school at some point . I know some moms who start out homeschooling and God calls them go out them in public school. And I know some moms who have started their kids in public school and God called them to take them out of public school at some point and homeschool.
    I would say that when you start having kids to just keep praying for God to lead you to what He wants you to do.

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    1. Thank you! I haven't heard of Tricia Goyer, but I will look her up. I agree...it's all about finding God's plan.

      Blessings,
      Ellie

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  20. Anonymous8/09/2016

    I would love to be a stay-at-home mom. But where I come from, life is very expensive. There are very few families who can live on one income around here. It's not about spending too much. But when you pay 750$ for a 2 bedrooms appartment, with no service included, and you had more than 100$ a week for basic groceries because you don't have low-price supermarkets, 60$ a month just for a basic home phone, etc... It not easy to pay it all on one average income, and you can barely save money for the future.

    So I am a working mom. I do wish I could stay with my daughter. But if I want to give her a decent home, warm clothes in the winter, fresh food instead of frozen or canned stuff, well... But I am happy with my life. It's the reality of so many women around the world. And having 2 incomes give us more comfort. We can have a house instead of an appartment. We can buy better food. We can go out to eat 2-3 times a month. And we can save money for our future and our daughter education. Also, I'm pregnant now, so I will need to save money for when I am on my maternity leave.

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  21. Anonymous8/09/2016

    I think it is wonderful that you will homeschool your children! As an employee of the public school system, you have made a wise decision! There are a lot of women that would love to stay home with their children but don't have the luxury to make that choice, so you are very blessed.

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    1. Anonymous8/13/2016

      As a teacher, it's very discouraging when people make comments such as this. This is such an insult to the teachers in your school system who are working every day to create the best education for children. I get the feeling that you work for a struggling district, but the vast majority of school systems in America are not that way, despite what the media wants you to believe (I also get the feeling you are support staff of some sort and not actually an educator and as such do not see the full picture). Most public school systems can provide a far better education than a homeschooling parent can, simply because no one person can be strong in all areas of pedagogy and academics. Most schools have the resources to provide countless opportunities that parents never could. That said, there are lots of excellent homeschooling parents out there who know their weaknesses and strive to fill those gaps to get their child the well-rounded quality education they deserve. But please keep in mind that public (or private school) education is actually the best option for most families and do not disparage all public school systems just because of what you see in your own.

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    2. Anonymous8/15/2016

      The Bible says what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? The Bible says Christians should love God with all their heart mind and strength and love their neighbor and they love themselves. Also the Bible says love not the world, neither love the things that are in the world, whoever loves the world has not the love of the Father. It also says whoever makes themselves a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. By these standards I see public schools can not always be an acceptable option. If the structure, talent and strength serves to deliver non Christian information and aids in persecuting Christians, etc.

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    3. Anonymous8/16/2016

      I am a Christian parent with a kid in public school. It's going great for my child. My child's teachers are great. I do pray every year for the right teacher for my child. I know there are tons and tons of Christian families who go to public or private school. All those things you just listed you can still do in public or private school.
      My child can also freely talk about God at school.

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    4. To the first reply I think you are wrong. I am a teacher and I think if done properly a home school education is so much better. When I was teaching I had between 20 and 30 students in my grade. At home at the moment I have three. I get heaps more one on one time with my kids then I could give my students in a large class. We can spend extra time on their strengths and weaknesses you just don't get that in a classroom. My kids get that connection between what they are learning and real life. I tried in the classroom to connect things to real life as best I could but its still not the same. As for a parent not having enough knowledge, even as a teacher with ten years experience I don't think I'm an expert in every area. I don't believe any teacher can claim that. The pros for homeschooling just go on and on and on. That is just on the academic side but on a Christian side every day I get to teach and train my children in the things of the bible wow what a privilege and a blessing.

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    5. Anonymous8/24/2016

      Teachers are specialized in one or two subjects, so of course they are (usually) far better prepared than a parent who tries (even with the best intentions) to teach a bit of everything. No offense but in school you learn so many different things that it's impossible to do as well at home without different professional teachers. Which parent can be specialized in physics, literature, history, science, math and whatever else, all at the same time?
      To each their own, but to form well prepared citizens I believe it's better to help schools in poor areas, rather than giving up on school. Just my opinion! As a parent you can still transmit your children your values, as well as establish a strong relationship with them.

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  22. Anonymous8/09/2016

    If this is the decision that you and your husband made together, then who am I to judge. That's nice you have the choice to work from home or not.

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  23. Anonymous8/09/2016

    This is not meant as a negative at all and merely a neutral question, but do you get paid for any of your jobs? I presume that keeping up with your husband's licences and blogging is voluntary. Do you have an advance and a book contract for the book you are working on or are you going to shop it around after you have a working draft? Either way, it sounds like your husband does well enough that a paycheck of yours is not necessary for your household at this time and that is certainly a blessing :)

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  24. Anonymous8/13/2016

    It's awesome that you are able to stay at home if that's what is right for your family. However, this is just a friendly reminder (to other readers and commenters) that just because a wife or mother works outside the home doesn't mean she isn't putting her family first. There are many different ways to put your family first. All families are different and working mothers don't need to be shamed/pitied by non-working mothers. And the opposite is true too!

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    1. I have worked many years in childcare and I have seen time and time again families and parents under so much pressure. A lot of mums you could tell how guilty and sad they felt about leaving their kids. Some all day from when the center opened until late in the evening because they had to travel to work. They had to do this to just pay the bills. I felt so sorry for these parents. They get the kids home and bath and straight to bed. I still wonder how they do everything. Women's liberation has so pushed a woman's right to work etc but now its gone the other way and society expects mums to work and it is becoming more and more impossible to live on one income. I wonder if it has been worth it.

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    2. Anonymous8/16/2016

      To the anonymous that replied to the poster: maybe if a better job was available for those women all would be better. If their job was in the same city and with a schedule that would help them being present for their families (and the same works for the fathers), they would be more fulfilled and happy.

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    3. I understand what you are saying but the reality for these parents is that they are not university educated and they have to take whatever job is available. The other thing is they lived in the outer suburbs which has less jobs but cheaper rental properties. Some of these families also had multiple jobs and work overtime. People mock the 1950s but life seemed so much simpler. The husband goes out to work and the wife works at home.

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    4. Anonymous8/19/2016

      Sure, everyone wants a job with a short commute and family-friendly hours. The reality is, there are so few of those jobs out there. The first priority is paying the bills... many people do not have the luxury of having a job that makes them fulfilled and happy as well.

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    5. Anonymous8/19/2016

      I understand that it's not as easy to find the best job ever, that's why I think that higher education is vital these days and also that we should make ourselves heard from the politicians. By participating in our society we can find outlets to make our needs as a society heard.
      Besides that, though, I wanted to say that the problem isn't that the wife works, but that society doesn't help enough yet working mothers. Things like daycare at the workplace still often seems like luxury, but they shouldn't be! :(

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  25. i truly believe my family and I do better when I stayed home. However do to our current situation I must work full time. In the back of my mind I am preparing for the day when I can be home again. For a long time I have been interested in blogging. The Lord has given me so many ideas!

    Can you share how you got stated and how it generates income. Though I stay home I would like to have some income to help.

    If you share before can you please give me the link. Thanks! ��

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    1. Hi Jola,

      The biggest piece of advice I have for someone wanting to start a blog is to choose a topic that is heavily searched on search engines. That will help generate views. Here's the link to my post that shares the story of my blogs: http://www.nashvillewife.com/2015/11/the-story-of-my-blogs.html

      Hope you are able to achieve your goal of staying home again. :)
      Ellie

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  26. Anonymous9/22/2016

    Hello Ellie!
    You have a lovely blog. I specially enjoy your wedding planning tips.
    Based on what you share here, I am wondering if you believe in planning to have children or if you, like the Duggars, believe in "leaving it up to God".
    Iris

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    1. Hi Iris,

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. :) On the topic of children, we are seeking God's timing and guidance.

      Ellie

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