And then there was one

I wonder what life would be like if I were a stay home mom… I never used to think about this – but have spent some time lately dwelling on it due to a neighbor quitting her job last week to stay home. I have to admit I was a little jealous. OK…a lot jealous. I really do think I would enjoy that life if it wouldn’t require a huge lifestyle change. I have a pretty cushioned life – we eat out, we go on vacation, we spend a fair amount of money on cars, house, the kids and I cannot say that I want to give those things up. I want to go to Italy on spring break. I want to take my daughter to Everest when she graduates. I want to visit our friends after they have their baby in November. And even simpler things like: I want to go to the dentist and get my tooth fixed that is driving me crazy. I am glad we were able to afford to get our boys the RSV immunizations last year, and want to be able to cover healthcare costs in the future. It is nice to have two cars – Todd travels a bit and it would be difficult for the girls to drive anywhere if we only had one car. We live in a nice, safe neighborhood – something I didn’t have as a child…it is important to me that my kids have this.

How do you make a decision to stay home? How do you decide what are must-haves and wants? How do you scale back? How do you go from two quite large incomes to only one?