How? John and I knew before we were married that having me home with our children was a priority for us. So the choices we made at the beginning were made with that dream in mind. We planned to live on his income from the start. We actually worked together in an office at the time, which was lovely--the working together, not the office--so we used my income to pay down debt (our car) and build savings. We lived in a little, run-down, cottage home in a run-down part of Mesa and paid next-to-nothing for it. We furnished it with hand-me-downs and thrift store finds. We bought nothing on credit; we didn't even have a credit card.
When I got pregnant with Adam, we had been married five months. I didn't get very sick, but I was queasy constantly and so tired I could hardly stand it, especially at work. Trying to keep my eyes open all day (and trying not to gag because the office air was so stale) wore me out and I would come home and crash. Every day. I did this for two months. I ultimately decided that it would be better to fulfill one of my roles well than both of my roles poorly (wife and employee). So, we talked it over, and realized we had enough in savings to pay off our car (which had been my "retirement" goal), and I quit my job. We were debt free, living on one (modest) income.
I am grateful every day for the privilege of staying home, of raising my own children. I know it is God's will for me and that He is the One who really makes it possible. We pay a tithe to our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) before paying our other expenses, and we have seen so many blessings come as a result of this practice. I am convinced it is a major part of our ability to make this work. (See Malachi 3:10, The Windows of Heaven)
I know that not everyone has the option or the desire. But if it is a desire of your heart, don't give up. Pray about it, talk about it, see if there is a way. Everyone's paths are different and I understand that. This has been my experience, and I would not trade it for the world.
"It takes faith--unseeing faith--for young people to proceed immediately with their family responsibilities in the face of financial uncertainties. It takes faith for the young woman to bear her family instead of accepting employment, especially when schooling for the young husband is to be finished....But know this--that all these are of the planting, while faithful, devout families, spiritual security, peace, and eternal life are the harvest." SpencerW.Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p.11
Anna blogs here.