Parents Sacrificing for Catholic Education
(Hat tip: Dave Hartline at The Catholic Report)
Dawn Eden has a guest post by a Catholic parent whose family has made sacrifices in order to be able to provide their children with a Catholic education:
Five years ago, my wife and I made a decision that I should end my consulting career and that I should get a "real" job. This was a lifestyle decision. Being on the road five days per week (or working in D.C. and commuting to Frederick, Maryland, which is almost as bad) did not leave much time for me to participate in my family. My children were missing out on me and I in them. So we moved to Charles County, Maryland, and I took a pay cut that was more than most people's household income but now I'm home every day at 5:30.That all sounds so familiar to me. As I wrote about in detail here, 3 years ago my family sold our home in Virginia and moved to Norwalk, Ohio so that we would be able to provide our children with a Catholic education. I now work from a home office and Sarah is now a stay-at-home mom, so we are always around to participate in our children's lives. We struggle to make ends meet on one income; we used our entire tax rebate to put toward paying Catholic school tuition; and our only vehicle is a 7-year-old minivan with many dents and scratches that, like the author of the piece at Dawn's blog, we cannot afford to have repaired. And, like the author, I am active on our school's elementary and early childhood advisory board, on which I serve as vice-president.
We got rid of the nanny and the gardener. We moved into arguably the cheapest house on the street and scaled our lives around the kids, their education and our church. My school bill is more than my mortgage, which means it's about 20% of my take-home pay. Most of my neighbors drive BMWs and Mercedes and send their kids to public school. I drive a Prius with a couple of dents that I can't afford to fix.
I am the president of the School Advisory Board at St. Peter's, where my children attend and my wife is active in the School/Home Association where she chairs the committee to welcome new families into the school.
There isn't a Catholic high school in Charles County, so we're starting one: Pope John Paul II Academy. We can't really call it Catholic since it doesn't have Archdiocicen approval, yet.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you want your children to get a Catholic education, you have to fight for it. You have to fight for it every day and in every choice you make.
Make no mistake, though ... it's tough. We can't afford to do a lot of things that we once did and that many of our friends still do. We can't afford to buy many things that we once believed were necessities. And, in many (most?) months, we sweat it out until the next paycheck arrives.
Nevertheless, this lifestyle change was the best thing we've ever done. It is so worth it in order to be able to provide our children with an outstanding Catholic education at Norwalk Catholic School.