So, here I am, on a Saturday morning, pondering the fact that I am getting married in less than three weeks. It is without much fanfare, as we have been living as partners for a while now, own a home, raising kids, sharing money, etc….but even so, there is that twinge of self-awareness, identity crisis, wondering if I will lose a part of myself. Before the sun had come up, before I had even finished my first cup of coffee, I had an epiphany.
~ It’s because of my old-fashioned, conservative ways, that I am able to live the modern-woman, many hats life that I do. ~
I’m not patting myself on the back. I know many women who juggle everything and we are all awesome. But I also know young women who are just starting out, facing choices between their needs, a man’s needs, their children’s needs, etc….and I know many women my age, who are miserable. Many.
So as I consider how to be the best Mrs. Hearn I can be, I am also extremely determined to still be the true-to-self Cherilyn I have always been.
In one day I may be folding laundry, feeding chickens, writing a book, planning a tour, quilting, painting, doing taxes or baking a cake. I truly like to think that I have it all. I have all the things that are important to me. I have my career, my education and my time, but my children have clean clothes and full bellies, my husband has crisp sheets and a doting wife. Let me tell you what I don’t have.
I don’t have credit cards or a fancy car. I never have. We are actually currently sharing a car, because we can. When I have had a car, I rarely have a car payment. If you’re saying to yourself…” but I loooove my car!” More than your dream? Your time? I doubt it.
I don’t have a huge social life. I have a lot of friends on Facebook, family I love and plenty of that, but I don’t go out a lot and I have to say ‘no’ sometimes.
I don’t have a huge wardrobe. I like shopping as much as the next girl, but I’m a bargain hunter, I Christmas shop all year long, I get a core wardrobe that I love and I stick with it, adding new things here and there. I wear Nikes and nice things, but nice things last when you take care of them and very nice Nikes can be found at rummage sales in the country club. 😉
I don’t have a job.
I don’t have a 40-hour-a-week, answering to someone else, stressing me out and adding zero to my soul, job. I have been self-employed or salary employed most of my adult life, regardless of having a man or other support system. This was a choice I made a long time ago. I wanted to be available to my child. I wanted to write and take pictures and pursue my education. So I made decisions centering around MY happiness.
You can sell your car.
You can put back that Coach bag.
You can change your situation.
If you are miserable you know it. If you hate your job, you are wasting the only life we have! I know you have to feed your kids and pay your bills, but I promise there are creative ways to do both. I have been a substitute teacher for ten years. It is on my schedule, works around my children’s school schedule and is very low stress. You take zero work home and when you walk out of that classroom, 100% of your thoughts are back to you, your spouse, your family. In my state, you do not have to be pursuing a teaching career to be a sub. Every state and sometimes every district varies, but check it out. When it has been necessary and available, subbing full-time pays $1720 gross per month. I can live on that in my sleep, because I have no car payment and no credit cards…
I have done daycare from time to time. I’m one of those women that can have two or ten kids running around my house and it’s all the same to me. Another nose to wipe or mouth to feed just doesn’t occur to me. It may sound like a big deal to really open a legitimate daycare business, so don’t. There are loopholes, when you don’t do full-time, limit the number of kids etc. These laws are designed for grandmothers and friends who babysit occasionally. Also, most daycares only do full-time, so part-time and occasional options are in high demand.
I write for money.
I cook for money.
I work by phone, by computer, all from home.
Almost anyone can take care of elderly individuals in their home, by simply being CPR certified and getting some training that agencies provide. These hours are always part-time, flexible and it’s up to you whether you have two clients or twelve.
These are just a few things I have done over the years, because paying bills IS NOT my life’s work. Being a mother, a wife, a writer and an artist IS.
Finally….remember my epiphany about modern vs. conventional? Here’s the deal… Because my man knows I am absolutely committed to him, our home, our life, my ‘pursuits’ don’t bother him. That’s up to you ladies. Men are just afraid we are out in the world and we’ll find someone or something better. So I travel and go on book tours and earn degrees. But Mr. Hearn knows I will drop everything and come back to the farm anytime he needs me, the kids need me, or he says so. That’s a scary thing to give a guy all that power right? But it turns out, I have a whole lot of my own freedom because of it. 😉
Think about it sisters!