When I was little, my mom and dad were always working. My grandma basically took care of me all-day, everyday, and that was my normal. Growing up, I always believed that both parents needed to be working. I mean, that’s just what they did. Moms didn’t stay at home anymore– they were out there working! I understood that in most families, they couldn’t get by on just one income. Everyone had to pull their weight, so getting a job was how you did that. And people that were able to be stay-at-home-moms were lucky. They could afford for her to be at home, taking care of the kids and the household. That was some 1%-er sh*t if I had ever seen it. It was also something that I’d never be able to be because, well, I’m always going to be middle class (that mindset has changed drastically since getting married to Shawn and getting on the same page).
Anyway. So once I got into college, I pretty much always had a job. I was paying my own bills and rent for the most part. There’s only so much you can afford with a part-time retail job, sadly. But, in my own head, I was pretty self-sufficient! I juggled school, work, and sorority life; I was an Adult™. Hell, one year I actually owed money on my taxes instead of getting money back! (I’m still not convinced that was bad accounting on my dad’s part, but that’s neither here nor there.)
And things didn’t change much once Shawn and I got engaged and were living in Michigan. I was in law school, so the amount of hours I could really work was cut in half– but I still had a job! All my money made from that paid for my gas to get to-and-from school, parking (when I was too tired to walk), and random lunches with friends. I wasn’t totally dependent on Shawn for money, and that’s what mattered! I still had “my purpose,” aka school. I wasn’t a bum, even though he was paying our mortgage, bills, and groceries. I was in school. Law school! Honestly, what more could he want from me?
But then we moved to Georgia and my spot in this dynamic has shifted. And I didn’t like it.
When we moved, it was in an awkward time, so I couldn’t get into a law school here. When we moved, we decided that we were going to take our real estate business seriously.
When we moved, I didn’t have a plan for myself.
When we moved… I was scared.
I didn’t feel like I had a purpose.
I didn’t feel like I brought anything to the proverbial table.
So what did I do? I tried to get a job! And oh, did I try. I spent days looking for any job on Indeed, Craigslist, and LinkedIn. I applied at Home Depot, Kroger, WalMart, and at every restaurant within a 5 mile radius. No job was too “lowly” for me. But I was greeted with silence or disinterest. I’m not sure that there’s a word that can describe my mix of shock and devastation, but if there is please let me know. But yeah, that’s what I felt. I was confused– I mean, I had a great resume! I’m a team-player, personable, and motivated… and also desperate for any minimum-wage job in order to bide my time until law school kicks back up again. I needed a job or a school schedule or anything to feel like I was contributing to my team. It felt like I was sitting on the sidelines while Shawn did all the work, and he even pointed it out a few times (ouch– what a douche.)
But we both quickly realized that with my newfound time on my hands, I was able to channel a full-time work-week into wholesaling (and The Sister Wives Podcast… but mostly wholesaling), and things started to look up for me. And us.
But, that still isn’t the point I’m trying to make. Regardless of having wholesaling or a blog/podcast with my awesome big sister, my self-worth didn’t rely on those things. It also doesn’t rely on having a job that brings in peanuts, textbooks that could break my back, or a small business we’re getting off the ground. My worth (and yours) doesn’t come at a per-hour value. We all bring something to the table. We all have something to offer, even if it brings in income or not.
Without me staying at home, Shawn and I wouldn’t have nearly enough time to cook lunch and dinner every day. We wouldn’t be able to see one another as much as we do. We wouldn’t have clean and folded clothes in a timely manner. Our apartment wouldn’t be half as clean. Tater wouldn’t get loved on and exercised every single day. Our vehicles would go months overdue for oil changes without someone being on-top of it and available to make the appointments. Unnoticed things that help your household run like a well-oiled machine are probably chugging along because of you: a stay-at-home-spouse/wife/dad/person.
So if you don’t hear it enough– thank you. Your value to your team is immeasurable.