I’m going to be honest and tell you that the day I earned $2 was one of the happiest in my life. I think it was largely to do with my mental health. As you guys know, I recently monetized my blog and became officially self-employed. The other Sunday morning when we got home after visiting the lake, I sat down to do some photo editing. I casually logged into my advertisers account and saw the Estimated Earnings header with $2.15 underneath.
I’VE MADE SOME MONEY!!! I can’t believe it” I exclaimed.
I was smiling so hard it must have looked a bit unnerving and then quite literally jumped for joy. Hubby came over to have a look, a bit like when someone checks the lottery numbers on a winning ticket. He gave me a big hug and told me how proud he was of me. I was in a state of shock. Happy shock. It felt like such an achievement. That day my mental health seemed to soar. I felt successful and like I had gained something back that had been missing for so long. What was it? Self-esteem maybe?
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING
It’s true that the amount of work I do on this blog probably isn’t giving me a great return at the moment. But it’s not really about the dollar figure for me. Working means so much more and I’d not really considered what the impact of not financially contributing to the household would have on my confidence. Plus, the way I see it, even if I can’t call it an empire just yet it’s still $2 I didn’t have before.
You see, I’ve always worked. From my first paper round aged about twelve, then a weekend job, followed by two jobs when I was at college. I worked numerous contracts without any break in between when I first moved to Australia and studied at night school. I guess it reads a bit like I try and keep busy but I don’t think it was really a conscious effort to do so.
My parents worked really hard all the way through my childhood which I think has had a big influence on me. The Mothership returned to night shift as a nurse when I was five weeks old. I’m not saying I want to do that nor advocate for such an early separation but the reality is that needs must.
Yes I could be a “lady of leisure” and a full time stay at home parent but it does mean we can’t have the lifestyle we would ideally like. We can afford our bills but, for example, there is no chance of an overseas trip back to England to see my family. And I’d probably have to scale back the Pretty Shoe Fund for the girls at some point. I mean, not seeing my family is one thing but not buying tiny shoes? I think that is one unrealistic expectation too far.
I want to clarify something here and that is if a friend who was a stay at home parent was talking to me about a desire to return to work and how they felt like they wasn’t contributing to the home or society I would shut any negativity down pretty quickly. My response would be to tell them that they are doing the most important job in the world. THE WORLD.
I genuinely believe that raising children, the next generation, is so incredibly crucial to our society. It’s tough, it takes sacrifice, it’s learning curve after learning curve and it is hard work. When a friend says to me that they’d give anything to not have to work, to just stay at home with their children I do feel a pang of guilt. Because, here I am, with that luxurious opportunity to not return to employment yet it is something I need to do for myself. I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve had a choice in the matter which has allowed me to look at other avenues and to embrace my creative side. It’s not particularly glamorous. I sometimes work from the kitchen table in my pyjamas. But still, it’s a privilege to be able to work from home around my babies schedule.
Of course there is also the mental health side of it too. I’ve missed contributing in this way. I’ve been worried about what I’ll do when the kids start school and I’m home alone. I’m educated but in a niche field, my job would be reliant on government funding and therefore potentially unreliable long term. I don’t like uncertainty. Plus I know I’d really regret it if I didn’t try and realise some of my dreams, like writing that book I’ve been banging on about to Hubby.
I’ve been talking about making the blog my business for years and I’d rather try and fail than not try at all. But, I haven’t failed have I? Because I have earned a wage, no matter how small. A price can’t be put on that feeling of modest accomplishment. The fact I’ve done it all by myself feels like such a personal achievement.
My goal is to earn enough to cover the girls weekly daycare fees when they start going in a couple of years. This will ease the pressure for Hubby and allow us to realistically start thinking about renovating our house. It’s also a comforting buffer when we consider Little Red’s ongoing health costs.
We will obviously refrain from calling ourselves a power couple for the time being though. No, I’m saving that title for when I hit the $5 mark.