When I fly, I sit in the emergency exit row. I do this for a multitude of reasons.
- I have super long legs and there is a LOT more space there.
- I actually enjoy feeling cold. I find it relaxing and this is by far the coldest seat on a plane.
- I’m actually REALLY good in an emergency.
So let’s focus on 3. If you’re going to sever your finger, or a car crashes into your house, or you get robbed, or have to execute a water evacuation on a 747, you want me in your corner. DURING an emergency I’m extremely reliable and fairly calm. I will lose my mind when we are safe and everything is complete. The aftermath will hit me like a ton of bricks but by then the coast guard has plucked you out of the water and you’re already air drying your leggings somewhere.
What I didn’t expect working for myself and being the sole income provider for a family of 6 is what that pressure would feel like! My calm and reliability sometimes has an expiration limit and in this role, it’s not allowed to expire. We CHOSE to bring my husband home from work. He did not love his job. It did not make him a better person. It did not make him happy and he was missing EVERYTHING. All of the time. With my business taking off, we felt confident cutting back our income and living off of LuLaRoe sales and commissions. It was a necessary arrangement in order for us to pursue our accidental homeschooling. (I already have a blog post in mind to tell you WHY we chose to home school, but that’s a whole different topic for another day.)
If you don’t know our backstory, we are perfectly capable of living on nothing and coming out the other side unscathed. We’ve eaten more Ramen noodles than we care to share, and I’ve sold plasma for gas money…so we’re not fancy. But in this new life, this life we dream about and try to create, things are slightly different and this pressure is INTENSE. We’ve always both worked. Always. So even when we were poor, we were happy and we were sharing a burden evenly. I knew if my waitress shift didn’t bring in what we needed we would survive until Lewis’s next check. And he knew when his check ran out, I would be headed to the restaurant to work a double and pick up extra shifts so we could buy food.
We have moved far beyond this financially and far beyond our wildest expectations just 2 short years ago, but I have to admit, every single month I get concerned that the 747 is making a water landing and I am somehow going to screw it up. The pilot is screaming at me in my head and I’m like WHAT THE HECK DID WE DO? I need a new seat assignment please! Then the plane levels out and I’m like, oh, ok it’s fine.
I now know how my husband felt when I was on maternity leave or medical leave for babies (4 times). I know how he must have felt when he looked at his check and he wondered who the heck FICA was and why they stole all of his money. I appreciate his calm under pressure more. I appreciate how hard he worked for us.
What I love about this business is that my answer is easy. I sell more skirts. I work a little harder. I AM good under pressure. And I’m scrappy. Tell me I can’t do something and I will do it just to spite you.
As women, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves at home I think. And we feel like we’re failing…a lot. I’ve heard it said that wives are the dream weavers. We teach our husbands and our children how to dream. So when silly things like facts get in the way and you’re trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and they snap in your hand, you kind of want to take The Crying Game shower.
Having a family business is not easy. But it is beyond rewarding. So it’s worth the pressure. The pressure is not stronger than the gift of time together that it has given us. I will live off of eggs from our chickens every single day if it means my kids are happy and we are cleaning that chicken coop together.
PS I know this was a little heavy for a second blog post…but it was on my mind. And I’ve learned nothing if I haven’t learned that so many people feel like I do at different times and just need someone to say it out loud.