My mother brought me up to be an independent person. She would always tell me to never lean on a man for stability, and to build your own foundation. Her theory behind this was should you ever find yourself on your own, for whatever reason, you have your own life to support you.
My mom is a very strong, independent woman. The ideologies she preaches are the ones she follows as well. I never really knew how important it was to have your own foundation until I found myself falling with nothing to grab on to.
My first relationship lasted five years and spanned over my early twenties. I had no idea what I wanted professionally, and was happy with working part time, and playing house full time. I figured I would get married, have children and become the kind of mom and wife who took the kids to soccer practice in between lunching and picking up the dry cleaning.
My friends all thought this was strange considering I was always one to have big dreams and goals. To see me settling was, for my friends and family, rather unsettling.
For our age my ex and I lived a very comfortable life. He made more than me, and naturally took care of more financially. I felt secure, provided for, and comfortable.
And that’s where it all went wrong.
It wasn’t until I found myself packing my belongings and moving out of his condo did I realize how much I depended on him for making my foundation solid. I spent the last five years taking care of someone else, and forgot to take care of myself. I forgot to save more money, build my career, and have a secure foundation to fall on that could support me when no one else was.
I was 24, working part time and not making enough money to immediately begin supporting myself. This was not the independent woman my mom taught me to be.
Since then I have slowly rebuilt my foundation. It has not been an easy road, and there have been times when I ask myself, “what is this really for?” Then I remember it’s for me. It’s my stability, my security, and my safety net.
As women we still tend to fall into the box society built for us long ago, the box that says our role is to be the wife and mother, but not the provider. But what happens when the provider disappears, and the wife and mother becomes the new provider?
We can’t forget to be our own providers, and we can’t forget to be confident in having our own back-up-plan. Being independent doesn’t mean we can’t be a great wife and mother, it just means we are not afraid to rip open the box and built something new for ourselves.
And when you have your foundation and start to fall, it’s a little less scary knowing you have something to grab on to.