The Startup
Published in

The Startup

‘Money Day’: Why It Triggers Me

The focus on financial gain (aka recognition) draws my attention to the essential things I do which go unrecognised

Betty Draper from Madmen — image sourced from Bustle.

It’s ‘Money Day’ in one of my Facebook business groups.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of my two all-time favourite groups. Unlike some women’s business groups, it’s a non-toxic environment, and I feel I’ve grown a little from sharing other women’s insights, experiences, and tips.

But I always feel a bit yucky when I see the ‘Money Day’* graphic pop up in my feed.

*It’s not actually called Money Day, but that’s what it is.

Here’s why Money Day triggers me:

1. Because I’m not making much money right now

Since giving myself permission to pull back from copywriting to focus on my book, I’m just not earning a lot. I’ve turned away big copy projects and although I’m clear on prioritising my unpaid work of writing my manuscript, but I still feel the nagging doubts of my conditioning in a capitalist society. I’m a feminist; I’m also human.

2. Because I hate the hustle

The person I am who increasingly loves feminist theory gives the faux-feminist push to earn more, get more, be more the side-eye. The idea of ‘investing in yourself’ — normally accompanied by something like ‘buy my expensive program!’ I find quite repellent. And the interwebs are FULL of it. Beware the hustler!

Obviously, I support women going into business. But it’s a big venture, and for partnered women it involves cooperation and collaboration with a partner or family — or paying big $$$ in long daycare. I hate the hustle because instead of teaching women how to break the stereotypical roles of house-cleaner, primary parent, and all that go with it, it normalises doing all of it.

Getting up at 4am might work for some women, but for many of us, it’s not a realistic long-term lifestyle choice, or a healthy one. And we’re not ‘less invested in ourselves’, or lacking in positive mindset because of it.

3. Because I’m a mum, and that’s an unpaid, unrecognised position

My reality for now is that my primary occupation is a full time mother, I have been for nearly 10 years. The neoliberalist idea of women who choose full time motherhood part of the growing ranks of ‘welfare bludgers’ (thanks Christian Porter) is one we are increasingly bombarded with, and reinforced in the most “PC” of places — including job applications where ‘current employment details don’t include unpaid caring. (I choose ‘private sector’, then put ‘Motherhood’ as the industry.)

I see the way the role of mothers and motherhood (full time dads just 3%) is spoken highly of by politicians, but widely undervalued where it counts — that is, structurally — and it fills me with rage.

“What we don’t count, counts for nothing”

— Marylin Waring

The fact is, we all need money. Being financially dependent makes it harder to flee unhappy or abusive relationships, and makes women over 50 an alarmingly increasing number of Australia’s homeless. I’m in a happy, loving relationship, but you just don’t know what the future may bring: these frightening realities have a lot to do with my drive to want to return to financial independence.

I want it on my own terms though. I see my privilege in being able to invest in myself sparingly, carefully, but in a targeted way to get what I want — and not just from a financial perspective.

As a full time mother, I’ve had to constantly shift the way I think about abundance, self-fulfillment; money and what it means; ultimately, success. I believe acknowledging and honouring the unpaid work I do in my life is a big part of being able to feel abundant.

I’ve allowed myself to count my unpaid work in the role of mother as genuine, valid, essential work — I’ve updated my resume to include it.

This has required constant self-reminding, and self-correcting negative thought patterns, but my mindset has changed so much since I first became a mother, where I felt ‘unemployed’; unsurprisingly, I am a happier, healthier person for it.

I’m sitting in the mental planning stages of a new chapter in my book, set to get writing on Friday when I’m kid free. My book will challenge ideas and assumptions which I see as malignant and damaging. I spend a lot of time in women-centric, mostly feminist online spaces, but I live in the real world, keep up with news and current events, and I’m regularly reminded that my book is necessary. Today, this is what fills me with abundance.


Did you like this blog? Did it challenge you, or did you do some Hell Yeah’s while you read it?

If so, you might also like Motherhood Is Not Unemployment or Privilege and The Other: Why we need more women in parliament

If you want to subscribe now and never miss any news about my upcoming book, click here.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jennifer Zeven

Jennifer Zeven

Freelance Writer|Author-In-Progress