‘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

Jennifer Zeven
Oct 25, 2019 · 4 min read
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.

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!

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.)

“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’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.

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Jennifer Zeven

Written by

Writer|Feminist|Poet|Mother. Writer for 4th Wave Feminism, The Startup & PS I Love You. Facebook/Insta @JenniferZevenAuthor

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +584K people. Follow to join our community.

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