Married to the Empire

Saturday, August 16, 2008

One Income 101: Contingency Plans

Life isn't perfect, and sometimes, bad things happen. Many of the people who commented over at CNN about the SAHW article seemed to assume that my husband and I would eventually divorce; he'd cheat on me with a far more fascinating woman who has a job, I'd hose him for alimony, and then I'd be left helpless because I surely have no job skills. (There are some seriously sad people out there with a very jaded view of marriage!) As Christians, we don't consider divorce an option for our lives (besides, why marry if you think you might split up eventually?), but we do know that something could happen that would prevent Steven from working. What would we do then?

First, there's insurance. Steven carries both life and disability insurance. Unfortunately, his life insurance isn't nearly as much as it should be because he has kidney disease. Apparently, that is the Big Black Mark in the insurance industry, and no one wants to insure him because he might die. (Which is pretty much the idea behind life insurance, but that's probably too logical.) While his life insurance isn't enough to keep me for life, it is plenty to tide me over for more than a year. Believe me; that's plenty. Because he could wind up needing a kidney transplant someday, we also have disability insurance on him.

Second, I'm a certified teacher with experience. My teaching certificate is valid in the state of Texas for life. I have the classroom experience to back me up on my resume. Experienced teachers are always in demand, and I can easily go back to teaching should something happen to my husband.

Third, I have kept up professionally. I'm on the substitute-teacher list in my local school district. I don't sub much, but I do it enough that I can keep it on my resume. Additionally, I've tutored the past 2 spring semesters at a local middle school to prepare struggling 7th graders for the reading portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. I've had an extremely high success rate with my students, which has kept me in demand.

Fourth, I'm a published writer. Granted, it's a single story in Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, but it's the only thing I've ever submitted for publication, and it was accepted. For money. If I really get to it, I'm fairly confident that I could do more of the same. A little freelancing could bring in some extra cash, if necessary. And even if I'm never published again, it's still something for my resume. An English teacher who can actually do what she teaches is a good thing!

I'm a big believer in having a backup plan. The plan will be individual to each family, but there should be one. I've heard of Christian wives just assuming that the church will step up and take care of their families since the bible says that we are to care for widows and orphans; however, it is unreasonable for an able-bodied person to assume that their congregation will take care of them forever. That's a pretty unrealistic assumption to make, so have a concrete plan in place! Plan for the worst but hope for the best. None of us is promised tomorrow.


Meredith said...

I agree.

If my husband were to die tomorrow, I might regret not having a job waiting for me the following Monday, but I would never regret the time & effort I've spent on our life together.

That is a compromise I'm willing to make.

Melissa said...

I'm so glad that I stumbled across your blog! I too am a SAHW and have enjoyed looking around.

Thank you for your courage in standing up for what you believe! I plan to come back again and again.

Many Blessings,

Mommy Cracked said...

I just found your blog through a link from Sense to Save and I've added you to my reader. I'm also a former teacher and have 2 awesome cats, so we have that in common. Can't wait to read more from you!

AnneK said...

Hi AM, Although I am not a SAHW, I really enjoyed reading your series. It was the most well thought out, and balanced writing on the subject I have come across.

Well done!

Vader's Mom said...

This has been wonderful. You've offered a lot of great thoughts to ponder and I've taken it as quite the challenge. Now, we need to get together one day soon for lunch and chat!!

Erin said...

i have to put up with the same stupid comments from people also. as if having a paying job ALONE makes you a worth while person. big kudos to you, to your Christian outlook and your fascinating blog! i love it!

Anonymous said...

This si off the topic, (sorry) but would you mind posting a tutorial on the dish towels you made for wedding gifts. I know those corners are going to trip me up!
I really want to make some as Christmas gifts.


Ewokgirl said...

Anon, unfortuately I won't be making any more of the dish towels for quite some time. They're mostly just straight-line sewing. The dimensions are 18" by 24", fold the edges down twice and iron them flat, sew the corners, then sew the straight line seams.

As for the mitered corners, I learned how to do it from the July 2008 issue of Threads magazine. I've tried to find it online, but I don't think they ever put the instructions up. Perhaps your library or a friend who sews would have a copy for you to look at.

But if all else fails, I learned that most dish towels don't even have mitered corners. When I was making them, I started examining my store-bought towels and discovered that almost all of them are just sewn straight across without nice, finished corners.