First things first.
What do I think about giving away our income for 40 days?
To be completely honest I initially thought "Are you freakin' kidding me? We just bought new windows (not to mention the new baby and 4 year old who are quite expensive to keep around)!"
I kept thinking how on earth can we afford to do this? And then it hit me, we'll never be able to "afford" this, but we are young and we are able; and no matter what happens at the end of this project I'm hoping that we will be better people for it. That was enough for me to get on board. "Yes, honey, give away all of our money for the next forty days."
As the project neared, I became more and more apprehensive about what was about to happen. I could feel myself becoming very aware of my place in our family. I am a wife, a mother, and a student, I am not the bread winner, and a lot of days that leaves me feeling less than equal and not in control.
To be clear, my not working was a choice that both I and Andrew very consciously made, so that I could go back to school full time.
Prior to knowing Andrew, I had been through a nasty divorce which left me a single mom and broke. I worked two minimum wage jobs to keep my home and food on the table. During that time I learned to be both humble and strong, both qualities that I didn't have before then. For those reasons I cherish that period in my life.
However, when I met Andrew, I was still in the struggle and that was when I shared with Andrew that I wanted to go back to school and finish my degree. He fully supported me from the start and when we were married he insisted that I get the degree that I wanted so badly. The decision to go back to school was one that effected everyone in our house hold. Andrew had now taken on the joys and burdens of a family. We chose for me to go back to school full time, which kept our son in daycare and kept me from working my regular full time day job. And because we value our family time I didn't pick up an evening job. All of the financial burden is on Andrew. This has been a huge adjustment for me, because I don't like not being in control. And if I earned the money, I would "feel" in control. Man, did I think being broke was humbling, now I am learning to share responsibility and not rule the roost!
Needless to say, these past few years with Andrew have taken us both for a ride (and for me for quite a personal journey). Learning to share responsibility, which I thought was all my own, learning to trust someone else to help make good judgement for our children and our future, trusting that no matter what comes our way that we can do it together, thats why I can do this project with Andrew. I believe that this will help us grow to become better people and parents.