I'm turning the big 50 this year and due to many sad things happening in my life I've ended up on my own.Thank goodness some advice my mother gave me when I was a young girl stuck with me.
My mother gave me lots of great advice when I was younger. The one I have never forgotten is, ‘Always get something behind you.’ She meant, work toward being able to support yourself. You never know what life will throw at you.
She gave me that advice because my father walked out on us when I was twelve years of age. My mother was left to provide financially for myself and my two sisters. Luckily, my mother had gone to University and had a Science degree. She was a teacher before she married and she was able to go back to teaching. If she didn’t have that behind her, I’m not sure what sort of lifestyle we would have had as children.
So I am passionate about ensuring young girls think about their futures. You can’t rely on anyone else to provide for you, nor should you expect it. Things happen in life, marriages fail, people fall ill or die etc. I always tell young girls not only to build a skill-set they can fall back on if they need it, but also to keep the skills current. In addition, even when they marry, they should look out for their own financial security, such as a pension etc. Especially if family trusts are involved. You could be left with nothing.
I write Regency romances and the premise of heroines being forced to marry due to a financial crisis is often used. Ladies of the peerage in the early 1800’s could not work, and therefore to survive often had to marry a man they could not stand. My latest Regency romance TO DARE THE DUKE OF DANGERFIELD sees my heroine, Caitlin Southall, losing her home/estate because her father gambled it away. How is she to get her house and security back? She has to enter into a risky wager with the handsome and rakish Duke of Dangerfield. Read the book to see how that turns out...
Girls – women have fought long and hard to be able to work in a man’s world. Caitlin would be ecstatic to see the changes in Society and to know we can help ourselves and survive financially on our own when and if we have to.
So, don’t take our ability to provide for ourselves for granted. And don’t take for granted that you can rely on anyone else either. A marriage is not always secure and you should be proud at contributing. Build a career and take pride in your work and in your ability to support yourself and others. My mother did and I’m forever grateful to her as a role model.
Okay, now I’ll step off my soap box...