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I grew up in a somewhat loving environment. Why do I say somewhat? My mother was a seamstress. She raised my older brothers and sister by working in sewing factories in rural Alabama. If you could peek into the time when she was doing this work, you would know that we were fortunate that our mother was working and actually drawing a paycheck.
Fast forward about fifteen or twenty years, she was a seamstress who worked from home with a clientele of about fifteen women. She made blouses, trousers, blazers, dresses, and cushions. When I came home from school, I would find her at her sewing machine. I would wrap my arms around her and she would hug me back. I am a hugger! I would hold onto her until the love energy I was feeling transferred over to her. But, she would always cut our hugs short and say, “I have to get back to work.” I always felt hurt, but I soothed my feelings through understanding the work she did brought money into our home.
I will always remember one summer she worked day in and day out until time for us to return to school in the fall. She brought us to an expensive department store similar to JCPennys and bought us Levi corduroy jeans. We were able to pick out three different colors! I remember choosing maroon, grey, and yellow Levi corduroys. I would not choose those colors today, but I wore them at the time with pride.
There were times when my mother would drink on the weekend, and I remember conversations of owning our own home cropping up, and she would say things such as “I guess it was never meant for me to own my own home,” or “if it weren’t for my children…” She spent her other time making dinner, going to the grocery store, and many other duties for her children. The truth I figure today about that is she never earned what she was worth when she sat behind her machine day after day sewing for others.
She would get paid pennies on the dollar for beautiful garments she made for others and any extra time was spent taking care of her children. Melinda Gates says, “For women who spend all their hours doing unpaid work, the chores of the day kill the dreams of a lifetime. – The Moment of Lift, Chapter 5.” I wish I were smart enough back then to encourage her to go to college. She was turning 50 when I became a teenager, but I know she could achieve her dreams had she the support of others encouraging her. During that time, she did the way most women did and do today with children taking care of their family.
I am fortunate enough that my husband and children encourage me when I have a dream to do something other than take care of our home and family. I feel this is a great place for anyone to begin supporting the work of women around the world. If you work hard each day to take care of your family and you are female, know that there are many, many around the world who work day in and day out in unpaid labor that are losing out on their dreams. Be an encourager and supporter for women around the world who have dreams of becoming president or holding office. Without the ideas and strategies of women, our country would not be what it is today. I truly believe this and I think women deserve the admiration and support for all that they do in this world.
Amy enjoys blogging about her favorite hobby; quilting. She is an avid seamstress, blogger, web designer, photographer, and crafter. She is a psychology graduate who owns a cocker spaniel and enjoys traveling to quilt shows.