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  • Writer's pictureRai Cantisano

i do it for love, and also for money

understanding our value in this world

i don't know about you, but i grew up amidst women who are the pillar of their communities. they weave relationship nurturing work, child care, logistics masterminding, emotional mediation, creating beautiful homes and safe spaces, offering psychological support and beyond into their lives, seemingly effortlessly.

all offered from a place of care and joy, all done for love.

i also grew up amidst women who were consistently struggling financially. the balance between the time they seemed to have and their responsibilities didn't add up. it resulted in them not being fully sourced and depending on others (usually a partner) to make ends meet. it brought them a lot of stress and uncertainty.

recently, i saw something i had never fully seen before: imagine if these women started charging for their time. imagine if they turn to their communities and said, i will do this for love, and also for money. i think a few things would happen:

- at first, whole communities would probably collapse. nobody is used to compensating labors of love. without this network of humans (and it's usually women) donating their time to the health and sustainability of their circles, to take care of the young, to organize and plan for the basic necessities of life there would be a huge gap, whether financial or of services, needing to be filled.

- people would realize the value this labor. not just in a metaphorical sense, but the real dollar amount correspondent to it. when i have childcare provided by a cousin, grandma or tia, when i have a spouse shopping for weekly food, when i rely on the women in my life for emotional support exclusively, i am saving money. if i had to pay for all these services, or do them myself, my time/resources budgeting would look a lot different.

- we would honor this labor more deeply. we would implement policies that support our "invisible" workers. we would celebrate them, and make sure they are taken care of. we would see a more just and balanced world. perhaps even achieve salary parity. imagine if we didn't have to go into the corporate world to be rich. imagine a world in which we understood so fully the value of labors of love, that one could raise their kids exclusively, and be wealthy... dream and be sourced. be empathetic and caring and get a raise for it.

i am making a promise to myself. to understand the value of my being. of my time. of my dreaming. to know that i am the pillar of a community and to value myself accordingly. to catch myself every time i am saying i will do something (just) for love. and choose. choose my love and my livelihood. my time and my value. my oxygen mask on, so that i can support my community from that place. doing it for love, and also for money. who said they aren't the same, anyway?

million dollar meal prep by me.

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