Valuing myself...........

I have struggled with self-esteem issues all of my life.

I never felt like I was good enough.  And I honestly believe this came from a culture where women were raised to be subservient.  Without value.  Insignificant.  Hello, 1950's America. Note that June Cleaver was usually in the kitchen in high heels.  Want to keep a woman down .... make her wear high heels 12 hours a day!  (Yea Sistas.  You may not be a feminist.  But if you are wearing yoga pants and flip flops while grocery shopping, you benefited from a bunch of them!)

If I did anything good .... it was always prefaced with what I did wrong.  My hair was too thick.  My feet were pigeon-toed.  I held my needle wrong as I hemmed. (Seriously? Who cares?  The hem was beautiful.  To quote Emerson Eggerichs .... Not wrong.  Just different.)

The hardest thing to do as woman and a farmer, is to value ourselves and our talents.

So it was with great delight that I read this article. (Special shout out to my friend Maggie for sharing that!)

The other day, I was contacted by a group for a tour of the farm.  I directed them to the field trip page of this blog. 

Now I charge $5 for an adult or child to tour the farm in a group.  $5.  Your iced cinnamon dolce latte at Starbucks costs more than that.

And for that $5 ..... I clean the bathroom, stock it with fresh hand soap, plenty of toilet paper, and cute paper hand towels.  I provide some type of beverage for you to drink.  Usually lemonade.  I iron 3-5 vintage tablecloths to go into the corn-zebo.  I spend 1-2 hours answering questions about chickens, flowers, teacups and soybeans.

Where did the chicken with the funny hairdo come from? 

Did you dye your eggs?  

Do they taste the same? 

Those are funny looking geese. (Yes.  They are funny looking geese because they are ducks.)

Do your tea cups break?  Why did you do that? 

I've never seen those flowers before.  What do you call them?  

Did you can all those tomatoes?  Don't you know about grocery stores?  I wouldn't waste my time.

Do you really live in that house?  I would burn it down.

But $5 per person was too much.

And I cringed.  Because I want everyone to love this farm as much as I do.  And I want to share it with them.... but this is my job.

Its how I pay the mortgage, the utility bill, and the insurance.  Like a teacher that goes to school everyday, like the doctor that looks at our tonsils, like the mechanic that fixes our car....... I work for a living.

Too often, groups have come to the farm........ and looked at the flowers.  They have asked question after question.  They have enjoyed the corn-zebo and sat with their friends for hours. 

And after they leave........ I wash and iron the vintage tablecloths, clean the garbage left behind, scrub the bathroom again for the next group.  And I wish my work would have value.

I have never gone to the grocery store and have the clerk present me with a total of $92.00... and asked, Would you take $75? But the other day, I was asked to take $3/dozen for eggs because I don't know if I will like fresh eggs.  (I'm not sure if she deserved to eat those eggs after that comment!)

While weeding today, I realized that I am to blame.  Me. No one else.  Me.

When we value ourselves and what we do as important, others will also.

Yea.  Kind of a good message for Mother's Day.

From a woman that makes 75 cents for every dollar a man makes.


Barb said…
Sending a virtual hug to a great lady that I admire and value (and we haven't even met yet; just imagine your status in my book when we do...hopefully this summer). :O)
Michelle said…
Barb said it; hugs from me, too.

I was blessed with a mother who fought tooth and nail to give me self-confidence and capability. Not that I don't struggle still with self-value; a divorce when you're too young to process the reasons will do that.
First, I think you know how much you mean to me...if not, I'll tell you again. You are a daily inspiration. Second, I REALLY hope all those "questions/comments" you posted have not actually been said to you. Some of that is fightin' words if ever I did hear. Question my canned tomatoes or my home and we might have a throw down. ;-) Stick to your guns Miss're worth every penny.
Mary said…
You are a warm loving woman. You are passionate in what you do. It was evident when we met you that day in April when we just stopped in. You were fun and generous with your time and eggs! I was feeling bad that we were keeping you for taking care of your bread that day. You are a joy! Do not feel like you are under valued. There are truly people that appreciate and value you. Keep that smile on. It is wonderful.
Micki said…
You Go Girl! You should be charging more rather than less for what you do. I think for anyone who asks you to take less for your work you should ask them if they want TP and soap in the bathrooms when they visit and if they will please clean the bathroom when they are finished. Or if they will cut their pay check in half for the week. Some people just don't get it. I wish I lived in your area because I would love to visit your farm. I know that my comment might sound rude to some, but I have also been asked if I would take less for my hand made articles and I already take less than I know they are worth because of the economy and needing to survive too. People just need an education on the worth of someone else's time and work.

I hope you have a wonderful day!
Anonymous said…
"funny looking geese - no, those are ducks" BWAHAHAHA! Sorry, but that got a huge giggle out of me. Seriously now, don't you budge an inch on the prices! "I don't know if I'll like fresh eggs." Honey, I don't know if I'll like anything in a restaurant but even if I hate it I'll still have to pay. I hated waiting an hour in line for every ride the last time I was at Great America, but I didn't get a price break. We're too "spoiled" by cheap food prices so people think "well, she doesn't have to pay advertising like the grocery store does, so she should charge less." HA! I'll tell you what, I'd charge waaay more than $5 to iron at my house for anything! As soon as I can drag Hubby away, we'll gladly pony up $10 to come see your chickens (unless my new pal Cynthia Wilkinson & I decide to go first!).
Miss Effie said…
All true comments. Everyone one of them. Best one was ... "I'd burn that house down". I still laugh at that one. Of course, she might have burnt it down ... she kept puffing on her cigarette!!!

And the tomato one ... hurt the most.

Sharon .. come on out! We will see you and Cynthia soon!
Kelly Bartels said…
I've never met you in person, but if Corinne thinks highly of you, then you must be one heck of a lady!
Your views and priorities seem to mirror my let the clueless folks wonder if fresh eggs are better than month old ones from the store, we know better!
There's just this certain calm that I get from knowing where my food comes can't ever find THAT in a store.
Keep doing what your doing, I applaud it. Personally, I look down my nose at anyone that doesn't appreciate home grown or handmade treasures. What are THEY thinking? lol
Beth said…
You know we love you and your beautiful home. Not sure she would like fresh eggs? I am rolling my eyes. Love to you.
I can't wait to visit your farm and would happily pay $5.00 for a tour. I once had a lady come to the door and ask how much eggs where - They were $2.00 at the time. She told me that was too much and walked away. I took it sooo personally, and hung onto it for Dayssssss..finally my dear hubby said "would you just let it go already" its hard but we MUST move on. I've gotten over it and since raised by prices and still sell LOTS of eggs. Hurray for me and you- your fantastic.
Anonymous said…
Hey, the next time somebody makes that tomato crack, just put on your best smile and say "mine will never be recalled for salmonella/containing Chinese plastic/whatever the latest recall is." My brother is doing the same thing to me, he's convinced I'm going to kill myself canning this summer. Yes, I know the kitchen will get hot/the jars are hot - hello, I'm 44, not 4! I have cookbooks, I have the Internet & I have friends who can (I'm getting the new Ball cookbook so I do tomatoes the right way). I spend Sundays at dirtbike races in the summer, half dead from the heat. At home I can get a cold drink, step outside or hit the shower!

Next time you need cheering up, you just Facebook me. I'll have water coming out your nose in a heartbeat.
Jen said…
I salute you feminist sister! You are awesome and deserve every dollar you ask.
Zan Asha said…
Now Cathy, you've inspired someone clear across the country (uhm...that'd be me!) and I don't think you have the right to be treated like that, though I would like to say, I've seen the whole undercutting of prices all over the place. It's really unfortunate how people don't realize that you are MAKING A LIVING doing what you do, even the ones who think they like the taste of factory made eggs! Yikes!

This gives me a few ideas, but I REALLY think your summer tent idea would work here! I will email you! You deserve to succeed. And I really need to move closer because then it would be all sorts of farm business craziness!! :)
Dan Mays said…

You need a good "chick song"! This one may harken back to your previous "All men are toads" days, but you should still be able to relate to it on some level.

Cyndia & I send our love.

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