I wouldn't have to work at all.
I'd fool around and have a ball..
Working three jobs, I could've been wealthy. The circumstances decided otherwise. I barely had any money to live. I had no money to eat a healthy diet or bring my clothes to the dry cleaner. There was no budget to have dinner with friends, go to the movies or relax at the hair dresser's. There was nothing but bills, debts and poverty, moneywise.
My main job was teaching. I worked full time as a kindergarten teacher. Apparently, there were some issues with my contract, so I didn't get paid for 7 months. That money was not lost, but just not available to hand me my pay cheque. Living by myself, I needed to make sure I had money to pay the rent and live my life. So I decided to find a second job. It didn't take me long. Looking after 5 kids at night, every night of the week. Helping them with homework, making sure they took their bath and they got fed. It paid peanuts, although the family was more than wealthy. I needed the money, so I took care of the kids, keeping in mind that I might need a third job to pay all the bills.
In the newspaper I saw an add to work as a waitress in a nearby restaurant. Having no proper transportation at the time, the owner of the restaurant decided he would come pick me up and take me home after the service. And that's exactly what he did, because I was good at doing my job. It meant no more baby sitting on weekends and some extra money - not a lot, because you don't make a fortune working as a waitress on weekends.. At least, the cook offered me decent, hot meals.. something I had lacked too often in the previous months.
Working three jobs and living all by myself was my choice. I don't regret doing what I did. It was a pain and yes, I was exhausted. But it also meant freedom. It meant I had the chance to grow (up) and take care of myself.
It didn't matter that I ate box loads of honey pops instead of home cooked meals. I could care less that one day I was dressed in jeans and T-shirts and the next day in a party dress. I was proud that I managed to live my dream and live all by myself. I didn't feel deprived of anything, since it gave me the chance to be independent. It would have been a whole lot nicer and easier if I would've had some money to my name, but it wasn't the case and what's the use of crying over spilled milk? I was young, healthy and motivated to get myself a decent future.
Is this the independence I would recommend to my children? Not exactly.. I hope they'll have a better start in life. I hope they will have a decent place to live and a proper job with a respectable pay check. They won't have to work 3 jobs to survive. Life doesn't have to be that hard on them. No matter what their choices in life will be, we'll be there to support them. They will have the chance to grow and make their own mistakes. We'll be there to catch them when they fall. They'll crawl up, move on and learn their lessons. But it doesn't have to be that hard.. they deserve better. I deserved better.