I wanted to share a short story with you about something that hits close to home. My sister-in-law is an amazing woman. She is talented, independent, caring, and one of the nicest people I know. She also has dwarfism and has taken in three of her husband’s kids from a previous marriage, one of which has low-functioning Autism, as well as dealing with her own two, another one of which also has dwarfism.
So what exactly is dwarfism? According to WebMD, Dwarfism is a condition of short stature. It is defined by the advocacy group Little People of America (LPA) as an adult height of 4 feet 10 inches or under, as a result of a medical or genetic condition.
My sister-in-law has Achondroplasia Dwarfism, think the “munchkins” in the Wizard of Oz. This condition limits her to certain jobs due to her disability, but as we all know “when it rains, it pours”, and she was laid off from her job of 9 years just two days before Christmas and a month after her husband had lost his as well. With five kids, two with disabilities, and no employment, it was a rough holiday, to say the least. The local Fire Stations did stop by to donate gifts for the kids and she had family to help as well, but that does not dismiss the fact that she has a very difficult road ahead.
All of this doesn’t stop her. She continues to do her normal daily routines as a wife and mom while holding her own sanity together. She is not happy sitting at home collecting unemployment, but where she lives there is not a lot of options for her or her husband in jobs, but they cannot simply up and move due to a plethora of issues between court custody battles, disability, and money.
Some things my sister-in-law does to conserve money:
- Couponers Unite! She is an amazing couponer who is known in the family for buying bulk items for less than five dollars or even getting money back! Trust me, it takes time, effort, and determination for couponing and she succeeds where others fail.
- Everything is handmade! She can hand craft clothes, blankets, towels, rugs, jewelry, etc. and can take extra yarn or material and turn it into something useful.
- Waste Not Want Not! An old plastic bottle laying around? She will cut it and use it for a plant potter or re-use it to make a mixed drink in. Old bag ties laying around? She will turn them into wire organizers or use clothes pins as chip clips! And she’s not too proud for hand-me-downs! She knows how to make use of everything she has and she can resist the urge to buy something she does not necessarily need.
- Live off the Land! She is a natural born gardener and butcher. She grows her own fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as butchers her own pigs and cows for meat. No weak stomach on that momma!
Being the best at everything is not as important as making the best out of what you have.
My sister-in-law isn’t about being rich with unlimited money or having the biggest house or the fanciest car. She is about family, true happiness, and living life to the fullest! Our family has always lived off the saying:
“We work to live, not live to work!”
So no matter what has been thrown at her, she will make lemonade out of all those lemons!
In fact, to make ends meet and while she actively looks for a new job that will adhere to her schedule and disability, she has opened an Etsy Shop where she can put her talents to use and perhaps make some extra funds in the process. If you can, head on over to The LilfootShop on Etsy and make a purchase or pass it on to friends!