There are some things about being a working woman and what is happening in todays culture that I love. However…
I have noticed that a lot of the working mom/working woman/woman success stories lately have been focused on women becoming CEOs, world leaders, top entrepruners. We can’t just go to work, we must go and run up to the top of the ladder in whatever field we aspire to. And I get that there are more men than women in roles like that in this country and the desire to see the field even out a little more. But we don’t all want that. And sometimes I feel like I am failing woman kind because I just want to make enough money to support my family and then go home and clean my own house, take my daughter school shopping, go on a walk with my husband and relax. I would rather have less money and position than work 60 hours a week. Is that wrong? Sometimes it feels like it is.
Have you noticed how men are being praised and raised up as heros for doing the work women used to do all the time without any praise? Suddenly a man who stays home is a hero. But a woman staying home is not fulfilling her potential. Where was my hero ribbon when I was the one at home helping my husband be a success? How is what the men are doing now different from what I was doing then? Why do I feel like as women begin to dominate the work force the men are still winning this game? They were the heros when the norm was that they work and we stay home because they made the money. Now they are the heros for staying home doing the work we used to do while we make the money. Am I the only one that sees the problem here? It isn’t what we are doing, it is how we are valuing ourselves and how we are letting other people value us.
I just want to go to work, do my best, go home and enjoy my family. I want to appreciate my husband for the work he does around the house just as he appreciates the work I do around the house. Neither of us could do it alone. The task of working and managing a life is overwhelming. Nobody is an island. He couldn’t have been successful if I hadn’t been supporting him all those years, I cannot be successful without his help and he couldn’t be changing careers in his 40’s without me. Life is a team sport and it takes both men and women working together at all levels of success to get the win. I know there are single women out there that have to go it alone but even then you gather a team around you. Kids to help around the house, friends, neighbors, childcare workers. Sometimes you accept a lifestyle that isn’t as fancy so you can have sanity. Why is success only defined as money and status? If I abandon my family to achieve the top spot in my company am I really successful?
Let’s start talking about families working together doing simple day to day activities and calling them a success. Today I am working from home. My husband is sleeping after working a night shift. In a few minutes I am going to take out meat for the dinner John will likely make when he gets up. I will probably bring Izzy’s friend home this afternoon on my way to pick up toilet paper which we are completely out of and then encourage her to do her laundry tonight after dinner. I might try to clean the bathrooms which have been neglected lately. I might work more tonight. But, I also might just plop on the couch with a glass of wine and the family and watch the Olympics.
What does success look like at your house tonight?