Sometimes it's hard to be a woman
I read a book about empowered women and how women need to be comfortable with ambition, go for things they may be only partially qualified for and not feel as if doing that they are asking to "have it all" perfectly it would stick. Then I get to work and within the first 30 minutes at work instead of saying "Sure that's a great opportunity" to a comment made that I should lead a project I say "umm yeah sure okay if no one else wants to do it" Really ??? I almost slapped myself - what does that say "if there is no one else who finds this a worthwhile project and you need to scrape the bottom of the barrel well then I'm your choice". As a mom instead of thinking I do all I can for my boys even while I work outside the home full time with commute time added in I say "Oh I will be class parent" because after all I need to feel that I cannot miss anything or it is a major fail .. major fail. I know I try to cut myself a break but in the end who are we kidding?? In the dark before I go to bed there are lists going through my head like trains in Grand Central Station at rush hour.
There is the list of what I have not accomplished, that day at work, in my aspirations, if I even remember some of my dream goals, my relationships and where I may have missed a great opportunity (work, with the boys).
There is the list of what I still need to do - started but not done, could be the bills, the scheduling (house, kids, car - self for hair and boy talk about thinking that I am wasting time then), the prep work for projects at work, the blog, the painting, the two books that I started and need to at least finish one, the one the kids want to write of course. I enjoy these things but I count less the stuff I have done for them and more of what is still missing.
There is the list of books that I would like to read, the art exhibits/movies that I would like to see, the amazing friends who I miss and that we now rescheduled our dinner due to conflicts for the 4th or more time and yes this another somewhat how I have not done enough list.
I am one of those women who this book talks about - the one who does not go for a job if not 100% qualified, unlike most men this is very common with women. I find that I like my job, my career and what it means to me in many ways yet I apologize for it too often - sorry can't do that I have to work, sorry can't travel for that meeting I have to take care of kids.
I consider myself outspoken but in reading Off The Sidelines there are times when I think what should I be doing for women's causes? Which seems to no longer be in the hands of women. I know I don't have the time but ... deep breath. People see me as confident but I often am incredibly tough on myself. That is exactly what the book is trying to say - do what you can and go for whatever you want without feeling badly about either.
In the book she talks a lot about dropping the whole "have it all", lean in , lean out mentality. When we work as women it's not cause we want to have it all but because we want to explore different parts of our own ambitions and develop who we are not what we are. We work because many of us have to in order to provide for our families. We work as stay at home moms (who rarely just "stay"). As women we are incredibly tough on ourselves and our need to do it all perfectly is stopping us from enjoying our own ambitions, our successes and moving further and further in whatever our goals are. I work because I happen to also enjoy my career, the company I work for and the hard work it took me to get to the place and there should be no apology needed in that.
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman but I have to admit I never really have wanted to be a man. I have come to appreciate the power of the women friends who I surround myself with, the women in my town who are Moms who help one another and all the women who have helped me succeed.
It is not always easy but it should always be ok for us as women, wives, lovers, mothers, daughters to do things that make us happy - that allow us the choices we want to make and most of all to embrace what it means to be a woman ...