Everyone knows that women are happier and healthier if their main goal is to have a successful career, don’t they?
Media shows it. Everyday life backs it up. In fact, everyday life makes it a necessity for most. Women work. That’s all.
So, why are so many women struggling to find fulfillment and ways to minimize work time and maximize family?
Why, for me, did it always feel like a slow death?
Am I alone in this?
Obviously, I’m able and willing if the need truly arose. I’m not lazy. But it never felt ‘right’.
I grew up assuming that everyone worked for a living; that only a rare, few women stayed at home with their kids. So, I was surprised when career was so painful.
Now, I’m a stay at home mom. I keep the house (poorly, by times). I care for the family. And I teach my kids. (I’ve homeschooled all of them over the years.)
Lenny, my husband, works. Hard.
There have been many financial struggles over the last few years and, sometimes, he feels like he’s working for nothing. We’re still treading water.
And, yet, every time we have a financial setback, the same thing happens to remind me where I’m of most value.
When we come to a financial mountain and I see my husband working himself to exhaustion at his job, I will often start thinking that I should go to work and take the pressure off.
I know that the cost to our family in quality of life would be great. The cost to our children would be major. But I also know that, in our society, me going to work would be the obvious good solution.
Somehow, society says that the value I add to my children’s lives and to my husband’s life everyday by just being here is considered worth less than the paltry amount of money that I could bring home in the workforce.
But I still fall for it, from time to time.
Here’s the coolest part, though. Every time I start to plan and scheme about how to solve the money issue for our family, I get this strange feeling.
You know when a toddler goes in to a temper tantrum?
The kind where they can’t control themselves and might hurt someone, so you have to lovingly but firmly take them in your arms and squeeze them just tight enough so they can’t flail around and mess things up.
That’s exactly what it feels like. I try to flail around and take the financial pressure off but these great, comforting arms come around me. And I can’t move.
All I can do is continue parenting my kids, caring for my home and supporting my husband.
I like my analogies, so here’s another one, in case that one didn’t work for you.
Sometimes, when I’m trying to take care of the finances, I get some great idea and launch into it like I’m jumping out of a plane.
Inevitably, it turns out that I was meant to stay in the plane. But instead of crashing to the ground in a mangled mess, my parachute opens as it should and I float, gently down over a beautiful tropical beach.
But I don’t land in the sand successfully aka metaphor for bringing in the extra money that would solve our problems. Nope. I wind up dangling from parachute lines caught up in the majestic palm trees that grow on the beach.
The breeze warms my skin, the view is stunning and I’m completely incapacitated.
Plan failed, in an oh so pleasant way.
So, here’s my challenge for you:
which of your beliefs that society says is right keeps getting Challenged?
Not in a negative, roadblock stopping you from your purpose kind of way, but in a strong arms keeping you from jumping out of a perfectly good plane king of way?
Mine is the idea that I should be providing for our family financially. What’s yours?
Leave yours in the comments below or over at UpGradual Blog on Facebook.