BE 2022 Conference

Reach Across the Divide

blog Jul 13, 2017

If you are a woman, please read. I’m going to talk about something controversial that affects ALL women.

 

Hear me out.

Jane is a 38-year-old mother of three. She is educated and skilled and worked as a marketing director for several years until she decided to stay home after her second child was born. It was too difficult to find affordable childcare. She has been out of the work force for approximately 7 years. She gets up each morning at 6:30 and fixes breakfast. She spends her day shuttling kids, taking care of the household duties, taking kids to appointments and swimming lessons, coaxing kids to nap, and waiting in the school pick up line.

At night she collapses in bed and asks herself if she’s teaching her daughter that she can be anything she wants. She wonders if her boys know she loves them and why can’t she ever seem to find energy to exercise? She thinks about the last time she had a moment to herself or met a girlfriend for lunch. Do her friends care about her anymore? Then she falls asleep, because in 6 hours she’s going to do it all again.

Laura is a 38-year-old mother of three. She is educated and skilled and works as a pediatrician. It is difficult to find affordable childcare. She gets up each morning at 6:30 and fixes breakfast. She spends her day shuttling kids to day care, seeing as many kids in her busy clinic she can, rushes home to relieve the neighbor who watches her kids after school and rushes to fix dinner. After her kids are in bed, she logs in for an hour and finishes her clinic notes.

At night she collapses in bed and asks herself if she’s teaching her daughter that she can be anything she wants. She wonders if her boys know she loves them and why can’t she ever seem to find energy to exercise? She thinks about the last time she had a moment to herself or met a girlfriend for lunch. Do her friends care about her anymore? Then she falls asleep, because in 6 hours she’s going to do it all again.

Sound familiar?

I want to ask you this:

If you are a woman who works outside the home, have you ever felt uncomfortable because of that choice when you are around a group of women who don’t?

If you are a woman who doesn’t work outside the home, have you ever felt uncomfortable because of that choice when you are around a group of women who do?

Bingo.

When my oldest son was under 7, I dreaded going to his soccer practice. You know, the kind where they are one big soccer amoeba and you’re on the sidelines wondering why you are paying $200 to watch them run in groups behind the kid with the ball.

My husband would say excitedly “You get to take him tonight!” on the rare night I wasn’t working late. And I would secretly cringe. I would go to the field, sit by myself, and yawn trying to stay awake. It was typically the first minute of the day I had stopped moving, and I would start to fade.

The other mothers were all stay-at-home moms and knew one another. They talked about all the things moms talk about while they cheered on their kids. Inside, I was thinking about all the things waiting for me at work the next day, and how much longer until this was over.  The more I sat there, the more guilt I felt. What was wrong with me? I would look at these moms like they were fairy mothers with fruit snacks of every flavor in their bags of treats. Unlike me, they never forgot their child’s water bottle. In fact, they typically had spares. How did I fail that class?

Then one day I realized something: these women were probably just as intimidated of me as I was of them. We were all moms. We were all struggling to figure out this crazy thing called parenthood. We probably lay in bed at night with the same fears and thoughts and doubts.

What about the women who don’t have kids?

I. Found. The. Same. Thing.

So what did I do?

I reached across the divide.

In a previous blog I wrote about the importance of having friends and taking time to nurture relationships with other women. I can tell you the top 3 biggest blessings of my life are my girlfriends.

So here it is:

Women, STOP thinking in your mind that another woman is judging you. She likely isn’t. If you reach across the great divide, you will likely find a fun friend, someone who is struggling just like you, someone who admires you and will encourage you. I have a dear friend who is a stay-at-home mom and she is such a blessing to me. She and I could not be more opposite in so many ways; but I never feel judged for who I am when I am with her. She encourages me. She told me: “Sash, you MUST do your blog!” when I was terrified to start #braveenough. And I encourage her to keep being the amazing person she is. We love each other and respect each other and when we stopped assuming, we realized how much we are alike.

Women, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone who is your opposite. Reach across the divide. Be #braveenough. We need each other. Life is SO much more fun when you have a girlfriend to share it with!

Who rules the world?

You know who.

I vote we do it together.

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