Help for Today's Working Woman
Let me tell you how I know
The American Dream...
My then, husband and I agreed that being a stay-at-home mom was best for our kids. Also, we decided to relocate to the country from the city for a slower-paced life. So, there I was with 3 small children in a hick town with no clue of what to do. Being that I was living in the Bible belt, my local church was very supportive and I was able to find little mommy meetups and play dates. It was a challenge in its own right but I felt as if I was doing the right thing for my family.
It was cute. 5 acres. A horse. Persimmon trees, muscadine vines, and kumquat bushes. The neighbors sold their chicken's eggs with the darkest orange yokes I'd ever seen. Hay bail rides in the Fall and 40 minute rides to the nearest Wal-mart.
Then, life happened as if it wasn't crazy enough chasing 3 toddlers. I am thankful for the stay-at-home mom experience. It was a wonderful opportunity and privilege to be there for my children in that way. However, circumstances can push you to alternative measures. I began working and to put it plainly, it got real. No college degree at that time and being out of the workforce for over 5 years left me with few choices for monetary gain but you do what you have to do.
Half of America's working force is female starting at the age of 16 according to the United States Women's Bureau [https://www.dol.gov/wb/overview_14.htm]. Which means that a huge chunk of our nation is run off the backs of women. That may sound like a radical feminist power statement but it's not; it's just a fact. We work.
I wanted to make the most out of leaving home so I finished college, earned certifications, networked, and the promotions came. More income meant more opportunities for my family and more responsibilities.
The Struggle. Wearing the Mask
From entry-level to calling the shots...
You are now middle class wealthy. Driving a pretty nice ride, maybe an import and so is your partner. You have a fairly nice home. The kids are in pretty good schools; one maybe an athlete and the other an academic genius (or something like that). No real complaint there but what can't be seen on the outside is...you suspect he is cheating, you found drugs in your kid's room, your co-worker keeps setting you up for failure because she is envious of your position, you keep gaining weight, and so on. The pain can be unbearable at times. Emotional ups-and-downs disguised as "hormones". You talk to your friends and family about a few things which brings about temporary comfort but no lasting change.
As I watched the movie, Bad Moms, I couldn't help but wonder if someone was secretly filming my life. Running a family with or without a partner has you in so many different directions pushing stress levels through the roof. You are helping everyone to win but who is helping you?
Let me free you of some wasted effort by saying this...the rescue team isn't coming. Let me reiterate this point because I think you read it too fast. The rescue team is NOT coming! You will have to figure this out for yourself. There are plenty of resources available but no one is going to do the work of managing your life for you. People can point the way however, you will have to endure the pain of growth and learn what is best for you. At first, that may seem cold but it is the only way for you to be confident in whatever choices you make; both unshakable and secure in who you are.
Victim to Victor
Trust yourself. You will make mistakes but they are yours to make. As diligent as you are to see commitments through for others, see them through for yourself. Educate yourself. There are so many good books (try Audible if you can't sit still to read) and articles at your finger tips. Seek counseling if need be. Sometimes it only takes a few sessions to get a better perspective on whatever may be blocking you. At times you may feel alone but you are not. Relax. There's at least half the country going through this with you.
I can remember after my divorce crying on my lunch breaks, calling hotlines, prayer groups, meditation, you name it! My perfect little kids were going crazy. Years went by and I was still in so much pain and confusion. Trying to figure out what happened, I logged on and requested Iyanla Vanzant Fix My Life! I suppose she was a little too busy with other broken lives as I didn't hear back from the request but I did benefit from some of her advice. "Do the work," Iyanla always says. I dare you to attempt to improve yourself and get around that statement. Any challenge to change will require you to sort through whatever thought process that got you to your now. The power in this is accepting that you did this. Somehow and some way you've either allowed someone or something to have an impact on you. That you've made decisions to get you to a place emotionally that you are not be too pleased with. Good thing is if you take responsibility, you can change it! If you're constantly blaming someone else your life, you have to wait for them to correct it. Uh no, we all know that you will be waiting. So take inventory.
Lastly, give yourself time. When you appear to have it all together on the outside, it tends to make you appear as though you do not need assistance. This can make you feel isolated and cut off from the world but it could be further from the truth. We are all on a journey of growth and self-awareness. It takes times to heal and reveal. No matter what, don't give up. Your purpose is just on the other side of your inner turmoil.