As women we are expected to be graceful, gracious, loving, kind, efficient, and strong; all while possessing the qualities of someone who can handle everything and handle it well. An acquaintance once told me ‘Karla, as a wife, mother, and person who works outside of the home, you can do any combination of two of those things well…………but you can’t do all three and give everyone the time, love and consideration they need’.
While I believe there may be a touch of truth to that, I can’t reside to the fact that it is always correct. I had the opportunity to stay home with my three kids when they were all much younger. I was considered a ‘stay-at-home’ mom for a few years, but always maintained a part time job during this season of my life. Now as a mother and woman who work outside the home full time, I can honestly say I worked just as hard in BOTH situations, had just as many worries and concerns and put pressure on myself above what was needed.
I believe as women we are constantly comparing ourselves to every other woman we know and come in contact with. There is no perfect woman. There is no perfect parenting style. There is no one way to raise your kids, maintain a house and a family that works for everyone. As a woman you need to take a long hard look at yourself, decide what works for you, what makes YOU and your family happy and run with it. Don’t second guess yourself. What works for you in one season of your life may not be what works in another season. It is okay to change directions and focus during our lives. Don’t beat yourself up over missed opportunities, bad parenting choices, and regrets. Because we all know there is another day tomorrow. Another day to be the best version of yourself; another day to make a new and better choice; another day to right a wrong; and another day to love yourself for who you are and what you stand for. Take each circumstance in your life and learn from it. Take what you have learned to better yourself and apply it to all future decisions. For a strong woman is not someone who can handle everything that is thrown at you with grace and dignity; a strong woman is one who acknowledges her weaknesses and faults and pushes through to be a better person anyway.
In honor of International Women’s Day…………..love yourself, be happy with your choices, give of yourself freely without worrying about what every other woman is doing around you. Go be YOU………….no one else does YOU better than YOU!!!
I’ve noticed more so than ever that there seems to be a huge disconnect in what it means to be a feminist, an independent woman, or simply just a woman who wants to be known for her gifts and talents instead of her gender. There is this big idea that “feminism” is a negative term that is associated with ‘man-hating’ (and in some cases, it is), but I think being a strong woman is so much more. I prefer the term ’empowerment’. I want to be known as the woman who is always ready to cheer someone on, who is always willing to recognize others for their gifts, accomplishments, and potential; regardless of their gender or race, and who, even in the face of adversity or inequality can say at the end of the day, “I know I have worth, and I don’t need affirmation from others to remember that”. I don’t think being a strong woman is proving that I am better than a man, but demonstrating that all my gifts, abilities, and qualities makes me worthy enough to be seen as something so much more than just a gender. I really do pray for a time when it will no longer be the ‘battle of the sexes’. I pray for a time when the thought of judging someone based on his or her gender, skin color, and religion, over pure talent and ability, seems absolutely silly and there is nothing but empowerment of one another with no hesitation.