. . . on her shoulders
Women in business spaces take on a lot. The “have it all” mantra doesn’t seem to be working out in our favor.
- women are more educated than men
- women still make 80% of the salary of their male counterparts
- 62% of women entrepreneurs say their business is their primary income source
- moms are breadwinners in 40% of US homes
- women spend 12 fewer years in the workforce to care for family
- 60% of the primary caregivers for aging family members are women
- an individual woman will lose an average of $324,000 in lost wages and benefits to care for loved ones
- women pay 7% more for the same products as men (the pink tax)
- women retire earlier than men
- women are twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line in retirement
- women live an average 5% longer than men
We are doing the most and getting the least over the long haul. We study, we work, we build businesses AND we take care of kids, aging parents and everyone else before we fund our own future or even begin to think about retirement. And typically at the end of it all, we are left with a pittance to live on, due to time out of the workforce, inferior wages, higher fees for basic necessities, and longer life span.
They Lied About “It All”
What do you do when you want to have it all but all resources are limited (time, money, credibility)? Most of us, thanks to the 80s and feminism, are convinced we want to have it all. The family, the big house, the career. But how? How do you get it all and not shortchange yourself every time?
Sheryl Sandberg says in Lean In that no woman would choose her career over her family. So why do they put that in front of us? Taunt us with these hard choices? Create a system where it is impossible for both parents to work and also impossible for both parents not to work?
The world is one giant walking contradiction wrapped in a double standard and everyday women are trying to figure out how to swallow that bizarre sh*t sandwich.
Daycare costs $200 plus a a week. Pre K starts at 4 years old. (Shout out to DiBlasio and the free 3-K if you live in NYC). School gets out mid afternoon but the work day doesn’t end til 5. If you speak up you’re too assertive. If you stay quiet you get passed over. If you wear pants they make fun of you (Hillary). Wear a skirt, they call you provocative. Ask for more money, they want you to prove yourself. If you don’t, you will never forgive yourself. The world is one giant walking contradiction wrapped in a double standard and everyday women are trying to figure out how to swallow that bizarre sh*t sandwich.
A Yes Is Also A No
She’s got the whole world. But in order to say yes to herself, she has to say NO to a lot of other things. And vice versa. And that’s one thing, women aren’t so good at. Rather two things: Saying no and self care. Finding the balance. Having the life and the work that we want all at once, without sacrificing either. I want more both and, less either or in my daily rhetoric. We want to nurture, appease, perform, impress, supply, and govern with competence. But you can’t be your best you if you give all of you to everyone else. Work, yes. But work smarter. And live smarter too. When you say yes to something, what are you also saying no too? And say no with intention, not by accident after something has fallen through the cracks so far there’s no way to recover it.
I want more both and, less either or in my daily rhetoric.
You may have the whole world at your disposal, but please, stop carrying it around on your back – or rather that trendy new cross body. You’ll only end up hurt, tired and resentful for the world/lifestyle/universe of experiences that you asked for in the first place.
Instead, choose what part of the world to tackle today (career/family/faith/finances etc.) and go all in for a concerted amount of time and then stop. Say no to the rest of it. You can be all things to all people, just not all at once.
Let’s conquer this world one hemisphere at a time.
So, Um, Rose Break
Also, I’m going on vacation for a long weekend (yay) and have downgraded August to summer hours (part time status) while the kids start back at school. And yes, I get to do that because I’m the boss. And yes I think you should figure out how to make your work work with your life too. If you’re looking for me, go ahead and schedule some time while you can.
Smooches. Love yourself.