I believe that women should make up their own minds about what serves women’s interests. I don’t know how to say it. I am battling to find the right words to articulate something inside of me that is wearing me down. I have written many letters before and most succumb to my pen when I jot them down. The words are there, I know, but I just don’t know how to express them!
It is easier to say things when you are on the other side of the fence or observing from a distance. You may be tempted to think that as a woman running a company and being involved in business and with family, that I just won’t get where you are coming from. But the truth is, I do so get you! Brace yourself as I’m about to unleash my tongue and I hope it won’t cost me your invaluable readership. I wanted to touch on the many great and wonderful milestones that we women face and overcome every day. If anything comes out of celebrating Women’s Month this August, let it be truth that liberates us.
My sisters, stop with the guilt! We are often guilted into complying with socially constructed notions demanding that we surrender our roles in the corporate arena to bibs and tracksuits. A recent study conducted by Heather Joshi of the University of London’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies dispelled the myth that children of stay-at-home mothers out-perform those with working moms. The study involved an analysis of 40 000 children over the last four decades and concluded that there was no evidence that such children would outsmart their counterparts at school.
Mothers, we are being killed by a myth. At a time when women need to stand up and be counted more than ever before, many are succumbing to the fallacy that if you climb the corporate ladder, you won’t be a great mom and, worst of all, your child will suffer. As a mother, particularly a single mother, you need to fight like never before and get off your butt to work and do all you can for your children! This oppressive guilt nonsense just has to stop. I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom, but families are falling apart. Divorce rates are alarmingly high, not to mention the incidence of widows, separated parents and the many other real reasons why many find themselves as single parents. Regardless of where you find yourself, get up, find a balance and apply yourself for the sake of your children!
Women are known for creative ideas and celebrated as multi-taskers. I smile when I think of how many dinner ideas were conceived while I was in corporate board meetings. As I write, I can’t but help look at the clock to make sure that I don’t miss my little princess’s extramural activities. She is my life and there is absolutely nothing that takes priority over her. I will ‘beat my body black and blue’ when she is asleep and work myself to a pulp, just to slot in one more proposal, so that I can be there and provide for her not just physically, but emotionally, financially and spiritually.
Let’s learn from the wise: “Mosadi o tshwara thipa ka mo bogaleng”. Roughly translated, this Setswana idiom tells us that a woman holds a knife on the sharp side of the blade. Even at the cost of our reputation and being emotionally sidelined for being corporate women who apparently care less for family and friends… Moms, you know what is best for your little one. The truth is in your heart.
I love your optimism…