In the past year or so I have had a change in perspective about success and womanhood. I no longer see these two subjects as separate achievements, but instead an overlapping, necessary balance. I used to think being a woman meant choosing one path, achieving success down that chosen path, and giving up everything in any other direction. Having a career and being the stereotypical business woman, struggling to be equal with her male counterparts meant giving up being a soccer mom, striving to mold her kids into decent human beings and holding together a marriage bound by her sole provider.
My mother has always been a “stay at home mom.” She has had several jobs, but nothing seemed to fit her like being a wife and mother. She would get me ready for school, make me breakfast, take me to school, clean house, cook dinner, all while acting as a bookkeeper, administrative assistant, and communication liaison between the family. Even though her invaluable work hasn’t ended, I never fully appreciated her as a successful woman until recently. While she isn’t the societal definition of an independent businessperson or a corporate entrepreneur, her business is her family and she runs that venture successfully.
Homemakers are just as well-rounded and successful as any women in the workforce. As I have gotten older, I have learned that my own mom possesses all the qualities that I have deemed necessary for success.
Whether one is communicating with clients and vendors, or toddlers, teenagers, and mother in laws, communication and social skills are key for any woman.
Managing time successfully is a feat. Jumping from one meeting to the next while juggling tight deadlines takes just as much preparation as meticulously planning meals, nap times, appointments, and everyday errands.
Managing a family takes money, just like running a business. Understanding how to effectively allocate expenses is necessary for life in general, whether that’s personal or professional.
Prioritizing tasks and organizing multiple items on an agenda is difficult, especially when more responsibilities seem to appear spontaneously. A client can ask for further clarification and a quarterly report, all while the deadline for an important presentation is approaching. The laundry needs folded and dinner needs prepared, but the toddler has a meltdown that requires full attention and comforting. Multitasking is an art form.
Although being a “stay at home” or “homemaker” sometimes has a negative connotation, there is a certain level of respect to be given to women keeping their families and home in order. To all the mothers who might feel their success is overlooked, just like my amazing mom, we appreciate you. To the professionals who may be struggling to find the balance, we appreciate you too. I am not a mother, but I have a newfound appreciation for those who are. The beautiful aspect of being a woman is our ability to achieve success in both our careers and parenthood.