Culture issues ■ ■ ■
If you're a working woman, you face many dilemmas as you make decisions about work and family.
First of all, you've heard plenty of conflicting messages from society about how women should behave and what women should do. Everyone seems to have an opinion--from television role models to parenting experts to politicians. Since reality doesn't match what you see or hear, you either go crazy trying to be everything to everyone, or you develop your own ideal.
And then, if you grew up hearing about the importance of motherhood and being home with your children, you might feel guilty if your circumstances don't match what you thought would happen. There are nearly as many situations as there are women, and that's what makes these decisions difficult. When it seems like everyone has an idea about what women should do, it quickly becomes apparent that no one person can possibly meet all these expectations. Some women:
Before you're a mother or a wife, before you face loads of laundry or punch in for the day, before you fill any role or responsibility that you either choose or are given, you are first and foremost an individual--a person with your own gifts, talents, abilities, and needs.
You are a person with unique gifts, whose value lies in who you are, and not merely what you can do for others. As you find solutions and ask for guidance, you can find the best uses for your talents within your particular situation, whether that's in the workplace, the home, the community, church, or some combination of these.
It's easier to face criticism, from others or from within, when you know that you've made the best possible decisions for yourself and your family.
"We should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people’s circumstances."
Quentin L. Cook
"Even women who are very good at seeing the injustice in the demands on other people often continue to blame themselves, far beyond all reason, when they cannot be all things to all people in a paradoxical system."
Martha Beck, Breaking Point (Crown)
A great drop-the-guilt blog:
No Dead Beetles