Have you ever heard a woman say, “I’d rather work with a dozen men in the workplace than with a few women.”?
Recently my mother and I went out for lunch, and I was telling her that since our younger four kids have moved out, I have more time on my hands and could go out into the workforce again. Our son Kyle who is twenty-eight and has severe autism is our only child who lives with us now. It’s been thirty years since I worked outside our home?
She commented that having the freedom to come and go like I do and not have to put up with workplace drama is a blessing.
It reminded me of the time we were renewing our mortgage, and I went to the bank to fill out some forms. The woman who was on the other side of the desk asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was a full-time homemaker. Well, she proceeded to make me feel as though I had just told her I was a drug dealer. I have never been made to feel so shameful in my life. This was her workplace, and she was degrading me.
Since becoming a published author and blogger, I like to see the reactions of people when I tell them I am a homemaker. The odd time I will say I am a writer or author. The difference in responses between the two is quite astonishing. I am most proud of having educated my children for fourteen years, taught them to read, do math, cook, drive a car…etc
A kindhearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men gain only wealth. -Proverbs 11:16
Vance and I were invited to a political dinner to represent the logging industry. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I assumed most women who are married to men in the political or business world are highly educated, social ladder climbing, type people. My opinion probably came from watching movies, and on this particular night, I learned that it was entirely a false belief of mine.
As we pulled up, I could see cameramen outside the banquet hall. We walked up the stairs and into the hall. A sea of suits and ties, fancy dresses, and wine glasses were spread throughout the room. I was more familiar with dirty laundry, schoolbooks, piles of dishes and dirty floors. This was way out of my comfort zone.
We mingled for a while, and I stood beside my husband as he talked to different men in the business and political world. Finally, we were asked to find our tables and sit down. I was thinking this was going to be an evening of superficial banter.
I was seated beside the wife of another man in the industry. She was about fifteen years older than I was. She introduced herself right away and was lovely and friendly. We talked throughout the night about our kids, homemaking and life in general.
A few years later someone mentioned this same lady’s name and said she was their doctor. My jaw just about hit the floor. Never once did she mention she was a doctor. She didn’t try to impress me with her title or fancy degrees, the university she attended, or her place on the social ladder.
For some reason that caused me to have tremendous respect for her and I’ve never forgotten her.
As women, we can tend to find ways that make us feel as though we are one-upping someone else. The reason we do that?
Even in the homemaking world, this can happen. Who can cook the best, have the cleanest house, the most well-mannered kids and also be the trophy wife at the same time? We have to stay in the top ten.
Some mothers have driven their kids to succeed at times so they can look good, not because they want their children to do well. Little Johnny has to have perfect A’s, score all the points for his team and one day be a professional athlete, concert pianist, doctor or lawyer…at the very least. So mom can get “Mother of the Year Award.” and outdo all the other moms.
When my children were small, we were usually traipsing from one homeschool event to another, all five of the kids in tow. I was one of those strange mothers who allowed her kids to dress themselves and pick out their own clothes. I figured it built their self-esteem and confidence. Although we did receive a few eyebrow-raising glances some days.
Our home usually looked like a WW2 zone. With having five kids in a little over seven years, somehow neatness can fall by the wayside and survival can take over instead. Our front yard usually had our five kids playing in it and Courtney and Meghan, the neighbour girls running around all looking like hooligans.
A man knocked on our door one day and asked me if I ran a daycare. I told him, no, most of those kids were mine. He wanted to purchase the playhouse that we had in our yard for his wife who ran a daycare. Ya, we were that family.
I was the farthest thing from Martha Stewart that you can possibly imagine. My homemaking skills were not going to win me any awards. But I chose this path because it was my calling and passion to be a full-time bottle cleaning, bum washing, diaper laundering, snotty nose wiper, cook and homeschooling mom.
Is every woman called to this profession? No! We shouldn’t make those who have picked a different field than the one we chose to feel less than us. Many working moms are excellent, kind, loving mothers. There are also women who have chosen to not be mothers or could not have children. We should be seeing these women as equals to ourselves.
Our professions were not designed to be used to give us a higher position in life. Providing for our families, having a passion for our work, healing people through medicine, defending the innocent, rocking a crying child…should be our goals.
Imagine if all the women in the world stopped competing with each other and started encouraging one another in our talents and strengths?
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. – 1 Timothy 3: 11
It’s easy to make other women feel as though they have somehow gotten off this magical path in life we are all supposed to be on. The cookie cutter walkway. Everyone lives the same. How boring!
Each of us should be very different from the next lady. When God designed us, unless we are twins, there is nothing really about two people that are identical.
In this video, a teacher is trying to get the message across about racism being wrong. She convinces the class that blue eyes children are superior, and within a day the dynamics of the relationships between the children changes drastically.
Maybe it’s time that we do the same. No matter your profession, money, education, cars, houses, kids or no kids, would you like to be valued as an equal to everyone else in your community? Would you want to go to your workplace and there be no competition, gossiping, and one-upping?
It starts with me and you. We have to set the example in our homes and workplaces. We need to take the pressure off our children to perform and have to win the rat race. In the workplace, we need to encourage those who excel, instead of gossiping behind their backs. Your only task in your job is to do the best you can, provide for your family, and to respect your employer and the other employees. It’s not the Olympics.
Leave self-importance for those who have no respect for themselves.
Your value lies in being a human. You were born with the same thing everyone else was born with a heart, brain and other body parts. When you die, you will take the same thing everyone else takes with them…nothing.
Value others and learn to put them ahead of yourself. The doctor who talked to me that night treated me as an equal. She valued me for who I was and not for what I did. But through my life experiences and being devalued at times, I have learned to see peoples worth apart from their professions.
My hope for you is that you learn you are a rare beauty and gem because you are a unique creation, and that, in and of itself is sufficient. You don’t need to compete with anyone. You are enough as you are💗
“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
– Proverbs 31: 29-31
Believing and hoping,