I’m absolutely convinced that every other woman in my neighborhood, my church, my children’s school—has it all together. They “get it” and I am somehow missing some key piece of information that all the other women have. It’s like they went to the “clue” store and didn’t invite me.
I’m certain that we are the only family in our neighborhood who worries about affording college for our elementary school children. No one else in my church worries about money—of their mortgage or credit card debt. And I know that none of the mom’s in my kid’s schools lose one night of sleep worrying about their career and how it affects their family.
I’m also fairly certain that I am wrong.
You see, the face we women present to the public is very different from the one we face each morning in the bathroom mirror.
I think that all of us are scared, all of us are stressed, all of us are funny and beautiful women who are doing the very best that we can.
I would love to have the opportunity to sit down with some of the women in my community and discover how much alike we are. We all come with different histories—broken homes, stable homes—some of us have wanted for money while others of us have wanted for love. Some of us regret many of the choices we’ve made, while others regret the choices that we never got to make.
I imagine sitting down with women—all ages, races and positions in life…working moms, stay at home moms, and the ones who are spiritual mothers to someone else’s children—be they a sister, aunt or friend—and just chatting over a cup of coffee. I want to hear the voice of experience laugh and tell me, “this too shall pass.” And I want to pass on my wisdom—little that it may be– to women rising in the ranks behind me.
Let’s talk about all the taboo issues we aren’t supposed to bring up in polite company—sex, religion and politics—but let’s take it down to a more granular level—how it affects you and your world. Tell me what affects your family, your career and your pocketbook—what keeps you awake at night.
So I’m posting this on my main page, but I’m also making a tab for it on my blog. Talk to me. Comment back (you don’t have to post your real name) and let’s start to get an idea that none of us, for all our unique qualities, is going through something that no one else has.
For today, I’ll start— but after that, I’d like to hear from you.
I grew up in a broken home. I learned what an angry marriage does to children. It taught me to value strong, healthy relationships. I learned the importance of having a supportive, loving partner—of marrying my best friend. My children are now learning about marriage, love and respect from my husband and me. I am responsible for what they learn.
Twenty years ago— when I was young, single and idealistic, I failed to get into graduate school and knew it was the worst thing that could ever happen. Eight years ago—with a husband, two young children, and much less idealism, I completed my Masters degree. I learned all things happen in time; that many worse things could have happened; and that education comes in different forms.
I think people come into our lives to teach us, and we should always be open to learning from them. Likewise, I believe I am someone’s teacher. I’ve had to serve others so I would know how to lead. I’ve suffered so I would work to end suffering. I’ve had to go without so I would recognize how much I have. I’ve lost love ones—learning to appreciate those in my life. I’ve been taught that family, friends, health, and laughter are priceless.
Life has taught me the world would be a better place if we were quicker to say ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I love you’, ‘thank you’ and ‘let me help’. I now know I would be a better person if I were quicker to say ‘No’, ‘I can’t’ and ‘I need help.’ I’ve learned I should always assume the other driver did not mean to cut me off; the salesperson is just as busy as I am; and that my child, coworker, mother or husband did not mean it the way it sounded. Every day I relearn to believe in myself—even when no one else does.
For all our failings as humans, I believe we really are doing the best we can. Whenever I begin to doubt it, I am met with a kindness I don’t deserve, a friendship I didn’t expect, a moment I won’t forget, and the reassurance that my belief is accurate. I am not where I will be tomorrow, but exactly where I should be today. God has a plan for me—as a wife, mother, writer and teacher.