“I need to financially contribute to the family and be an equal…”“I feel guilty having a cleaner because I’m staying at home with the kids and not working so I should be doing all the house work….”
“I want to make $5,000 monthly in my business so I can finally contribute to the family’s budget in an equal manner…”
“I can’t really quit my job and have some time off to figure things out because when I meet a decent man he will think I’m lazy or dependent…”
I hear this from smart, brilliant women all the time.
Women who try to do it all: be the best wives, mothers, businesswomen, career women and all kinds of other women.
They try to be Superwomen. (I wonder how she would be saving the world while being pregnant or nursing a baby… that’s a movie I want to see! )
If you’re also feeling this way the first thing you need to sit with is not “How to make it all work?” but “WHY do you feel this way?”
Why do I measure my contribution to the family in terms of how much money I bring to the table?
And why do I completely disregard the way I contribute to the family in SO MANY other ways?
Women self-sabotage themselves by using the same measuring stick to quantify and qualify their success as they would to men.
Only they forget that men do not have to deal with monthly menstrual cycles, get pregnant and carry babies, birth life into the world, breastfeed children and then take care of the household in the same way we, women, want to.
Men’s bodies, psyches, emotional and energetic build ups are not designed the same way.
Is it the husbands who make you feel this way?
“Surely he will think less of me if I don’t contribute to the family income…”
Is it that your mother-in-law that makes you feel this way?
“Surely she thinks I’m lazy and irresponsible if I choose to stay at home, especially because she is that superwoman who does it all at work and at home….”
Is it that your peers and colleagues make you feel this way?
(“Surely they’ve got it all figured out… motherhood, self-care, family life AND on top of their careers!”)
Or it is you who, for the most part, are telling herself these things and putting yourself a position of disadvantage?
No-one else can impose their expectations on you unless you have decided to embody and carry the burden of their expectations.
You decide whether you’re open to adhere to other people’s expectations or not.
Back in January 2017 I quit my well-paying big shot travel-all-over-the-world-and-work-from-home marketing job and was “finding my passion.”
A huge part of my income was cut off.
It didn’t hurt us as much as you’d think simply because my back then fiancee, now husband, was making pretty good money.
But it still hurt because my additional income could afford us to do many many things:
And so, after three months of my “soul-searching” and not really coming to anything solid, we had to have THE CONVERSATION.
The conversation was actually really simple and I suggest you adopt it as well if you get yourself into such a peculiar position with a man.
You see, men are quite straightforward.
When you tell them how things are, they understand.
When you tell them how you feel, they also understand.
Here was his thought process:
We ‘lost’ 30% of our income.
That’s not good.
But she’s figuring things out so it’s okay.
I hope it’s not going to take that long…
Three months pass.
I think it’s taking too long….
So let’s have the conversation…
“Anna, what are you planning to do next?!”
“String, I don’t know yet. Why are you asking?”
“Hmmmm… well, it’s just that we lost 30% of our income…”
“Well, I thought we’d talk about the future and all…”
“Alright, let’s talk about the future. How many children do you want, String?” (You don’t have to be as direct as blunt but find your way into such a conversation.)
“Mhmhmh… I don’t know. Maybe 3…?”
“Right… Great! I think we’re both on the same page. So let’s discuss this future scenario: unfortunately (these days I prefer to think about it as “fortunately,”) as a woman, I’m going to be the one who’s going to get pregnant, carry our children, birth the children, breastfeed the children and then pretty much stay home for the first 6–12 months with every child. Give or take, that’s about three years per child. That comes down to about 10 years out of MY life dedicated to child rearing. So, for the next 10 years, I think we better put a plan together where we are not relying on my income pretty much at all… Does that make sense? How do you think we could make it happen?”
“Ummm…. hmmmm… mhmhmh.. mhmm….. ummmm… let me think about it..”
End of conversation.
You see, I didn’t make a scene.
I wasn’t melodramatic.
I was just real and straightforward.
This is the reality of things that any woman who one day would like to have children or is even exploring this possibility (which is most women) has to deal with and understand.
She has to face that fact on her own first (make peace with it and then find incredible joy and pleasure in it!) before she even presents this case to her man, the mother-in-law, her peers or society at large.
On a personal note, I believe that you should also give yourself some slack and have an option to simply ”figure things out,” “not want to work right now,” “still finding your passion” simply because you deserve it.
It doesn’t make you weak, lazy or irresponsible.
It makes you a human who’s multi-dimensional.
A healthy masculine man doesn’t care about how much money you’re making and whether you have a big shot career.
What he cares about is that you are a passionate, curious and well-rounded human with lots of things to bring to the table (besides monetary.)
Because your “contribution” to the relationship is much biggest that simply monetary.
If it was simply monetary, then you are your man would be business partners.
Sign a contract and contribute equally.
That’s the deal.
But no, girlfriend, men do not want another man to be in a relationship with. Unless they’re gay.
Straight men want a woman.
So, be a woman.
Be a woman not because he wants you to but because you want to.
It all starts with you.
Your career, your business, your income is yours to choose and decide upon. And you can’t think like a man here because YOU ARE NOT A MAN.
You have to put yourself first. You have to put your cycle first and your womanhood first.
Let’s stop playing this stupid gender equality game because until men can develop ovaries, get pregnant and carry babies — WE WILL NEVER BE EQUAL.
And before you go on throwing some post-modern feminism slogans at me — let me be clear.
I AM A FEMINIST.
The type of feminist who believes in equal rights for all humans. That includes equal pay, equal opportunities and equal treatment for all individuals.
I’m the type of feminist who believes in non-discrimination on the basis of color, gender, nationality, and so on.
But, my friends, equality is not homogeny.
We are not all created equal.
As long as women have wombs, breasts and vaginas and men have penises and testosterone running through their veins — men and women will never be homogenous.
So, let’s stop pretending that we can do it all and start not only accepting things for what they are but also finding joy and pleasure in being a woman!
Start rediscovering our worth as women and stop measuring our “contribution” to the family in monetary terms.
Because our “contribution” to the family and to the society at large doesn’t lie in our ability to make money in masculine ways.
Because we are not men.
Our biggest asset is our womanhood and our femininity.
Our biggest contribution is showing up fully in our feminine power and being ourselves without trying to prove anything to anyone, drive agendas or constantly push without ever letting go.
It’s knowing how to work with our bodies and our cycles, our energetic and emotional waves and storms and embodying fully who we are as women.
That includes playing all the different roles of a wife, a lover, a mother, a career woman or a businesswoman.
Whatever role you choose to play, know that you don’t have to play by masculine terms constantly pushing and doing.
There is another way.
What is that way?
Find out below.