As women, we’re very good at deflecting any attention or appreciation. So having a day devoted to us can feel a bit uncomfortable….but I say let’s embrace it! How many times has our breakfast been our kids’ crusts? How many mornings have we been doing our make up at the lights, while the kids are immaculate in their car seats? Same job, less pay….that’s us! Bringing home the bacon….and cooking it into a zucchini slice….tick! Women do a lot for society (as do men, but March 8 is for us….just one day, ok?!)
As a mum to two boys, I’m constantly surprised by what pops out of their mouths. They’ve grown up watching me head out the door for work (and I always come back!), heard the stories about my grandmother starting her own business and they attend a co-ed school surrounded by gung-ho girls and their go-getter mums. So then the questions start:…..can girls can build sky scrapers? Can they jump out of planes? My stock answer is “girls can do anything, more in fact because we can do all that and have babies.”
My husband works and still does the pick up/sport drop offs while juggling dinner and phone calls. They witness both of us running the house and our separate careers. So even though our boys have great modelling around them, the subliminal messages are still getting through. And they permeate from everywhere. Last weekend, we went away with two other families. The dads played golf on Saturday (so we mums looked after the kids) and then on Sunday the dads took all 7 kids for a bushwalk. Well, its normal for mums to look after them but people were high fiving the dads on the walk. “Good babysitting, mate, well done” people were saying. Please. And its not babysitting, its called parenting.
On a darker note, the “time’s up” campaign has put men on notice. Predatory behaviour in any workplace is unacceptable and finally people are being held to account for their actions. However, I think we need to be careful that the men’s club doesn’t just close ranks. I hear reports from varying industries that men are pulling the curtain around themselves even more tightly. We cant afford to get into a “Them vs. Us” arms race, because it won’t end well for anyone, and men will continue to out-promote women. Consequently, if women aren’t cracking into the elite levels then pay parity gets pushed even further down the corporate agenda.
We should all celebrate EVERYONE, by showing kindness, respect and equality. Perhaps this is a utopia, but I’m hoping it will be a reality in the not too distant future. I’ll start by raising my boys to know that girls are wonderful, talented and deserving of their appreciation. That’s the least I can do for future women and possibly my future daughters-in-law!
As for me, I’ll start focusing less on what I should be and become more curious on who I am. And get busy celebrating that!