Last night I attended a Stella & Dot jewelry party (be still my beating credit card!) at the home of my groovy friend Jennifer one of those 'one-woman-miracles' who combines being a successful wife, mother, business woman and fashionista with being one of the most FABULOUS friends a girl could ever wish for. Truly, I'm a fan :-)
Anyway, because of her many roles, Jen has a wide circle of friends and last night's event was populated by a wonderful group of women, all of whom happen to be currently working as stay at home Mums.
Because my Joy, Love and Work radar is on high level right now, I was interested to hear these women's perspective about the work they do and how they feel about it, but uniformly the response I got was an embarrassed "I don't do anything, I just stay at home and look after the kids"...and fade to grey
It seems to me that the women (and men - Hi Howard!) who make the choice to stay at home to raise families are performing an enormous act of love. On call 24/7 with no discernible reward, recognition, pay or benefits often with no 'grown up' conversation or treats. This seems like a hard life to me.
As someone who has never left the workforce I'm often struck by the big wedge of judgement and 'perceived unworthiness' that creeps into the lives of people who choose to exit paid employment to raise families - this makes me sad. And as an HR professional I'm acutely aware of the 'transferable skills and competencies (corporate code for 'really useful stuff') that people like my friends last night acquire, but the accompanying deterioration of self esteem that often seems to be present - this makes me furious and curious...what could I do to help?
"Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends"John 15:13 - Isn't this what Mums do every day? they put their lives & careers on hold (lay them down) in favor of their families, so their families can thrive. This is an enormous act of love at work.
Bravo Mums. Truly, I'm a fan - just help me work out how to support you in your labor of love.