I was lying in bed this morning reading a magazine and drinking my tea (I know…blissful, right!), and stumbled upon an article by Annabel Crabb in Marie Claire about women needing wives. Now, I don’t get on my soap box very often about women’s issues and I really don’t want to start complaining (which incidentally was the other article I read about in the magazine, but hey we’ll talk about that another day) but geez did this hit a hot button for me.
Oh my goodness, how I could do with a wife!
It really is incredible when you think how much women in the workplace has changed over the last 50 years, yet men in the workplace has not shifted much at all. Pretty much every woman I know is the one who has made some compromise on her work in order to juggle her children. And I have never thought about it in the context that Crabb presented. I do feel sometimes like I am working with one hand tied behind my back (literally, sometimes, like the day I presented a plan during a teleconference whilst simultaneously holding a bowl for my son to spew in…again, a story for another day).
When my husband needs to work late or travel overseas, it is one quick phone call to the household manager (e.g me) and so it is done. Yet, when I had to travel recently for work, it was a major production, there were spreadsheets, child co-ordination systems and incredible pre-planning (on my part).
No wonder women find it so hard to get ahead.
I can’t sit here and blame my husband. I do work slightly less hours and have an incredibly flexible workplace and boss. And at least in part, it is my fault. Yep, I confess, I’m a control freak and there is a part..deep down inside of me…that feels proud when I manage to successfully juggle it all. Mission accomplished. I am woman hear me roar…all that!
But this morning I imagined a world where I came home to a beautiful clean house with food smells wafting from the oven. The washing done, folded and put away. Where my children had been picked up from school and cared for by someone I love and trust. Where if I needed to work late I could just do that, instead of mentally trying to work out when I might have an hour free that I could squeeze in that last bit of work (10pm perhaps?). Would I be more successful at work? Would I be happier?
Ok..time to wake up, ‘cause that ain’t happening. However, perhaps it is time for us to revisit priorities in our house. Maybe it is time for me to let go on some things and push a bit harder on others, and not let the guilt eat at me. Maybe things have shifted a little too much out of my favour.
I don’t have a wife…but I have a husband and a family…who are pretty awesome, and capable and amazing (just like me!!)…so maybe they could do a little more to help even things out so that we are all capable of succeeding.