Whether you already have a family, or are in your 20s-30s and have yet to start - surely you've thought about it: is it possible to have a family AND have career success??
It's basically a massive chapter in contemporary women's studies - the whole conflict between staying home, having babies and minding the household --VS.-- getting an education, creating independence and cultivating success.
They were long considered polar opposites in a lot of ways -- except for in recent times when we've been seeing this crazy "supermom" thing where you're supposed to work 9 hour days while juggling a breastpump, a cell phone and typing the board report with your invisible third arm.
And we wonder why so many women are lost, frumpy, frazzled, unsatisfied... so many marriages are sexless and/or end in affairs and divorce... toddlers are being put on anti-depressants... and men are just as confused about their role in this whole thing too.
I'm not going to dive into a MASSIVE philosophical debate about this -- because I'm sure we could go on for QUITE some time (and let's totally start a conversation in our free private group!) but basically my point is that the typical corporate world does NOT allow space for the modern, creative, conscious woman who wants it all, to thrive.
I know I'm generalizing here, but in the majority of the corporate world, women who want to have a family are judged and considered second-rate employees. Women of "child-bearing age" are grudgingly hired and loath to be promoted because they might disappear on maternity leave at any moment.
Horrible things happen around pregnancy and maternity leave - like my friend Lisa’s story. She recently told her boss that she's 16 weeks pregnant and will be going on leave later in the year, and he basically said "Ah damn you, serves me right hiring a newly-married 30-something woman, well I guess I'll have to find cover for that project you're supposed to be leading".
He didn't even choke out a token "Congrats, you guys must be thrilled".
She was shocked, upset and taken aback to say the least. Who's to say that this sort of treatment won't extend to actual discrimination in how her employment and income are handled in the coming months? Have you heard similar stories <<First Name>>?
And, on the other hand, if you're single and you put your career first, you're also mistrusted as some sort of frigid, deranged pseudo-woman.
Overall I think the conflict between personal fulfillment and business success is creating a sad, sick world full of imbalanced, dissatisfied people and families...
And it's time to BREAK THE EFFING MOLD and design a new type of success for women who want it all!!
Are you with me??
This is actually my primary motivation for starting my business - read my blog post about the real reasons I started my business here.
It's interesting though because in the recent months I've found myself exactly where I wanted to be - having a successful business so I can run my life the way I want to as I start a family (Will and I are expecting our first baby in July!) --
But I've found NEW FEARS and concerns coming up.
If I'm completely honest, I've been afraid to talk about my pregnancy because I don't want to be discriminated against as an entrepreneur, leader and "expert" in the business world. I started to be afraid that people would say "oh wow, congrats, when's the baby due" etc, but then turn around and subconsciously avoid me with a ten-foot-pole when it comes to working with me in a business capacity.
I've realized - it's not just that our corporate structures don't allow for the type of flexibility and freedom needed to allow for healthy families and personal lives - it also extends to deeply rooted prejudice that we all personally hold and operate with, whether we're aware of it or not.
I thought about it and discovered to my own horror that I probably wouldn't hire a pregnant business coach for myself.
I might assume that she was preoccupied or somehow vacant or empty-headed, on an emotional and hormonal tirade, and that I wouldn't be getting my money's worth. I know, it's horrible!! And this coming from me, the seriously most passionate-to-the-point-of-crazy person about destroying this sort of BS. WTF??
(side note: this touches on other stereotypes around women and pregnancy that are SO COMMON in our society, where pregnancy is a period of ineptitude, discomfort, medical checks and fear, and all these things have become normal because of the toxicity of our Western lifestyle - whereas I believe and have personally experienced that pregnancy can be pretty darn easy and wonderful if you take well-informed uncompromisingly good care of yourself intentionally, holistically and naturally)
And here I am admitting these thoughts I've had, when I myself am a little over halfway through pregnancy, and I know first-hand that I'm more on my personal and business game than I've EVER been before. I'm creating like crazy, feeling like I'm stepping more into my power and purpose with every day that passes.
(granted I fancy I've been feeling this good because I'm extremely on the ball with holistic health practices- but again that's another topic!)
But the problem is that in our society we've been programmed to believe / perceive that a woman or a mum isn't good at business, unless she is masculinized. Unless she stands at the head of the board room table with a tidy hairdo, a mannish suit, and solid statistics to back up everything she says.
Do you agree? Is this an issue? Do you think there are insidious prejudices and stereotypes like this in our society, that maybe even conscious, aware, modern women like you and I, are still unconsciously perpetuating??
I'm not going to stand for this anymore and that's why I'm bringing up this topic.
We need to start reshaping the perception of young women as the powerful, magical, sacred creators of our next generation. And not just that, but to start valuing young women as pretty darn badass smart creative people who are driving positive change and innovation as well! We can be BOTH, and we can have it ALL -- just not under these old stale outdated rules.
Being "of child-bearing age" or pregnant or having a young family only sucks if you're being forced to work in a mucho-masculinized slave-driving hyper-structured environment left over from the Mad Men era. (let's face it most men and non-baby-making women are extremely unhappy in these environments as well!)
But if you check out of that model, and create your OWN lifestyle, freedom and VALUE-based economy, pregnancy and parenthood can be your greatest time of innovation and creation.
I read recently in one of Leonie Dawson's emails that she created her two BEST programs (which have taken her to multi-7-figures) while she was pregnant or a new mum.
I really think there's something magical about this time, as we shift from girls to women and become creator goddesses ourselves, where we can (if we choose to) get in touch with what we're really here to do, and open up into a whole new level of power.
How utterly horrible and sad is it that our current model completely devalues and shames this phase of a woman's life. EUGH!!!
The point is that ladies like you and I can find freedom in knowing that you’re creating a new world where women aren’t ostracized and where family and success aren’t opposites! Where visionary creatives like us can design our own lifestyle and have it all on our own terms.
Whether you do it just for yourself and your family, or you create a bigger company where you can allow it for others too!
Personally I'm not the type to campaign for changes in corporate policies or whatever, I'm way more of an independent renegade type who just says F this and takes off!Which I literally did, LOL....
If you're like that too, we'll get along great.
Here's to making it happen, and having it all your own way,
PS - I'd love to hear your opinion on this topic! Did anything spark for you as you were reading this? Come post in our Freedom Biz Mastermind community!