Martha Washington is the only woman whose portrait has appeared on a U.S. currency note. It appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, along with the back of the $1 Silver Certificate issued in 1896.
There is so much I want to share with you about what I am learning as a forty- one year old woman. The most important “revelation” of late had me stop tidying the house in mid swiff so I could sit down and post about it.
My revelation is that women don’t value themselves (I know, I know, at times I can be such an oracle of the obvious)
I’m morbidly fascinated by the sheer volume of women who are unable to see, own, and advocate on their own behalf as it relates to their contribution’s in the world.
Let me just take the example: Mom’s who stay at home to raise the family.
This topic in itself opens up a completely mind blowing conversation about her sense of “value”. I have come to know so many women who do not feel a sense of worth because their role is not measured by currency. Where does this phenomenon originate from?
If I were to logically map out her contribution to her family using traditional business terms her “worth” would be crystalized. In the business world she is what Seth Godin would refer to as the company lynchpin.
So, for all my stay at home to raise the family mom friends out there – I want you to put on your business hat for a moment and take a quick jump back in time. Before you formed the partnership with your spouse which I will now refer to as: “the corporation” you both invested the “sweat equity” into the dating process that landed you “the job” except that it’s not just any job, it’s the job that any “founder” of a company would be faced with- and it’s the job of running the organization side by side with your partner of choice ( well, hopefully it was by choice), and shouldering the awesome responsibility of making sure each department, team member, and product is being overseen, managed and taken care of.
When you married, the “merger and acquisition” took place began to blend your two individual lives into one – and then, comes the production of the company assets (KIDS!).
If you made the decision to stay at home I want to first say “BRAVO” because that was the decision that worked for your family at the time and likely made a lot of sense. In order to “scale” and “maximize efficiencies” one partner will stay home and manage the growth (children and family obligations) while the other continues to work outside the home and secure additional business development opportunities on “the road”, and he likes to be able to work hard because his ROI ( return on investment) is a happy, healthy, loving family that is thriving by his contributions just as they are by hers.
If marriage and raising a family were equated to building a company than the various “positions” of the company are dévide up and each of the two “founders” contribute an enormous amount of value. Wouldn’t it feel kind of ludicrous to impute an income to Dad for the hours he dedicates to his children?
If we *must* place a value on their roles In and outside the home than maybe it would like look this?
The “working” partner: CFO, CIO, VP of Sales, maintenance, grounds keeper, management,
The “Stay at home” partner : CEO, COO, CMO, laundry, travel agent, cafeteria, and HR, and alternate temp.
Basically you can look at this argument and clearly see that the division of labor is equitable for the sake of this example~ right?
Then why is it that so many women who run the households and manage the sheer volume of work in the home while raising a family have little to no sense of their worth when it comes to their compound value? If you were to impute an actual income to her contribution in the work force it could be argued then, that her salary would actually be potentially higher than her partners based on the sheer number of “positions” she maintains.
I used to get really hung up on this in my marriage because in addition being this mom as illustrated above- I would hire a “temp” ( sitter ) to fill in while I worked outside the home so that I could feel like I was making a monetary contribution as if that was somehow “worth” more and could finally be “counted.”
Now, I know that times have changed ( ha ha ha) and there are many more of us who lead much more fulfilled lives while managing both home and work life right? We feel much more appreciated and acknowledged for the “value” we bring to our marriages and our companies now that we are liberated and able to earn an income right?
hmmm… i’m thinking not. Women have an ongoing struggle to feel valued and acknowledged for our contributions to society, family and home. There is not a monetary équivalant for the contribution we are to the world, and never will be. There never will be because there is not enough money in the world.
Say it with me: “there is not enough money in the world.”
In order for us to feel valued outside ourselves we must FEEL value inside ourselves.
I think that in order to make this happen- we need to start by:
changing the conversation’s we are having and make them about our “value” not our “lack thereof”
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