As another International Women’s Day approaches, I want to talk about the topic of work/life balance. It seems fitting given the theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter
The question I want to ask is why are all the conversations around balance, focused on women juggling career and kids. Surely this is a conversation for all women, not just mothers.
As someone who is childfree by choice, I too, need to balance career, responsibility, domesticity and life. But all the blogs, events, media stories, movies and conversations are focused on mothers being the only ones that have to deal with balance.
Parenthood should not be the focus of the work-life equation? I am a furparent, wife, daughter, sister & friend. I run two businesses and I have many responsibilities, so I find it a bit offensive when the conversation about balance is always focused on women with kids.
I get it is likely harder for working mothers to juggle their responsibilities but, like everything in life, isn’t about choices and priorities?
There is a massive assumption that at one point or another, our personal lives will involve raising children. And this assumption is made because for generations, we’ve been taught to believe that parenthood is the ultimate path to fulfilment in life. We are raised from babies, to believe we will be a mother. We have dolls thrust upon us when we ourselves are babies, and this continues throughout our childhood and young adult lives. It is in the stories we read, the education we have, the roles we are given by society.
Parenthood is only part of the equation for women, and then, not all women.
The feminist movement paved the way for the rights we now have, which I am very grateful for. The next step should be to stop making assumptions that all women need work/life balance because they are mothers. All people need work/life balance, not just women and not just mothers.
Don’t tell me what I need based on the status of my uterus.
I have enough and it is time to change the dialogue, especially around International Women’s Day. We’ve moved past feminism to fempowerment and it is up to all women to stand up, consider their conversations and change the conversation. After all, isn’t that what the sisterhood is all about?