#ChoosetoChallenge On International Women's Day
Hey Women - Let's Lift Each Other Up
It's really easy to forget that we all are strong in our own unique ways.
With this seemingly unending pandemic, it's very easy for all of us to feel that we are having moments of weakness and in those times where we all are snuggled in our blanket forts waiting for just one little moment to breathe, we might feel incredibly weak. As women, we have our job demands, the demands of our life partners, and the demands of our children - furry or otherwise - all competing to the point where some days we might feel choked by the stress that these demands can pile upon is. Flip on social media or sometimes whatever's streaming, and you'll also be competing with the unrealistic demands that each of these media presents. At times, there seems to be a competition between women as well to see either who has the most piled on their plates, or who's the prettiest, or who's the best mom out there.
With all of that being dogpiled on women, it's little wonder there are those of us who find they are struggling in regular times, never mind during the time of a global pandemic. In saying all this, I am not trying to diminish the role of men in many of our lives. There are men out there who are acting as both mother and father for their children, who frequently struggle with a sense of inadequacy, and who frequently might feel bombarded with images of exceedingly macho men or incredibly sensitive men by the media. However, it is International Women's Day, and the fact that women are often the ones who organize the caregiving, who follow up on doctor and dentist appointments, and who might do the generalized running around for the kids as a whole, we need to recognize the stressors that women frequently endure and might put themselves under.
Too often, there are those who openly bash women for a range of reasons on social media. Sometimes, there are women who deliberately bash other women, and that is something I do not understand at all. It's one thing to criticize someone privately because they have done something they should not have to you, but the implication that one woman is more or less perfect than another is bizarre to me. We all have our own "stuff" to deal with, and we all have areas we need to work on in order to grow and become who we are meant to become. Tearing one person down is ultimately an attempt to make yourself seem better when you are feeding into your own insecurity and does nothing to build yourself up or the other person.
We all have our own individual challenges, and we need to support each other through those challenges rather than tearing each other apart. Treating women poorly is terrible especially now, as many women have been trying to work from home, in addition to trying to keep an eye on children as they are navigating the challenges of online school and having to be tech support for them as well. This is an imperfect life we're living, and continuing to try to call each other out for our shortcomings is not only ill-advised, it's hurtful and only diminishes the strength we have.
We need to support each other, full stop, regardless of life circumstances, personal convictions, orientation, or skin color. It costs people nothing to be kind. We need to be willing to smile at each other to help remind each other that we are seen, even behind an identity-robbing mask. We need to be aware that it is incredibly hard to be a single mom, or a young woman trying to make her way in the world, or even a parent with a devoted partner. We all have our individual "stuff," and it's important to recognize that and even embrace it.
We can even empathize with each other and help each other through some of the times that are trickier to manage. We don't have to necessarily fall all over ourselves, offering help when we ourselves have nothing left to give, but we can, at the very least, voice our appreciation for what the other women in our lives are doing to even just keep their heads above water nowadays.
This sister act isn't easy, but if we focus on lifting each other up instead of trying to tear each other down or one-up each other, we can be stronger together.
Happy International Women's Day.