As a woman in the professional world, I am accustomed to being the target of feminist, “girl power” messaging, while also being subjected to the realities of gender inequality in the workplace. I won’t get into the politics of that right now, but I will get into one thing that I do feel strongly about. To quote the beautiful & talented Willow Sweeney:
Now, let me start by saying that I have not read word-for-word Sheryl Sandberg‘s work, but I can say that I have gathered the basic points of it through reading reviews and other literature written about it. I am completely on board with the general premise of the book – that women deserve equality in the workplace and should work to achieve it – however I find myself somewhat exhausted by the Lean In campaign as a whole.
I work hard to succeed in life, and I value solid work ethic and following your passions as much as the next person. But I’m also a big fan of napping, binge watching crappy reality television, splurging too often on 800 calorie desserts, not vacuuming regularly, and skipping my morning workout. My point being, I don’t want to be fabulous, badass, professional and put-together all of the time. And that’s okay.
Women so often – especially in recent times – feel a pressure to be the perfect woman. You must put your family life on hold to strive to become a CEO. You must workout four times a week to burn off that paleo diet. You must know how to raise children well, keep a clean, stylish house, cook meals that would make Chef Ramsey proud, and be the sports-loving, beer-drinking, “cool girl” wife (thanks Gone Girl), all while maintaining a $75,000/year dream job where you put in 60 hours a week.
Lets. Be. Real.
It’s time to stop apologizing for your mistakes. It’s time to stop feeling inadequate because your neighbor just hit her weight loss goal and got a raise in the same week. It’s time to stash the shame when your kid is the last one of their friends who learned to ride a bike because you weren’t a good teacher. It’s time to stop envying every other woman’s “perfect” life… as depicted by social media. It’s time to remember that if you’re trying your hardest and you’re a good person, then you’re good enough the way you are.
& It’s okay to lay down.