struggle with this topic and entertainingly interviews other women with the same dilemma. This book is a must read for every woman today.
Learning your worth and value in any field takes persistence and a willingness to really explore what your work is worth. Measuring your value and worth relates in direct proportion to the amount of money you earn. The more money you earn the greater your value to yourself, your family, your community and the organization you work for.
What if you are like me and like the numerous women who read my blog? What if you don’t work? This issue is a major part of my life at this moment. Not only am I entering the workforce again after 15 years of being a stay-at –home mom but I am constantly being bombarded by my soon to be ex-husband and his attorney with the ridiculous ideas that because I haven’t “earned” any significant money in the last 15 years I am not entitled to ANYTHING! Let me make this clear, according to my husband and his attorney, my worth and value as a stay- at- home mom is zero!
Now, you might think that I am feeling sorry for myself and perhaps I am but I am also willing to persistently examine the evolution of my work over my life time. My concern for us as a society is that if we only measure our value and worth in dollars we may be missing something much more intrinsic to our human nature. Yes, I agree we must ask for our worth in monetary rewards especially in the work force. What about our moral character or what I like to call our life points?
I have be responsible for my families educational, spiritual, physical and social well being. I’m sure I have left out something but I guarantee I did that too. I can easily list the things that every mom, working or not does for their children. The late nights taking care of each family member who has high temperatures, vomiting and the other things that I’d rather not mention. The days filled with worry about whether or not my child is fitting in and making friends. I have had the afternoon frustration with my child’s inability to read at grade level. I have cheered at swim meets, t-balls games, speech meets, performing arts contests and science fairs, all the while praying God would give me the words to comfort my child when they didn’t win or take first place. How much is that worth in dollars? How much is it worth in life points?
It isn’t just me, either. I know stay-at –home moms who wouldn’t think of buying themselves new underwear, shoes, a winter coat or even getting their hair cut by a professional. They invest the “family income” in providing for their children’s needs. They go without the basic necessities if it will help the family. Whether they admit it or not little by little this wears on them until the very question of value or worth is lost in the depths of their souls. No monetary value. No life points.
Oh, if their children are successful in their educational pursuits or if their children are successful at reciting biblical passages. If they meet their husbands every need, then they can say to themselves they’ve done a good job. But do they? No, that might be prideful or arrogant. A professional woman might get to go out to lunch with her boss and get a small token of the boss’s appreciation. A “good job” might be enough to keep a working woman working. For a stay-at –home mom those same things do the same thing, keep her working. Mom gets to go out to dinner on mother’s day or her birthday. She gets presents from the kids. Maybe her husband occasionally tells her “good job.” However, if a mom is not willing to assert her worth or value she might be willing to stay at home on those days and make her own meal and maybe, just maybe, dad and the kids will wash the dishes.
My worth as a woman is in question by other women as well. Certainly, I have gotten looks from women that convey their thoughts about my ability to earn a substantial living and yes, I’ve really had women say these things to me; I should be willing to take any job offered to me, I can’t expect to make what I was making fifteen years ago and I should settle for the barest wage just to get by. I can’t expect to make what I am worth today. If I hold out for the career I want and the career that will fulfill my self-worth and value and at the pay I know I deserve I am easily asking for more than I should or more than I deserve.
The epidemic of women’s worth and value goes far beyond the experience of working women. It touches on every woman and if, like me, the woman is a stay-at –home mom that doesn’t “earn” money the value must come from something greater; life points. There is no question the legacy we are passing on to our daughters is the trait of not fighting for our worth and value. Not only must we look at monetary worth but we must look for much deeper, much more fulfilling value that goes beyond the dollars in our pockets.