The way things are.
As we come to International Women’s Day this year, it might feel that much of the progress we have made over the past 100 years is under threat.
The impact of COVID on women has been profound.
Many women have sacrificed their careers to care for their children and family at home. Schools have shut, extracurricular activities cancelled. No playdates, no excursions.
We are all aware of the challenge this presents on a day-to-day level. Children are now dependent on us for their learning, play and nurture.
Hopefully, this year, the world will open up. But what will we find on the other side?
Speaking from my own experience, times of great challenge offer us an opportunity to align our lives more closely with those values we hold most dear.
Particularly for women, the rush of a daily commute, the pressures of combining a career, family, meals and housework challenge our capacity to contribute in meaningful ways to broader conversations that shape our future.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
What happens if we step off the treadmill?
What would the world look like if we understood that we are not competing with each other?
All mothers want the best for our children: safety, nourishment, love, connection to healthy communities, and opportunities for them to make the most of their gifts and talents.
The more we can encourage and support each other in our daily lives, the more we strengthen and encourage each other to take our place in a world that desperately needs our perspective, intellect, and care.
It takes courage to refuse to define ourselves by the standard the world sets for us.
It takes courage to listen to our children when they ask us to slow down and take time to be with them when we have a to-do list as long as our arm.
It takes courage to recognise when we are not taking care of ourselves the way we need to and then to do something about it.
We’re not just doing it for ourselves, either. Today, our actions set our daughters on a path to understanding that they too are worthy of taking their place in the world as competent, compassionate and creative women.
Happy International Women’s Day 2021.