It's January 2, a new year is here once again. There's no shortage of current issues related to mothering that I could write about but I find myself sitting here thinking about how we moms need to go bigger. Are people talking about that? More importantly, are you talking about that?
The December/January issue of Fast Company magazine featured two articles on productivity (151 Secrets of The Most Productive People and Your Perfect Productive Day). Like all you other eager beavers, I was interested to see what I could use to make my own day more productive. Here's what I learned: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand "knows what needs to be done" and does it on a daily basis. She maintains good self-care, priotizes picking up her kids between 5-6 pm each workday and, in her own words,"fits everything else in around that." Her productivity tips (staying positive, leaving email and texting for specific questions and making time for physical activity) are awesome, adaptable for most of us. And that's where the article ceased to be relevant for any working mom or even any working dad who shares in childcare responsibilities.
Going bigger in my mind means getting louder. Louder when mainstream professional magazines completely discount the fact that women make up half our paid workforce and some of them are, yes, mothers. If you know a mom who works outside the home, you know how productive she is! Perhaps her self-care isn't as great and she doesn't get as much sleep as she should (works in progress, I say!) but damn, she is productive. She knows that as a mom she is usually seen as less committed to her work and more "flaky", more apt than a co-worker dad to take care of a sick child. She also knows that she makes less than her female counterparts who aren't moms. And if she's a single parent? She makes even less, between 34-44% less.
Organizations like Moms Rising do a tremendous job in building conversations and coalitions centered around what it really means to be a working mom and how current social structures actually work against moms' success, both personally and professionally. But I don't hear individual moms talking about it. Do you?
Are you talking about all of the behind the scenes efforts you make on a daily basis to make sure that your households and families are running smoothly, fed, clothed and happy? Life's invisible work, right? Did you ever tell anyone at work (or outside work for that matter) about the miscarriages you had? Are you talking about how damn hard you work and how productive you actually are? Have you talked about how hard it is to find big girl underwear that doesn't have a Disney character on it?
Let's get louder about the things that are important to us. The things that get in our way on a daily basis from being the best we can be, including our most productive! Even if they aren't socially acceptable to talk about or make people feel uncomfortable. I think moms need to go bigger in 2015. Jimmy Page (One Word That Will Change Your Life) suggests choosing one word as a theme, a focal point to help you remember what truly matters. Imagine if "LOUD" or "BIG" were your (our) word for 2015.