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8.30.2011

the balancing act.

Yesterday was not only a complete whirlwind, but it was also a subtle reminder of what life would be like should I decide to have children someday- about 10 times harder than what I'm living right now. It started at the usual 545am with an hour workout at the gym, followed by a 10.5 hour workday, straight to my first Mary Kay party as a Consultant, then home to tidy up the house, empty the dishwasher, pack lunches for today, fold some laundry and finally crash at 10pm. I couldn't help but think back to my favorite class during my undergraduate studies- "Sex, Marriage & the Family"- a sociology course that looked at how family trends have changed over time. It was extremely intriguing to look back from when women didn't work at all outside of the home and men were the sole breadwinners; to the rise of the 'second shift' when mothers' used to try to juggle a job outside of the home, plus have her usual family duties; to finally, when women started to have actual careers with the possibility of making more money then their male counterparts, divorce became socially acceptable, and kids with 2 working parents became the norm. I was beginning to understand the realities of the world for women in the 21st century. If I was barely standing by the time 930 hit yesterday, how in the world will I manage when it's time for marriage and kids? It gave me a new perspective and sense of respect for just how hard women today have to work to stay afloat- plus, could I even fathom being a single mom? The thought itself gives me anxiety. Friends, family and significant others can provide that extra support that a woman needs when she's pressing through another long day at the office, another school nurse calling them to let them know their kid is sick, the husband who can't get out of work due to a meeting, the soccer practices, the expectations for a clean house and hot meals. The saving grace to daily life is the sense of belonging to a community where everyone is looking out for everyone else, knowing there will be times when sacrifices will need to be made, and an extra hand will need to be lent. A light bulb went off in my head last night- every woman should take the time to express these sorts of concerns to their boyfriends and fiances, prior to tying the knot. In today's age, many couples cohabit prior to marriage so it's easier to get an idea of how household tasks will be divided up- however, it's important to have these conversations sooner rather than later. Time stops for no one and life throws twists and turns at you when you least expect it. A big part of a healthy and functional relationship with a significant other, room mate, or family member is trying to avoid having one person being completely overworked and stressed out when someone else can step in and try to lighten the load- life is about teamwork! I urge you to reach out to a someone in your life who is really stressed out right now and offer to help them out in whatever way possible, even if it's as easy as bringing them a coffee, sharing conversation over dinner, watching their child for an hour so they can go workout, or teaming up to clean out their hall closet- it's amazing what dedicating just a few minutes of your time will do for your own sanity- It is an amazing pick me up knowing you helped out someone you care about! Plus, the next time you are struggling to keep your head above water, they will probably be the first one to throw you a life jacket.

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