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Monday, 24 November 2014

The Glass Bridge.....

You've probably heard about the glass ceiling and how it affects the career woman's corporate growth. According to Wikipedia, "a glass ceiling is a political term used to describe "the unseen, yet unfbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements." Trust me, this is not a myth but it defines real situations which many women have been faced with on the job. I would say I think things are much better for the womenfolk in recent times than before now in terms of cracking this glass ceiling. However, I still think we have a long way to go in breaking through these glass ceilings above us.

This post is not about the glass ceiling though but about what I call the glass bridge. What I term as the glass bridge is the dilemma women have to face in deciding whether to give up their careers entirely to cater to their family's needs or to juggle work and family life together. None of these decisions is easy for any woman, I'd tell you, especially in recent times where the economy is not healthy enough for a family to depend on one person's income alone.

Let's take a look at the woman who decides with her husband to stop working to raise the children. Mind you, more often than not, the decision doesn't even lie with the woman in question. Rather, it is thrust upon her without any choice. Such a woman would have to shelve her dream of a bright career to stay at home and raise the children. What with the nefarious characters of the maids out there, I can't even fault such women. What many do not realize however is that being a stay at home mother is not filled with leisure and rest, it is a whole lot to deal with.The amount of work they have to go through daily just to ensure the children are safe, fed and that the house is kept neat and tidy cannot be be overemphasized. Add to that the conjugal duties expected at night after a woman has gone through washing, cooking, bathing the kids, mopping the floors, etc.

There is also the fact that she gets to see her mates climbing the corporate ladder and bragging about it which hurts more when she knows she has better to offer than they are giving but her decision to stay back and raise the children restrains her.

Now let's look at the woman who chooses to balance being a wife, mother and career woman. It is not a walk in the park, I'll tell you. The need to want to thrive on the job and apply the knowledge and skills she possesses cannot be shelved entirely to be a stay-at-home mother. This doesn't make her any less of a mother because, the few times she gets to spend with her family during the week has her doting on them and correcting any moral errors that might have seeped in either from their schools, neighbours, or from the child minder in whose care they are left. Now to address the mental torture such a woman goes through by leaving her children in the hands of a minder while she goes to work would involve a lot of time, because it really does take a lot. Without a doubt, her mind goes out to her children several times a day wondering if they are alright, being taken good care of, if they have eaten, if they are hurt or crying, if they are being bullied, if they are not close to any electrical device or generally harmful objects, etc.

The list of things to worry about is rather lengthy, still she doesn't up and leave her job to physically go to see them. Rather, she develops a coping mechanism and places her mind over the matter. She puts several calls through during the day to allay her own fears, and she does all of these without losing focus on her job. More often than not, she gets home and heads straight into the kitchen to make dinner for herself and her husband, after which she heads into the bedroom to complete that duty.

Which ever of the above choices a woman makes, she loses a little bit of herself while trying to get the balance right, while trying to make a mark and leave her footprints in the sand of time. Life has never been easy for women, regardless of what delusional impression people may have. Take out time to look critically at the life of any hard working mother around you and you would be surprised by how much strength they carry around in ensuring peace and order around them.

The glass bridge is not so easy to cross and it's not easy not to cross it either. So long as it remains in the glass form which could translate to bearing the burden of  owning both a brain and a womb, it would never be an easy choice to make.

Have a wonderful week ahead and a big shout out to all the hardworking mothers out there.

1 comment:

  1. Good one Bukky and I feel you on several levels. I'll recommend a book I'm currently reading to all women out there both career women and stay at home mums. It's titled, '10 Smart Moves For Women Who Want To Succeed in Life&Love by Dianna Booher. The book is all that and more.


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