What does it mean to be a woman in the 21st century?
As women who work from home, we are so much more than women of previous generations. Our roles have changed and they are nearly undefinable now. We are still the mums, caregivers and the cooks. We are still the household cleaners, but we are also the breadwinners, the C.E.O.’s, the broken thing fixers, the psychiatrists, the mechanics, the home renovators, the teachers, and the philosophers. We are the women of the 21st Century.
What are the Boundaries for a 21st Century Woman?
It wasn’t long ago that it wasn’t important for women to have education as all they were going to do was stay home and have babies, nowadays it is imperative that we have the best all-rounded education because we will be dealing with everything that life has to throw us and our families.
This site was originally designed for the work-at-home mum. However, when we sat and brainstormed, we couldn’t find the boundary for what we as work-at-home women do? Sitting around the table we couldn’t find a topic that we as women didn’t have to deal with in our daily life.
Often, even if we have hand-balled duties to the other half of our lives, we tend to micromanage or have to understand the complexities of the subject anyway. So there is nothing a modern new age woman doesn’t have to know or deal with in her life. She is expected to be the master of everything.
Perceptions, Expectations and Coping in the 21st Century
In reality we are all such capable women. We all do so much already and we really do try to do it all. That is our downfall, as this expectation is impossible and most of us can’t live up to our desires, so our perception of our own capability doesn’t match the ridiculous belief we have. So when we look outside our own perception of who we are, we believe that other women are doing it better than us. This is not always the case and other women may not be coping as well as what we think.
“If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.” —bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody
Society has put the pressure on being feminine when most of our values are based on the masculine values of being a good house keeper, being the perfect wife, lover, friend, caretaker. It rewards us for looking young, having a flat stomach, being fun and nice. We are judged for not having children, having them too early or too late or how many we have or when we got married but we are expected to balance it all. The pressure is ridiculous!
The Truth Illusion
Women are really good at creating an illusion of how well we are doing. We are forced to cover the truth up. We want to look good. This illusion does not tell the truth, we are so scared others will know we are faking it that we hide the reality of not coping or doing well. We, as women, are the masters of deception, whether the cover up is in a big way or by just not being honest to ourselves.
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
What we, as women are not good at is prioritising ourselves, we are not honest to ourselves about what we are really feeling, what we really need, what we really want and what we really deserve. If we acknowledged these it would make us feel so much better. If we prioritised the time to do these things and looked after ourselves, we would be much stronger women and we would be much less apologetic for being the amazing people we really and truly are.
It is hard being a successful woman, being on top of everything in our business, our home and our relationships. Thankfully, when we are struggling, there are girlfriends who can help hold us up, share a glass of wine with us and listen to our stories. Exactly what we need when we need it.
More role models for the next Generation
It will be easier for our daughters, as they have more role models to aspire to than we did in our childhood. I know I am an unusual woman, who does unusual things so when I look at my grand daughter who has watched me drive a forklift, run a building company, renovate homes, work in an office, make jewellery and paintings for the walls also bake a cake and I am pleased that I have shown her that being a woman has no boundaries and I pray she has learnt that she has the opportunity to do anything she wants in life that she wants.
I hope she and the next generations of girls coming through have no limiting beliefs to hold them back, they believe in themselves and they dream big. I hope they can openly express their feelings and emotions to others as well as themselves, I hope they are unapologetically themselves so they can be the best versions of themselves without fear of judgement from society, but only time will tell.