Empowering The Women In Your Life

Let me start off by saying this is NOT a male bashing post. This is a female empowerment post. With that sometimes comes pointing out the unfair view society has on male versus female roles. So if you’re a man reading, please don’t stop. It might open your eyes to a new perspective, or you might think of a female in your life that can benefit from reading this and share. If you’re a female and this resonates, please do share.

A question that comes to my mind often is this:

Why is it that when a man is away from his home and family, on a business trip, working, or tenaciously pursuing his career, he is considered responsible, a good family man, and a great example? But, when a woman is away from her home and family, on a business trip, working, or tenaciously pursuing her career, she is being selfish and has her priorities wrong?

As a woman who has been working REALLY hard to build and grow a business from scratch while juggling motherhood and moving around for her husband’s career advancement, I can honestly say I have heard it all. I have been called selfish and have been hurt by words from my very own family members questioning why I can’t just be a mom for now and enjoy that I don’t have to “work.” I put work in parenthesis because let’s face it, motherhood is WORK.

Now don’t get me wrong, being a mom is the BEST job I have. But why in the world would I want to teach my children that you should quit working towards your goals and dreams because people are judging? I have the coolest kids on the planet that actually love what I do, are so proud, and want to be a part of it ALL. It might sound cliché but I am doing this for them as well.

It honestly feels like an ongoing battle sometimes though, where I am often justifying my behavior and apologizing for doing things that are not bad. It can be exhausting and at times suck the joy out of my proudest accomplishments. Although we can’t change men and their point of view (trust me, I’ve tried and it works for a hot second), we women need to step up and be each other’s biggest supporters. Something I have realized in the past few years is the harsh reality that this gender judgment often starts with women.

I cannot tell you how many times my husband has been called “such a great dad” by other moms because he has changed a diaper. Not that he’s not a great dad but when was the last time we called each other great moms for the simple task of changing a diaper? I’ve had my kid literally poop on me. Does that make me super mom?

I have heard women talk about how they owe their husbands for babysitting their kids so they can have a night off. I’m sorry, what? Can you call it babysitting when they’re his kids too? Does he owe you for “babysitting” every day and giving life to those precious children?

I will never forget one of the most overwhelming days in my business existence. I had forty model fittings, the day before my first big fashion show production, and one of my model’s moms told my husband he was so patient for letting me do this. I have never felt so betrayed by my fellow female-kind in my life. First of all, “let me?” Am I a child asking for permission to play a silly inconvenient game? When I found out she did this (lucky for her she was gone), I wanted to go and tell her that not one, not two, but THREE times I have packed up a home and moved cross county for my husband’s job, post-partum, with new baby, and no family or friends near. No one told me I was patient, yet while he’s in the kitchen popping popcorn to go watch TV in the basement while I have an overwhelming day and night of fittings, he is the patient one?

This can’t be, ladies! We simply cannot judge each other when we live in a world ready and willing to do it for us. When women come together, they are a force to be reckoned with. That is the force we need to manifest and uplift each other with every day.

I could write a novel on this, however for your ease of reading, I summarized it into my top four key points I feel women should live by in an effort to be more supportive of other women. By simply supporting one another, we are using our power to empower each other!

{ 1 }

Step one to not judge but rather uplift other women working towards making something of themselves is to make sure you are doing it for yourself. If you’re not content with your day-to-day life and don’t feel proud of your own accomplishments, you will never be able to have that support and admiration for others. Whatever you are going to thrive in, be proud of it. If this is the phase in life where you want to put all your eggs in the home basket, then do it well and do it with pride. If it doesn’t feel like enough for you, then start doing something else that makes you feel whole. I guarantee you judging other women will not fill that void for you.

{ 2 }

Once you’ve taken care of you, step two is to acknowledge others’ accomplishments.      Don’t look away when women in your life are doing something worth celebrating. I have some women on my Facebook “friend” list that I know will only engage with my posts when they involve my kids or husband. If they are about my business, or me, they ignore completely. It’s been years of this. I have caught on and just feel compassion towards them. If that is the only part of my life they are comfortable acknowledging, that says more about them than me. When you acknowledge and celebrate fellow women’s accomplishments and are genuinely encouraging about them, that wave of positivity will come back to you and inevitably manifest itself in your life as well.

{ 3 }

Manifest positivity and admiration into other women’s relationships. It is so important to watch how you speak to the men in your friends’ lives. Do not, in an effort to become buddies with your friend’s significant other, say things like, “You married her. You should have known what you were getting yourself into.” Instead, say things like, “Your wife is awesome. You must be so proud.” Speak positivity and admiration into their partner’s viewpoint. By doing so, you can help open their eyes to see the good in your friend’s endeavors. Your words can be powerful. Use them to help nurture a supportive relationship, not tear it apart.

{ 4 }

Don’t discredit other women’s accomplishments because you assume her partner has money. One of my pet peeves is when I hear other women say “she does this (to be generic, we’ll call it this), but her husband has money.” That’s a big NO! My husband does well because he’s smart and also due to the fact we have moved a lot for his career advancement, yet his money does not contribute to my business. To be fair, my business does not contribute to our household income either. The point here is, I know people have come to my home (it’s a nice home), seen the way I live, and assumed my business is a result of my husband’s funding. Well guess what, it is NOT. From the very beginning, a simple $40 trip to Joann’s for fabric was a source of conflict between us. I realized early on if I wanted to build this thing, it was going to be on me to find the resources to do so. So you can imagine the frustration when I hear women talk like that about other women because it makes me wonder what they could think about me. Ladies, let’s not discredit each other’s hard work and assume there is a man behind it. I guarantee you men don’t look at each other’s success and think there must be a great woman behind this man, holding down the fort and doing what it takes for him to move up the corporate ladder.

So there you have it: Simple and easy, yet often forgotten girl code.

I want to challenge all my ladies out there, myself included, to be better supporters of each other. Pick one woman in your life that inspires you to be better or do more, and give her some words of praise and encouragement. Be the change you want to see in the world and let’s show men that we are a force to be reckoned with and have each other’s backs.

 

*Thank you for reading. Sharing is always welcome and appreciated. To keep in touch, please join our e-mail list as well as follow through social media links provided on home page. 

Salwa Owens

Founder and Editor in Chief

Salwa Owens is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The SO Edit. Fashion designer and entrepreneur, Owens is recognized in Denver as 5280 Magazine’s Choice for 2016 Top Fashion Designer and has recently been featured in British VOGUE. With the mission statement of empowering women through the joy of fashion as a leading force, Owens launched The SO Edit to further empower women by enhancing their lives in areas beyond just fashion. To learn more about Salwa Owens and her fashion label, please visit SalwaOwens.com.

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The SO Edit, created by Salwa Owens to inspire, uplift, and support women in all aspects of their lives.

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