If “they” leave you, let them… (Read Time: 3 min.)

srts-blog-post-72“They”… Who are “they” anyway?  Even though we don’t seem to be able to answer that question, there are a lot of “they” who seem to be keeping us connected to situations, experiences, and drama that we really don’t need… and you’d think the situation would improve when “they” leave our lives… Quite the contrary.

For many overachieving, highly successful, driven women entrepreneurs, being left feels like a slap in the face, a failure of sorts, something that they don’t know how to rationalize or recover from.

So what do you do when you’ve been left (by a client, fired from a job, walked out on by a spouse, abandoned by a friend, rejected by a family member) physically but are still holding onto the situation emotionally and spiritually?

How do you let go when everything inside you keeps fighting to hold on?

Here’s what you do:

You love it until IT lets YOU go…

 

Give me a minute here…

There are 3 things about this concept that you want to take hold of:

  1. What’s for you won’t pass you by.  If that client, job, career, or relationship had REALLY been for you, it would’ve stayed and it would’ve produced good fruit.  Anything that stays in your life but brings you down or leaves your life and leaves you feeling low is NOT something that is meant for you.  When you truly get this understanding, you allow things to be what they are without feeling the need to push boulders uphill or go kicking and screaming into the night.  You love what is, you accept what is and, as things unfold, you embrace the adventure of it.  That doesn’t mean the pain goes away; it simply means you’re unwilling to magnify it.
  2. Go with the season you’re in.  There are seasons and reasons to everything.  Rather than fighting the season you’re in, flow with it.  Allow there to be the natural ups and downs that come with life.  Embrace them.  Remember: you NEVER have to chase what’s for you.  It will come on its own.  What’s not for you will leave on its own.  You don’t have to control anything to usher in what’s for you.  You do, however, have to be open and aware of what season you’re in.  Be present in THIS season and allow it to unfold as it needs to.  The key here is trust: trust in yourself, trust in the process, and trust in the timing of your life.  If you don’t have trust, you will cling and grasp and lose everything you are trying to hold onto…
  3. You won’t get more until you stop giving space to less.  There will be no room in your life to receive what you REALLY want if you continue to hold onto the things, people, and experiences that are far below what you deserve.  The scarcity associated with clinging to anything because you’re afraid of having nothing is a painful way to live.  The second you begin to trust and know that better is ALWAYS on its way is the second you start to let things go with ease.  Why?  Because you understand it takes the act of faith of opening up space in your life to receive and embrace better in your world.  #BOOM

If you (like so many of us) have trouble letting go, listen to an episode of She Runs The Show that speaks more to this issue… how to love and let things go.

Click HERE to listen.

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How to be Relentless: 3 Steps to Laser Focused, Fast Implementation, All the Time (Read Time: 6 min.)

RelentlessEver wiffle-waffle on a major life decision?

I have… on quite a few things.

And one area where I do the least wiffle-waffling is my business.

Why?

Because entrepreneurial success only happens when you apply RELENTLESS, persistent, consistent focus to a small number of things over a LONG period of time.

And most aspiring entrepreneurs stay “aspiring” because they do the opposite.  They focus on every Shiny Object that comes their way (thus the term Shiny Object Syndrome, aka SOS) and then wonder why not one of their “projects” have taken off.

Here’s the thing:

Successful people make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly.  If what you want is long term business success, you’ve got to get very clear (very fast) on what business activities will achieve the results you seek and be willing to stay the course UNTIL they do…

If you struggle with making big business decisions and sticking to the path, here are 3 steps to laser focused, fast implementation all the time:

STEP 1: Identify 3 revenue streams (1 long term, 2 short term)

One revenue stream in your business (example: being a life coach who only sees clients 1:1) is the same thing as having a job.  When your livelihood is based solely on one source of income, you commit a deadly sin of business that James Altucher writes about in his post 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job This Year:

“I don’t like it when one person can make or break me.  A boss.  A publisher.  A TV producer.  A buyer of my company.  At any one point I’ve had to kiss ass to all of the above.  I hate it.  I will never do it again.”

You  might think you don’t have enough time to create three streams of revenue in your brand new business.  Guess what?  You don’t have time NOT to…

Here’s the reality: 

If you give one target market the power to feed you, you also give them the power to starve you.  Don’t set up your business that way.  Instead, identify 3 revenue streams (preferably a long term revenue stream plus two faster returning, short term revenue streams) that can bring money into your business.  Choose revenue streams that are scalable (i.e. don’t require you trading hours for dollars).

For example, my 3 revenue streams are:

  1. ebooks on Amazon (You can find my books at http://www.overcomingfearbooks.com)
  2. Online courses (Fear to Power Course)
  3. Voiceover work

The online courses are my long term revenue stream while writing ebooks on Amazon and doing voiceover work provides faster cash in shorter intervals.

Yes, you’re building an empire.  Support the process with immediate, consistent cash flow.

STEP 2: Time block your business activities based on priority. 

Sales activities come first… always.

Notice I didn’t say ‘networking events.’  Unless an activity has or is generating revenue in your business, it doesn’t need to be the thing that you do at your peak time of the day.  Whether you’re a morning or a night person, whatever time of day you’re in peak state needs to be the time of day you do sales.

What if you don’t have a product or service to sell?

You still have an email list to build and you need to start getting people onto that list (so selling is the key).

Product creation time needs to be blocked off and protected (i.e. no distractions, cellphones, grocery store trips, or walks on the beach).  Use a 60-20-60 approach (credit goes to Peter Voogd who outlines this in his book Six Months to Six Figures) where you work for 60 minutes, take a 20 minute break and do something else and then work for 60 more minutes.

STEP 3: Focus on the next 3 steps (and nothing else)

What are the next three simple, strategic steps you can take in your business to achieve your goals?  Write them down and don’t consider anything else for your To-Do list until those are done.

At the end of the day, being relentlessly focused is super simple but not necessarily easy.  It’s about being able to say a lot of Nos so you can get to an extraordinary YES.

You don’t need to be perfect to get it right but you do need to be consistent.  The focus you have will always be the focus you choose.

Choose wisely…

Want help in developing relentless focus?

Click to read Achieve One Dream: 8 Steps to Unstoppable Achievement

Achieve_Cover

 

I Chose Us But You Chose You: How Women Entrepreneurs Deal With Infidelity (Read Time: 3 min.)

Unsplash 1I knew it was coming… For years, the writing had been on the wall…

You know exactly who I’m talking about: Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick…

Yes, the Kardashians… and everyone could see the writing on the wall: Kourtney’s the stability, the security, the breadwinner, and the power entrepreneur.  Scott’s the younger, inept, aimless, addiction-prone partner who is clearly less ambitious, seriously suffering from an inferiority complex, and blatantly unhappy in the relationship… and now he’s been caught cheating.

I’m sad for the children.

I’m angered by the absolute disrespect.

I’m floored by the blatant disregard one person can have for his entire family…

And I’m heartbroken by the fact that Kourtney, as a woman entrepreneur who’s the breadwinner, is not the only woman entrepreneur going through something like this…

Just because her dirty laundry is on blast everywhere doesn’t mean she’s the only one.  There are far too many women entrepreneurs who have successful business lives but, at home, they are desperately waiting… to… exhale…

And it’s time that these powerful women entrepreneurs stopped the madness and did the one thing they’re afraid to do (the one thing Kourtney Kardashian is doing right now): begin again…

We’re so afraid to start over.  So afraid to begin again.  The fear is so great, in fact, that we’ll settle for less than what we deserve, hide behind facades that were never real, and pretend like everything’s great when nothing is.  It’s time to get real and get moving.  Starting over is tough but staying in a hopeless, heartless situation is even tougher.

If someone isn’t treating you right, it’s time to go.  If a situation (business or pleasure) doesn’t feel right, spend no time deliberating your intuition.  Listen and take action.  If you’re feeling lukewarm in your life and numb in your relationships, there’s some truth that you aren’t willing to look at.

And, if you’re in a Kourtney/Scott dead-end relationship that you know wasn’t built for you, it’s time to start over.  Don’t wait.  Don’t debate.  Let it go and get back to yourself… I know it’ll be tough (been there).  I know divorce is never fun (lived it).  I get that you, as the “successful” partner, may have so much to lose (emotionally, financially, etc.) but, if you stay, you have way more to lose that you can’t ever get back.

There is no amount of money that can buy back your self-respect, self-esteem and self-worth.  Nothing is worth losing your soul.

If you need help with starting over, check out my latest book- Begin Again: 32 Ways to Release the Fear of Starting Over.

In the meantime, listen to your gut.  Your intuition is never wrong…

Begin_Again_Cover

 

 

Is Your Pride Hijacking Your Health? Why Women Breadwinners Need to Stop, Look, & Listen… (Read Time: 4 min.)

School 8I used to insist upon doing it all: myself, right, and perfect the FIRST time.

I used to expect, on the rare occasion that I asked for help, that people did it just like me, right, and perfect the FIRST time.

I used to shake my head in absolute knowing when people let me down, didn’t show up or didn’t do what I wanted to my super high standards.

And then I experienced serious, prolonged, and seemingly never-ending burnout… and I was left with no other choice but to ask AND accept help… REAL help.

Women breadwinners know what I’m talking about.  99.9% of all moms know what I’m talking about.

You want help.  You desperately wish people would psychically know that you need help… but you refuse to bow to the level of needing to ASK for help.

It’s this kind of pride that winds you up in one of three states:

1) Crazy

2) Sick

3) Mega-resentful

And, very often, in all three at the same time.

So here’s the question:

Is your pride hijacking your health?

Is your wanting to do it right, do it perfect, and do it yourself the FIRST time exactly the thing that is keeping you annoyed, frustrated, exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed ALL of the time?

It might be… and if you are the woman who’s bringing home the bacon, the financial provider of your household with all of the responsibilities that this role entails, what will it take for you to release, relax, and replenish so you have the health you need to keep bringing home the bread?

Here’s what it will take:

  1. Honesty.  Pull out a calendar and see how far your 24 hour day will take you.  When you’ve got 50 things on your plate, guess what?  It won’t take you that far.  In fact, you’ll be lucky if you get 3 MAJOR things done in one day.  When you get honest with how little time you actually have in a given day (yes, subtract out bathroom time, commuting time, and all the other 5-20 minute tasks we love to forget we actually have to do throughout the day), you start to realize that, no, it won’t all get done today but at least two or three big things will get done.  When you get real about your time, you begin to use it better (and criticize yourself less about all the things you didn’t have the time to do).
  2. Vulnerability.  I don’t like this word.  It sounds fragile, weak and painfully open but it’s clearly the thing you need when you have to open up your heart and ask people to REALLY help you.  I don’t mean the “let-me-give-you-the-small-tasks-that-you-couldn’t-really-mess-up-if-you-tried” kind of help.  I mean, “Can you watch the kids all day Saturday?” or “Can you cook all the meals this week?” or “Can you stay with the kids while I take a weekend away?” kind of help that requires the vulnerability it takes to say, “As much as I’d like to do this all on my own, I’m not an island.  I’m tired and I need help and your help is absolutely necessary to my success.”  That kind of vulnerability is scary but VERY necessary if you’re going to stay healthy and sane.
  3. Vigilance.  There comes a point where you have to become a master of two words: Yes and No.  Creating and keeping healthy boundaries are critical to keeping your life in harmony.  Forget about having balance.  The problem with balance is that it can never be maintained.  The moment you add one thing to one scale, you throw the other scale out of whack.  What we’re going for is harmony, different things taking a different level of priority at different times but all of it blending together to make beautiful music.  Sometimes, work will take 70% of you and family 30%.  At other times, family will be the 80% and work the 20%.  Be okay with harmony and forget about balance.  The best way to do that comes in being vigilant about creating and keeping your healthy boundaries.

Having all three is a work-in-progress lifetime process.  Don’t worry about getting it perfect.  Just get it going.

Here’s your first step:

Delegate a major responsibility that annoys and frustrates you to someone who you know can and will handle it…

and then don’t micromanage how they handle it…

for the next 14 days.

Yeah… not easy but oh so worth it…

Ever have a moment where you forgot who you ARE? (Read Time: 4 min.)

Kass Pic 1I haven’t posted in the last few weeks.  Every time I looked at my blog editorial calendar, I thought to myself, “I have nothing to say.”  Women breadwinners, female breadwinners, sole breadwinners, women breadwinners and money, love, marriage, kids… so many topics and I had absolutely nothing to say.  Nada… Nothing… Not a thing…

Until today.  I can’t explain what changed or what happened but it took me the last month to return to myself… and I didn’t even realize that I’d been missing.

Ever have a moment where you forgot who you are?

Not your name, date of birth, occupation, or the basic everyday labels of life but the essence of who you are, the spirit that’s within you, the inner fires that still burn bright… Ever forget that they’re there?  I did… and it took me some time to figure out A- what was missing and B- how to return it to its rightful place.

So, here are 5 things I’ve RE-discovered (and I hope it helps you rediscover something in yourself as well):

1) I have an awesome capacity to make s*it happen and happen brilliantly, completely, and with absolute excellence.  Not only had I forgotten that fact about myself but, looking back, I realize that I’ve been dimming the light on that part of my brilliance (in part, to make others feel okay being around me) for a WHILE.   So I’m going to stop that effective IMMEDIATELY.  I’m brilliant and anybody who doesn’t like that fact can take it where? BACK THERE…  #nuffsaid

2) I need more adventure in my life.  Somewhere along the pursuit of stability, predictability, and a sense of security, I forgot that I’m an adventurer at heart.  I like to take risks.  I like to have fun.  I NEED adventure.  Whether that’s going on an actual safari or treating a Target shopping trip like it is one, I need the chase.  So I’m adding more of that to my life.

3) I have no time for people, situations or things that have more interest in whining than growing.  There’s a time to vent and throw pity parties.  I do it.  Everybody does and I am quickly learning to separate those people who share frustration from those who live as victims and, effective immediately, all those who enjoy victimhood will not find time in my inner circle.  Being picky about who you hang out with is critical to success and, somehow, I was getting less picky in the last five years and hadn’t even realized it.  So now I’m doing an inner circle inventory and if a person’s not rowing in the boat with me, if they’re drilling holes as I row the boat, they are getting a one hour notice: bye bye!

4) I can accomplish more faster than I was giving myself credit for.  This is linked to epiphany #1 but it’s different.  I have spent the last five years going through some major ups and downs and, all the while, I spent a lot of the time babying myself, cushioning my back for a fall.  That’s a great skill for a therapist but it’s not a great attribute for a person looking to succeed in a life that will ALWAYS have ups and downs.  I challenged myself this week to do 2.5 hours of exercise a day knowing that I’ve been sedentary for the last three years.  I told myself, “My body can do this.  I’ve done this before.  No easing into it… Just get it done and your body will back you on it.”  And my body has.  For most of this week, I’ve woken up, gotten straight into my gym clothes and worked out for 2.5 hours STRAIGHT.  And I feel amazing!  Oftentimes, we baby ourselves into a state of mediocrity.  And this isn’t about tough love; it’s about living up to your capacity of strength, agility, and performance.  If you’re not doing that, you’re not growing.

5) Smelling good, dressing impeccably, and sporting high heels are critical factors to my self-esteem.  Having spent the past few years in sweats and sneakers, I can tell you that I am ready for an extreme Kassandra makeover.  I forgot what it felt like to strut out daily in 3 inch heels and a sweaterdress smelling like Chanel No. 5 and feeling absolutely impeccable.  I’m working a plan to bring that back so between the gym, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Chanel, Gilt.com, and a really great hairdresser, I’m bringing my sexy back!

These five discoveries were HUGE for me… game changers… and it’s brought back a level of creativity, focus and joy that had been missing for some time.

Is it hard work?  Yes.  Anything worth having is…

Am I in the “arrival stage of it”?  No.  Life is evolution.  I’m never going to “arrive.”  I’m simply choosing to re-introduce me to ME, get back to HER, and enjoy life for what it is… Hope you’re doing the same!

What in your life needs organizing? (Read Time: 2 min.)

woman cleaningEver work on a messy desk?  How does it feel?  Ever climb over exercise equipment to get to a bookshelf or a file cabinet?  How well is that working for you?

Clutter can be a frustrating and disruptive extra guest in your home and life… and it’s one that we spend way too much time ignoring.  So often, women breadwinners come to a place where it feels like there’s never enough time to do EVERYTHING that has to be done in a day…

Would you like to get more time in your day and more energy in your life?  

Here’s the answer: Get more organized.

So… for the next 4-6 weeks, I’m going to devote She Runs the Show to blogging about simple, strategic, super-effective ways to clear clutter, usher in new energy, and get organized… all in less than 20 minutes a day.

I’d love to say that every woman breadwinner has an hour or two a day or an entire weekend to clutter clear and organize but let’s be real: we already have no time and many of us really aren’t that enthused about engaging in a DIY project anyway.

So… in the next post, I’m going to cover The top 10 Things you need From the Dollar Store to Clear Your Bedroom & Free up Space (Yes, the Dollar Store).  Join me later this week…

Baby or Business? (Read Time: 4 min.)

mother 2The more time I spend on this journey to having more children, the clearer it becomes that conceiving a baby and birthing a business have opposing needs.  I know there are women who’ve been where I am, building the business that I’m building, and have gotten pregnant, carried twins, and given birth, all while keeping the company flag waving… but I am having trouble keeping 100% dedication to birthing a business AND a baby.

This post is for all the women breadwinners out there who are considering having a baby (first, last or somewhere in the middle)…

I want to get my body geared up for pregnancy… really I do.  But the idea of 7-9 hours of sleep a night, giving up caffeine, getting plenty of sunlight, rest, reducing stress, cleaning up my eating, and following a regular exercise regime all feel and seem contradictory to what it takes to build a 7 figure business as you have other children, other priorities, and other commitments.  I keep waiting for more time to open up… it doesn’t.  I keep hoping I’ll find that “magic pill” or that “magic book” that will give me the 4 hour workweek I need to get it all done… hasn’t shown up yet.  And the one thing that keeps radiating inside of me is something I’m refusing to listen to:

Something’s gotta give…

Yup, I hate that.  I remember when I wanted to conceive my second son.  I lived that truth.  I wanted a baby so badly that I changed my life, my eating, became a personal trainer, dropped 70 pounds, gave up coffee, and got in the best shape of my life just so I could have a shot at getting pregnant… and I did get pregnant… twice.

But, now, years older and with less biological clock time than I had before and more goals than ever, I find myself at a crossroads about what to do.  I’m constantly running the different scenarios in my mind and asking, “Can I REALLY put A down to make room for B?”  And I’m on the fence about it…

At some point, I’m going to be 80-something years old and I’m going to sit in my rocking chair and look back on my entire life… and what will I see?

Will I care, at 80, about the various blog posts I didn’t put up on the site?

Will I be concerned about all the extra hours I didn’t put into the business?

Or will I look back and regret the fact that I gave up my most fertile, reproductive years in pursuit of a level of professional attainment that I had the rest of my life to attain…

See, that puts EVERYTHING into proper perspective.

So I know what I need to do.  I know WHY I need to do it.  The question is:

Will I listen this time and do it?

The jury’s still out on that one.

#tobecontinued…

Whose baggage are you carrying? (Read time: 6 min.)

School 7I was reading an article about female breadwinners.  It talked about the way in which the husbands of these breadwinners felt emasculated and, as a result, the breadwinning wives carried around with them unspoken guilt about their husband’s loss of identity… and it left me wondering:

Whose baggage are you carrying?

I get the mommy guilt, the woman breadwinner resentment, the wanting Superman and finding bliss with Clark Kent.  What I don’t get is why we continue to have this dialogue about how women breadwinners have tougher marriages, greater divorces, and spend less time mothering their children… all because they make at least 60% of the annual household income.

How do you win in a society that says “Damn you for being successful!” on the one hand and “Damn you for being dependent!” on the other?

How is it that women have come so far and still they carry with them other people’s baggage, other people’s issues, and other people’s guilt?

Is it not enough that we carry and bear children, that we’ve spent thousands of years being dominated, treated like property, and tossed aside like trash?

Isn’t it time we put away the old paradigm of expecting men to be bullet proof and women to be soft as silk?

The answer is yes.  But if women breadwinners continue to carry their spouses’ baggage, their boyfriends’ hangups, and their partners’ insecurities, don’t we keep sending the message that women breadwinning is somehow wrong and that the women who do it are, in many ways, committing a societal sin?

Women are breadwinners because they can be, because they want to be, and, in many instances, because they HAVE to be.

This is a sign of forward movement, not a symptom of societal decay.

It is not a woman breadwinner’s job to “make” her partner feel more like a man nor is it his role to become her maid, her housekeeper, or her babysitter.  We aren’t talking about two people who happen to be roommates.  We’re talking about two people who signed up for the same journey, who agreed to enjoy the ride, and who decided that they were stronger together than they were apart.  That means you love who you’re with.  It means you support their highest potential.  It translates into focusing on what makes the relationship work, not what makes the parntership suffer.

We’ve come so far… and, yet, we haven’t.

I remember in college, as women, we were told, “You can have it all!”

What “they” didn’t say is that “having it all” isn’t always a win.

Sometimes when you win, you lose… and, sometimes, when you lose, you win…

So what do you do when you’re tired of carrying around other people’s shame, guilt, anger, frustration, and resentment?

1) You let other people’s  baggage go.  You do this by not making anyone else’s emotional hang-ups, opinions, or concerns your own.  Be very clear about what you think of your woman breadwinner status.  When someone comes your way with negativity, separate their issues from your beliefs.  Say to yourself, “I’m not taking them or that comment personally” and then move on to something more positive.  Change the topic of conversation.  Focus on your goals.  Ask them to stop the negativity.  Walk away if you have to.  Someone can attempt to hand you their baggage but you get to decide whether or not you accept it.

2) You stop defining your life by your role.  You may fill the role of a woman breadwinner but a woman breadwinner is not who you REALLY are.  People like labels because they like to arrange their worlds in neat, tidy categories.  You don’t have to be one of those compartments.  Nobody is their title.  You can decide here, today, that while you might fulfill the role of a breadwinner, you are so much more than that.  You are not your stuff and you are certainly not your breadwinning title.  Begin to define your life by  WHO you are, not WHAT you do… and the title (woman breadwinner) loses all stigma and all unnecessary pressure.

3) You start enjoying your life AND your role.  Bask in the freedoms you have that your great-grand mothers didn’t.  Enjoy what it means to experience financial and professional freedom.  Give thanks that you’re a woman who lives in an age where your influence, freedom, and power have never been more available to you.  Instead of making this role your job, see it as ONE of your callings. Be present to all the gifts and blessings that come with running your own show.  Forget about the cost.  No matter how you slice it, it’s better on the side of financial, professional and personal freedom.

4) You continue to speak the truth about your experience of the journey.  No more shame, blame, or guilt about days when you don’t love your role.  Some days you won’t.  No more apologizing for being brave, brilliant and daring.  You were born that way.  Why apologize now?  No more acting as if you wish it were the Leave it to Beaver decade.  Talk to your grandmother.  You don’t.  Tell the truth about your experience of this role and don’t shy away from being candid about both the ups and the downs.  Our daughters and granddaughters will either benefit from your wisdom or learn painfully from your silence.  You get to choose…

And, above all, NEVER believe that your power costs anyone else their own.

 It is the most insidious lie society has ever told and they tell it so strongly about women.

Men don’t apologize for being brave.  Why would we ever apologize for being strong?

Run your show, own your value, and speak your truth…

#sherunstheshow

Women Breadwinners & Sex: Is the stay-at-home-husband sexy? (Read Time: 6 min.)

coule 6This is a controversial post (HINT: If you’re wanting a politically correct post that says all the right things and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, this would not be the one- stop reading now).

My husband recently got a new job that pays SIGNIFICANTLY MORE than he was making in his prior position… and I noticed that, as a result, lots of things changed.  My stress level went down, my smile factor went up, and so did my sex drive… and then I watched a show yesterday where a woman breadwinner made the comment: “Stay-at-home dads are SUPER sexy.”  So last night, after watching my latest episode of Cashmere Mafia on Netflix (only 8 episodes but all about women breadwinners… stay tuned on what I’m going to do with that in a few months), I was up pondering:

Is the stay-at-home-husband sexy?

Not just the stay-at-home-dad.  Kids can make staying at home key but there are stay-at-home husbands who have breadwinning wives and no children (unemployed, underemployed, pursuing an art or a dream that has him home alot, etc., etc.)

Is that man just as sexy as the corporate husband who wears a suit, is out the door at 6 am, home at 6 pm from a hard day’s work and is making good money?

Hmm….

Well, let me give you the answers I came up with (3 of them to be exact):

1) It depends

2) Not to me

3) If you like it, I love it

Let me break down each one:

ANSWER 1: It depends.  

I’m really tired of people talking about women breadwinners and the men they marry in politically correct terms, focusing only on the good and how wonderful things CAN be.  CAN is a word based on potential, not necessarily actual and here’s the truth:

A stay-at-home-husband will be sexy to the wife who’s agreed to that relationship contract.  

In other words, if a woman breadwinner marries a man assuming he’ll work or expecting that he’ll contribute financially and he ends up not doing that, sexiness goes out the window (regardless of how many great meals he cooks or diapers he changes or household projects he does).  It’s all about the UNSPOKEN relationship agreement both people assumed they were signing up for.  When a woman breadwinner marries a man, she has certain expectations (as does he) and if those expectations drastically shift over time and nobody ever talks about it, openly changes the rules, and clearly accepts the “new normal”, there are going to be problems.  Why?  Because if your idea of a partner isn’t one who stays at home, makes gourmet meals, and brings in no actual cash, you’re going to stop feeling the magic.  Is it fair?  Life’s not fair.  Is it right? All depends on who you’re asking.  But if we continue to ignore the fact that a lot of women marry men EXPECTING them to be financial providers, wind up with something different, start resenting it, and NEVER talk about the change or openly accept the change, we’re missing out on a key opportunity TO CHANGE the relationship dynamic.

ANSWER 2:  Not to me.  

On a personal note, I am completely uninterested in being with a man who doesn’t have a career of some sort and doesn’t bring in any income and I make no apologies for making it known.

Why is it that men can have lists of criteria they have for women they’d even CONSIDER marrying and we call it “standards”

and women have a similar list and society calls it being “picky”?

I don’t think so.  When I have my next baby, I’m going to be at home for a while.  My choice.  Do I want my husband staying at home with our new baby? I don’t think so.  The relationship contract I signed up for does not include a stay-at-home-husband and it seems that we’re living in a society where women breadwinners are made to feel like gold digging, stuck up princesses if they openly say, “I have to have a man who works.”  In Liza Mundy’s book “The Richer Sex”, she asks the question, “How can a man be sexy when he’s in an inferior position?” and then she goes on to ask “Marry up? Marry down? Don’t marry?”  Liza goes on to say that women breadwinners have two options: Marry down or don’t marry.  What? REALLY??????? Would we give those same options to men?  Exactly!

I don’t agree with those options but here’s what I am saying about my personal preference: I chose a man who gets me, is on my level, and compliments me (i.e. brings strengths to the table that I don’t possess).  Part of that agreement also means that he has his own career, his own professional aspirations and he earns money.  Does he have to make more than me at some point? No.  I love being a woman breadwinner.  I don’t need a man who brings in six or seven figures and is always on the road or in surgery or doing a business deal.  That was a conscious choice I made to NOT have that.  But do I want a man who sits at home all day and watches the kids or plays video games or is a gourmet chef and has all of my meals prepared for me as I walk in the door? No way.  While that may have its perks, in the bedroom, for me, that’s  a TOTAL turnoff.  And having worked with enough women breadwinners, I can tell you that I’m not the only one.

ANSWER 3: If you like it, I love it.

The bottom line of this post is to get to a place where we can accept that women breadwinners will differ about what they seek and what they will accept in a mate.  Some love having a stay-at-home-dad for their kids and they see his job as being the hardest job in the world and the sex is hot and heavy because of the gratitude and respect they feel for him making that decision.  Wonderful!  Some women breadwinners want a man who has ambition, drive, and focus in areas OUTSIDE of household and family management and they love a husband who has a professional calling, follows it and brings home money because of it (whether the money is a lot or a little) and that’s awesome.  But to condemn one choice over the other or to say that we all have to love having husbands who are at home or husbands who work is a cookie cutter approach that doesn’t jive in real life.  Not only that but it invalidates the feeling of women breadwinners who may find themselves in marriages where their spouses are at home (and they didn’t co-sign on it) or their husbands are working (and that wasn’t the terms they agreed to when they had 5 children) and they feel angry, resentful, and frustrated.  We cannot deny the feelings of these women breadwinners who may be looking at their lives saying “This is not what I signed up for!”

We need to acknowledge that one of the struggles in being a woman breadwinner is that the gender roles are new,

they’re being recreated as we speak, and they don’t always feel comfortable (for the men or the women).

 We need to accept that not all women breadwinners are going to want stay-at-home husbands and not all stay-at-home-husbands are going to feel like men by taking on those roles.  It is not our job to make these individuals feel comfortable in a relationship dynamic that they don’t want.  It’s our job, as a society, to validate their feelings, listen to their concerns, and help them communicate and move towards creating a relationship dynamic that aligns with BOTH of their values.

But, if we never talk about the dissatisfaction some women breadwinners feel, the unhappiness some stay-at-home-husbands feel, and the impact these uncertainties and unspoken issues are having on the marriage, we’ll continue to speak favorably of women breadwinner marriages and we’ll continue to cheer on women in the workplace and we’ll continue to see increasing divorce rates among these types of marriages.

Let’s keep it real.

Is the stay-at-home-husband sexy?

Woman breadwinner, you get to decide but don’t co-sign on an option you secretly feel isn’t it. 

Say what you mean, mean what you say, and work out whatever is bugging you.

There’s nothing worse than pretending to be in love with life when you aren’t.

#keepitreal

It wasn’t better “back there” (Read Time: 4 min.)

woman 25I was going to write a different post this morning.  I was going to talk about how to not be distracted in life, how to stay the course and stay on purpose.  But it’s hard to do that when you’re present life is becoming increasingly drama-filled or anxiety ridden.  There’s been all of this talk about the Pew Report and women breadwinners, about single mothers who make no money versus married women breadwinners who bring home the bacon.  All of the media headlines and the debates and the discussions… and, yet, nobody’s really tackling the issue.

So I’m going to tackle a woman breadwinner issue this morning:

Wishing for a better past

Human nature is a funny thing.  The grass always looks greener on the other side, doesn’t it?  When you’re single, you wish you had someone.  When you’re married, you long for those single days.  When you have babies, you just want some sleep. When you have elementary school kids, you miss having babies to cuddle.  It seems as if we’re always living in the shadow of a past we think was better than it actually was or in serious anticipation of a future we expect to be 100 times better than  what the present currently is.

And it’s all a lie.  Every bit of it.

This kind of “wishing” for something different gets even worse when you’re going through a trial or life difficulty.  For women breadwinners, it could be a stressful work situation or recalling a time when you weren’t the breadwinner (and loved it) or even looking at how your friends live their lives (i.e. not being the breadwinner, not having the stress, not having to fill so many roles) and you start to believe (falsely) that it was so much better “back there.”

Let me help you out with this:

It wasn’t.

It wasn’t better “back there.”  If it had been, you’d still be “back there.”

Your mind forgets a lot of past details.  We propagate the human race based on this kind of amnesia.  If you remembered every detail of pregnancy, labor and delivery, would you really have done it five or six times?  I think not…

You might think you want to be as naive and ignorant as you once were so you wouldn’t be facing what you’re facing right now but guess what?  Ignorance is not bliss and naivete comes with a steep price.

Nothing about “back there” was a fairy tale story… even if you have yourself believing that it was.

Was it different than today? Yes.

Was it better than today? No.

Every step you took, every mistake you made, every experience you had, all of it brought you here and even if here is sheer and utter hell, you were brought to it so you could move through it.

Do not dull the importance of today’s journey because you wish that yesterday hadn’t gone so fast.  It did.  Today will.  Tomorrow might.

There may have been a time, prior to now, when you felt more in control, more at ease, and maybe even more at peace but the lesson of that isn’t that the past was so much better than the present but that, in every moment, then and now, you get to decide exactly how you feel.

You’ve been in a spiritual classroom all this time.  In your most difficult moments, recognize that the classroom didn’t change.  The subject matter, the difficulty level, and the final exam did.

Don’t wish that you were still living in a past that feels better today than it did back then.  When you were in it, you didn’t think so.  Now that you’re out of it, you’re looking for a reason to go back there.

Remember something really important:

“Today is the future I created yesterday.”

– Louise L. Hay

And if you’re still living “back there”, you aren’t creating over here.  You’re rehashing, reliving, and resenting… and you will create MORE of that in your future.

Is that what you really want?

Okay then… take that “wishing for a better past” where? BACK THERE…

#keepitmovin