Women. I know them. I am one. You would think that being a female would give me some insight into why we do the things we do and what motivates us. Wrong. Over the years, I have come to understand that we are really good at multitasking families and careers, maintaining the house and children, endlessly striving for impossible goals, and sadly, undermining each other.
I saw a lot of this first hand through church. It was pounded over and over into my head and heart that if I did not exemplify the Proverbs 31 woman, I was failure at being a wife, mother, entrepreneur, Christian and general human being. I remember that we were in a Bible study studying the Proverbs 31 woman for the thousandth time. I must have had some kind of look on my face because the teacher asked me, “CJ, what do you think about this?”. I remember replying, “Well, what I think is that Vince is probably regretting that he didn’t hold out for this woman instead of marrying me.”
Over the years, I would hear women– Christian and not–competing over who has the most chauffeuring to do, cleaning to be done, frozen meals pre-made, who-does-more-on-less-sleep…and I’m just disgusted by it.
The pressure to look young and not age is not put on us by men. The pressure to look like you’ve never had a child even if you’ve carried multiple births to term is not put on us by men. The pressure to keep everything together at all times regardless of circumstance and health is not put on us by men. These are things that WOMEN pressure each other with. Don’t believe me? Check the names of the articles written to you women about how to be sexier, more productive, more attractive…are men writing these? Heck no! Because we would suffocate them in their sleep if they did. But for some reason, we allow woman-shaming by other women. This is is not okay.
I’d like to share some quotes and articles by women, for women.
Cameron Diaz is a beautiful actress who is pushing us women to embrace aging as a natural part of life and that we should absolutely not fear it. I love her for that.
Although I can’t find the quote directly, I remember reading that the the singer Pink doesn’t fall for the “How Skinny Can I Get” trap. She basically said that to her, it was more important to be STRONG. She focused on how much higher she could jump or how much faster she could run. That changed my mindset several years ago when I was valiantly trying to lose all the baby weight I ever gained over the course of having four kids.
Alissa Milano is an advocate for breastfeeding baby any time, anywhere. We need to stop shaming breast-feeding mothers and making them feel like they need to hide in a bathroom stall when their child needs to be fed.
Look, there is so much pressure just to be alive now. I totally get it. There is an endless To Do list that never seems to get accomplished and we try to be better people to get it all done. Maybe in the effort to get it all right on our own, we got it all wrong by comparing ourselves to other women. We turned our sisterhood of support into a lifelong competition of who can do it all, while always looking 20 years told even after having 10 babies. Please, let’s just stop this.
I want you to know women, that I don’t look at you and think about how messy your home and life are. I’m not looking at your kids and thinking you should be doing a better job raising them. I’m not looking at your body and thinking you need to stop eating. I’m looking at you and thinking about how beautiful and hard-working you are. I see that despite being sick, you’re still holding your family together. I see that you’re sleep-deprived, which shows on your face and body, because you’re caring for loved ones, while sometimes neglecting yourself. I see that you’re doing your best to raise your kids. I see that you are talented and have enviable skill sets that contribute to our community as a whole. I see you, just as you are right now. Maybe in 10 years, you’ll be someone different, and I’ll appreciate you for who you are then. Just do YOU, because we only have one of you. Much love and peace to you, Woman. XOXO <3
CJ Heath is a woman who sometimes struggles to be more womanly, whatever that means. She doesn’t always relish doing laundry, having her period or putting out 100 fires every day. She does enjoy sometimes being lazy, eating sweets, drinking wine, and skipping workouts. If you’re her friend, hopefully she is letting you know just how much she loves you for who you are and what you do. Love and Peace!