One of the deepest woundings a woman can experience as a mother, from her partner/ husband/… the father of her children or the father of his children whom she has raised as her own, is when the child turns a certain age, be it 3 or 4 or school age and there are more hours in the day to do ‘other things’ and the conversation turns to this.
“When are you going to go back to work and contribute to the household.” I can feel the stabbing of the heart with these words as they pierce each layer on the way in, like the past years have not counted for much because they have been unpaid years of work and will continue to be unpaid years of work even when she goes out to do work that ‘contributes’.
This is an essential wounding of value, worth, validation and acknowledgement of a womens intrinsic value in the world as a womb-an and for the immense undertaking to give up on a university degree or career advancement and on so many many things for the benefit of the choice to raise a family.
Women then go out into the world some 5-10 years behind in the market place to where their peers are on the ‘success ladder’ with its promotions, perks and pay rises. It is possible to not be ‘contributing’ as much in dollars and cents as their partner towards the household finances. This discrepancy in the unspoken rules about equality and fairness can extend to the exact dollar amount which touches on frustration, guilt and anger for women as life is not fair and attempting to prove that it is creates terrible stress, disharmony and shame.
Logistically not much changes on the home front with regards to the primary carer job description; this job seems to stay somewhat intact as being the mothers role, now as well as working outside the home. It is painful to a mother to not be acknowledged for her role as housemaid, cook, laundry lady, taxi mum, personal household admin, social co-odrinator not the mention the stamina fuelled, skill set of mothering and the enormous contribution to the evolution and functioning of the family the partners have created together. One gift that goes unnoticed and unmentioned, as if it does not really exist, is the opportunity for the husband/ partner/father to take mental white space to create work or build a business or career with the deep trust and knowing that their children are being nurtured and kept well in the breast of their mother.
There is a terrible wounding that takes place when this unpaid work is not given the deep reverence that it deserves and instead is pushed aside for apparently more ‘ profitable contributions.‘
This is a time of transition that needs listening, understanding and to be honoured with far more reverence than it is afforded. Womb-an’s biology is wired up, that to leave the children and go off to work can cause psychological stress and trauma to the mother if their children are not well attended too in the care of the partner/father so she too can be gifted the white space to create magic in the world and good money at a worthwhile exchange. It is hard to think when the mothers vigilance centre is up out of concern for her children that are away from her. There is neuro-science around this phenomena to support that it is a physiologically reality for many women and not a made up excuse.
Moving out from the home into the market place is an incredible time of change for a woman as she shifts her identity, her role, her relevance and her centre of attention. It is not as easy as huffington posts and mother and child magazines make it out to be. It is fucking hard.
A true contribution would be to raise the role of mother up to the position that it deserves, if not financially reflected in cash at the end of the week then by being deeply honoured for all the myriad of ways that the role of a stay at home mum contributes and is a financially efficient, viable and a valid enough contribution.
Please fathers, partners, husbands, do not undervalue your woman, no matter how tough the household finances currently are. Do not set up a wounding that depreciates her self confidence and undermines her innate value. As a partner/husband/father you have great power to contribute to her wellbeing and can play a crucial role in how she sees herself in the world and how she moves out to meet it and to name her price.
This wounding or uplifting can be the beginning of the end of a marriage or the beginning of a new level of partnership based on mutual respect and acknowledgment for the contributions you both make to the raising of your family. A shut down woman, a disregarded and undervalued women will struggle to ask for and receive her true price in the market place and this is an economic disaster for the country as well as the family if this is let to continue to happen. For a women to truly flourish into her full potential as a financial contributor in the family, she desires and needs the acknowledgement and support of her partner and there needs to be a shift in the underlying structure of how the family runs to make space for her to thrive in and out of the home.
~ Lotus Indigo Shakti Kruse
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