International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I found this out from a friend of mine who is Russian (so, international), but also a guy (so, enlightened I guess).

Actually, today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which makes me feel a little lame for not knowing of its existence in the first place. In fact, I’ll admit that I was even laughing a little bit to myself about the entire concept. Like, really? This is a “day”? But then I got an email with a link to this story about a woman taking photographs of daily life in Afghanistan.

I stopped making smart remarks in my head and started thinking about the things I take for granted as a woman and, particularly, as an American woman. Going to the grocery store. At night. Working full-time. Traveling for work. Having a voice in my community and my own household. Wearing whatever I want, whenever I want. Getting my kids to school safely each day. Being educated. And then I thought who doesn’t take these things for granted?

It’s pretty hard to live in a state of constant awareness of gratitude without being a smarmy toad. But it’s not a bad idea to keep some things filed in the back of your brain, even if you only go look at them on your worst day, when the only thing that can cheer you up is to think well, at least I get to wear what I want to work.

If I had some international women to share today’s celebration with I’d do it. But I don’t, so instead I’ll just say thanks to some of the women who have paved the way for me to be who I am and do what I do.

To my Grandma who became a single mother of three, started her own daycare, got a graduate degree from Notre Dame and was a teacher until well into her 70s…

To my other Grandma who grew up on a farm, became a nurse, delivered babies at home during WWII because there was only one doctor left in the county and he was too far away, who also became a single mother of five, and who walks the walk of love and tolerance…

To my mom who raised three kids to be independent, and not to wait around for your husband to get home to move furniture, hang pictures or install baby gates…

To all of my aunts who are working mothers and step-mothers, and never even blinked at the idea that I would of course go back to work after the baby was born…

To the managing editor at the magazine where I did my internship, who was tough, smart, creative and had a life…

To my boss at the summer job who let me design the displays and order inventory, but did not let me read People magazine while sitting in the store…

To my boss at my first real job who let me change jobs and no longer report to her because I was supposed to be a writer, not an account executive…

To my mother-in-law who has given countless hours to me and my children so that I can do what I do…

To the women I think my daughters will grow up to be – smart, strong, funny, resilient, confident and capable…

To my friends who make me laugh and always make me feel like, somehow, we’re all in this together…

Thanks.

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About workingmomslunch

I'm a full-time working mom of three girls. For reasons unknown to me some people think I make this all look easy. In reality, I have no idea what I'm doing. Every day I'm trying to figure out how to get everyone where they need to go on time, what to wear to work that doesn't require ironing, when I'm going to get the dust bunnies out from under the hall table, what we're going to have for dinner and what I might do if I actually had 20 minutes all to myself. Follow along with me as I navigate the oft-charted, but never mastered, waters of working motherhood.
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