Personal stories showing how intuition, signs, awareness and divination are used to give direction and aid survival in daily life, relationships and crises.

October 29, 2014

The superwoman myth

Marilyn is a single mom of 25 who recently moved from a reasonably paid part-time job to a high income full-time job in accordance with a plan she had worked out when her son was born.  She knew intuitively that she’d have plenty of time to set the world on fire when her son was older, and whenever she felt dragged down by her circumstances in part-time work, she always remembered the superwoman myth.

"Full-time, high income work involves responsibility, stress, deadlines and time constraints," says Marilyn, "and now that my son is 5 and settled into school I feel ready to give more to my job."

"When my son was very young," says Marilyn, "there was no way I could survive as a single mother and a top salary earner at the same time. Even if I had a personal fortune to employ an army of servants I would have still found it trying."

"Single moms who fall for the Superwoman myth risk not only their mental and physical health but that of their children, too," says Marilyn. "It isn’t worth it."

"Lack of money is a constant problem for some single moms," says Marilyn, "but I was lucky in working for a great employer who offered something a lot more important than money - such as the opportunity to work part-time, work flexible hours and a child-minding facility for emergencies."

"These are the things that new single moms should be concentrating on -- not money," says Marilyn, "and a part-time job is the very best way a working mother can earn a living and raise a family at the same time."

With part-time work, flexible working hours and child-minding facilities Marilyn was able to raise her son from birth without the stress of a high powered job.

"I certainly wasn't rich," laughs Marilyn, "but with tax benefits and child allowances I was definitely earning, hour for hour, a much higher salary in a part-time job than most working women."

"I'm now earning a lot more money doing full-time work," says Marilyn, "and frankly after five years of living quite well on a part-time salary I don't need all I get - so I'm saving heaps."

"Money," says Marilyn, "is by no means the source of all happiness in life, and when the job market narrows it is the people who are amenable to work for low salaries that are advantaged."

"Women who have always worked for financial consideration and nothing else really need to re-think their priorities," says Marilyn, "because they could find themselves out of a job."

"Of course," says Marilyn, "if a woman can achieve flexible working hours and child-minding facilities as well as a six-figure salary then all power to her!"

"For most of us, though," says Marilyn, "the Superwoman stereotype is a myth. One thing is usually gained at the expense of another and six-figure salaries often lead to health problems, family and relationship problems and spiritual death. This was not the world view I wanted to give to my son during his formative years and I feel sorry for children who miss out not only on having a father but also a mother there for them. As a part-time worker, I was able to be almost a full-time mother."

She appreciates that a lot of single mothers may be working like Trojans in order to set up their children for life, but she feels that if these mothers asked their kids "do you want mommy to be the highest paid working woman on the block, able to afford to buy you everything you want, or do you want more time with me?" the kids would want more time with mom.

"Ask any little kid," says Marilyn, "and they’d all want their moms to be home more for them, and most would be willing to give up whatever expensive toy mom just bought them in order to gain just an hour of her undivided attention."

Marilyn opted for part-time work rather than trying to be Superwoman, but she appreciates that a lot of other young moms choose to become financially dependent upon a man or welfare.

"It's not easy bringing up a child alone," says Marilyn, "and I applaud any young mom for whatever decision she makes but for those of us who opt to go it alone it is vitally important to have a good employer because otherwise you could get exploited and end up in poverty."

"Poverty is nasty but honestly," says Marilyn, "I would have preferred poverty to the stresses of being a superwoman. Being able to buy luxuries is no substitute for a mother who is there for her children during their formative years."

"I really enjoyed doing part-time work," says Marilyn, "because it gave me plenty of time with my baby as well as allowing me to maintain my financial independence and keep abreast of current trends at work."

It also kept her sane!

"Single moms need time off from their kids," says Marilyn, "and kids benefit from being with others, too. Even little babies."

Marilyn believes that all single working mothers should think very carefully before placing too much emphasis on money.

"Quitting a good job that does not pay as much as you would like to earn is not always a smart thing to do." says Marilyn. "There are some things that money cannot buy, and a good job that is amenable to your responsibilities as a single working mother is one of them, and another one is having the luxury of time to be there for your children."

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