Sheryl Brady has written a piece at Fox News that is ostensibly about putting kids first no matter what one’s dreams or aspirations are. It would seem a reasonable angle from which to come at this issue of having it all, now that Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, was published and has started follow up dialog across the modes of media. Since Sheryl is a wife, mother of three, grandmother of five, and campus pastor for the Dallas-based mega church, The Potter’s House I didn’t know what to expect really. Here she is having ample progeny of her own and a demanding job to boot; she should speak wisdom from experience. Instead, she tows the main stream party line with some cautions thrown in to make her look reasonable. You cannot escape the heralding tone she takes as she mentions the pregnant Yahoo CEO and mentions her own CV.
There is much irony buried in statements like the following:
While debating whether or not women can “have it all,” there’s one thing we should remember: regardless of a woman’s work or home situation, her children must come first.
and her quoting Fredrick Douglass
Fredrick Douglass once said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” I couldn’t agree more.
when the largest and fastest growing source of social pathology in children and adults is being the child of divorce and/or growing up having no father in the home. I wonder how The Potter’s House does on divorce in the church. My guess would be they have a Personal Jesus (TM) stand in the lobby, offer strong empowered women like Sheryl as examples of great Christian women,after all, she is the author of the forthcoming book, “You Have It In You!: Empowered to do the Impossible” and is scheduled to speak at the Woman, Thou Art Loosed! conference to women in October. (Oy, loosing women after that conference may draw an inordinate number of PUA’s to the Dallas area in October. Dalrock please send a man on the street for interviews.)
She goes on to state a whole litany of things that are risk free and obvious, like be careful, make priorities, know your purpose, and by the way having it all means different things to different people. Is it just me or is this kind of thing not indicative the the increasing infantile nature of our country? Life coaches are telling people how to live, PSA’s are warning us to stay in the shade and drink water on hot days, and topically we see articles like this essentially wasting time and cyber space finding not so new ways to state the obvious.
She tries to break it down into bite sized pieces. Prioritizing somes natural to women, she implies.
Prioritizing is a woman’s best friend. It allows us to sort out the critical from the noncritical, and what can be done from what cannot be done. By clearing the mind and mentally organizing the tasks at hand, one can fully focus and concentrate on each task, whether personal or professional.
Really? Prioritizing, in my experience, is an area that women struggle mightily with as days of partially completed tasks prove. It is cliche but true that the average man operates the household far more efficiently than the average woman, when he must. I’ve seen it play out countless times. She contradicts herself a little bit by saying that they have this awesome awesomeness that drives them to achieve
What I have found to be especially challenging is fighting our female tendencies to over-commit. As women, we are born achievers, nurturing and resourceful. When we engage with something, we do so with our whole heart, and that project or person receives all of us. We are always striving to do a good job, to do the best we can for a child, a spouse or a client. We are fully committed to our families and if we are working, fully committed to the passion of our jobs.
And yet they prioritize. How does that work?
Well, no matter how you feel about women trying to have it all, you cannot have an article about that without playing a special version of the victim card. This version of the victim card allows the woman to be both victim, and admirable for the trait that creates her victimhood. In her case she tells us women are just too generous and too long on achieving.
What I have found to be especially challenging is fighting our female tendencies to over-commit. As women, we are born achievers, nurturing and resourceful. When we engage with something, we do so with our whole heart, and that project or person receives all of us. We are always striving to do a good job, to do the best we can for a child, a spouse or a client. We are fully committed to our families and if we are working, fully committed to the passion of our jobs. This is often where the dichotomy between job and family occurs—we want to do the best at both jobs.
The poor dears. They cannot help but, well, help…and they are so incredibly driven to excellence that giving anything less than 110% is anathema. That fact is evident in the rate at which they bail out of marriages for frivolous reasons. I know that sounds ass backwards, but believe me somewhere there is an article where a woman will explain that this tendency to divorce is a sign or her excellence and bent towards achieving….how she wants to give her all to those things that matter. See, there are more important things than that marriage, so she sacrifices, and gives of herself elsewhere. Victim, and empowered achiever…ain’t it great?
What advice does she end with? ME TIME! That’s right ladies, make sure to get that precious ME TIME, because if you don’t take care of you first you are useless to everyone who needs you.
Finally, take the time to restore yourself. While you are tempted to feel otherwise, it is a very unselfish act to allow yourself time to replenish
I am happy to deem things like this “making work out of work”. None of this should be complicated. What is complicated are the emotions driving all of this, which is why the Bible tells us to not follow feelings and to take thoughts captive. We all must find an objective truth from which our purpose is derived. With that, the choices fall out and are obvious.
Watching society go to hell in a hand basket as the family crumbles and standing amidst the rubble telling people that it will all be OK is par for the evangelical feminist course.