The other day I went to a networking lunch that was a little bit older demographic than what I’m looking for for MomCom. However, it proved to be useful because, let’s face it, moms are everywhere and even though it wasn’t a group with young kids, many of the women there were either hip grandmas or were sending their kids off to college soon. They had a lot to offer on mama-hood.
One of the women I spoke with had grown children and after learning about what I was doing with MomCom she told me her story. She was a retired consultant. She was a tech geek before tech geeks were hip. She “translated” for engineers to their companies’ marketing departments. If you don’t know what that means, believe me, it’s a highly valuable skill to know “engineer speak” AND translate it into regular person speak. I was one of these brave souls in a former life. I loved it. I got to be a geek and a cheerleader at the same time.
We talked for a while and she told me the consulting job was fantastic. She could set her own work hours, she could decide what projects to take on and she could be there for her kids on her own terms. Wonderful! So I told her that this is what MomCom is all about, about moms making decisions on how they want to raise their children and having the ability to do it on their own terms, not according to how “things are supposed to be done.”
Now here’s the part that started me thinking. She said, “Well, of course I was lucky. I never would have been able to do that if it wasn’t for my husband having a stable nine to five job.” It’s because of him that I could raise my kids that way.” Of course I’m paraphrasing here, but that’s the gist of it.
Although I understand what she was saying, I don’t agree that we should think along these lines entirely. Here’s why. My husband is fantastic. He makes decent money. He has a firefighter’s schedule, which means there are days that he can take my daughter all day. He was able to take off a lot of time when my daughter was first born. He totally supports what I am doing with this conference. He has supported me through the days when I was making more than him and then again when I left my job to focus on my daughter and gave up 60% of my income to do so. He has done all of it without complaining. And yes, he has picked up the slack financially.
However, by saying that it’s because of him that I’m doing what I’m doing isn’t accurate. He’s definitely a strong force behind what I am doing but he’s not the reason I’m making it happen. I chose him. Whether or not I knew it at the time, I chose the type of man who could handle what I’m doing, support who I am and how I want to raise my child and live my life. He knew well before we got married and had a child that I wasn’t a nine to fiver. He knew that I loved to travel. He knew that my brain went all over the place. He knew I always had crazy ideas. Basically, he knew what he was getting into. Maybe not exactly what he was getting into, but he had an inkling.
So, yes, those husbands, spouses, partners, that are with you while you are riding your wild ride and trying to navigate through the ups and downs of living your genuine life, they are amazing, they are supportive, they are fantastic. But they don’t get the credit. Because it’s you who chose them to be a part of your life and most likely they knew what they were getting into. Ultimately, it’s you who is making it happen and it’s you who will will succeed, fail or coast along.