Thought For the Day:

Girls compete with each other.  Women empower one another.

Question For the Day:

“Do you support other women?

I’m exhausted tonight.  I’m sure I’m no different than a lot of women with a lot on their plate. Sometimes, I feel like I’m the only person in the world who understands exactly how hectic the life of a working mother can be.  Yet realistically, I know that women have been bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and all that business since forever, so I get that I’m not special.

However, when I feel like I’m feeling tonight, I could really use the support and encouragement of another woman who understands.   I appreciate the organic sisterly bond that drives female connections.  I love men but let’s face it, there are limits to what men can understand about women. I think all women need a woman they can trust to talk to when life overwhelms.  Yet lately, I’ve noticed more and more tears in the fabric of womanhood.  We’ve become so skeptical of each other that we can hardly humble ourselves enough to speak honestly about anything.  Perhaps its all these reality shows that constantly portray us as bitter, hair-pulling foes who plot on each other’s men.  Maybe it’s the impersonal friendships we’ve become accustomed to on Facebook and Instagram, or possibly it’s this incessantly publicized “man shortage” that has us so territorial.  What she lookin’ at?  She think she cute. She’s hatin’ on me, etc.  The competition can get downright ugly and it does nothing for uplifting our families and community. Guess Who’s Coming to The Bachelor Though I’m not positive about what’s at the core of the issue, we as women need to figure it out and fix it.

For me, it’s been harder to make new friends as a married woman.  Many of my single friends don’t talk to me as much anymore. Now granted, once you get married and have kids, life gets busier and more structured.  There is less time for talking on the phone and going out, but my need for friendship remains.  I sometimes envy the bond that usually exists between single or divorced women.  There appears to be a higher level of authenticity and unconditional support in those relationships as opposed to the superficial friendships between married women.

The disconnect between married women could stem from our need to put our husbands first.  If there was no spouse in need of “quality time,” surely I could kick it with my girls more often.  Yet, when you’re married, you’re supposed to consult with your husband first and seek his support above your girlfriends.  Though this is great for a marriage, it may not bode well for your single friends who might feel slighted.  Now, if you’re married and lucky enough to befriend another married couple, you’ve hit the jackpot.  This is a wonderful scenario until one of the couple’s relationship struggles.  The camaraderie you once shared with a newly divorced friend might become tense if you’re still plugging away in your marriage while your friend has moved on to heralding the joys of their newfound freedom.

Personally, I’ve never been one to think that I had one up on anyone because I’m married.  In fact, any woman who’s been married for any length of time knows that marriage ain’t no joke. Yes, you may have a husband but you still need your girlfriends to help you process things that only another woman who has loved a man would understand.    I remember being single and longing for a husband.  When I was younger, the challenges of singledom seemed unbearable at times.  I was sure that getting married would relieve all of my burdens, but now I know that was a complete fallacy.  I do enjoy being married, but I’ve since realized that I had it pretty good as a single woman too.  One status isn’t better than the other.  Both have their unique benefits and challenges.  Being single and being marriage are as good as you make them and your gratitude for whatever your marital status will determine what blessings flow from it.

Problems are introduced when we start choosing sides and thinking we have to play on one team or the other.  Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you should only rock with single people.  Some married woman could use the spontaneity and objectivity you bring to a friendship.  Sometimes married women need someone who’s not attached to help them see issues in their marriage for what they are instead of what what we’ve imagined them to be.  Conversely, married women shouldn’t assume every single woman wants their husband and subsequently erase all unmarried women from their contact list.  I don’t know if the man shortage is real or not, but trust me, everybody doesn’t want your man.

And single women, don’t hate on the married sisters either.  Believe it or not, they are likely struggling to navigate a very complicated institution and are only putting on an “it’s all good” front because they don’t think you will understand.  Married women need your friendship, they just don’t want to be judged for their marital problems and advised to give it up just because that’s what you might have chosen to do.  Also, married friends can be a tremendous asset to single women as they prepare themselves for marriage.  Teaming up with a married woman is a great way to learn first hand from someone else’s trial and error.  And married women, I’m sure your single girlfriends could help keep you up on what’s hot and give you tips on how to spice things up in your marriage.  Keeping it one hundred, many of us are prone to frumpiness the longer we’re married.  Okay, maybe that’s just me, but still, your single girlfriends will likely be the ones to pull your coattail and let you know when it’s time for a make-over.  It could truly be a win-win situation if we put the petty beef aside.

The bottom line is, single and married women need each other.  Too often, single women assume married women are too busy being in love to care about what’s going on in their world, and married women assume single women are too busy having fun to understand the challenges of marriage.  Let’s stop teaming up on opposite sides of the fence and come together in support of the empowerment we all need as women.  Let’s not waste anymore energy sizing each other up based on what’s occupying our ring fingers.  Simply put, let’s cut it out ladies and leave that drama to the television housewives.  Those of us in the real world need to call a truce and get on with the business of womanhood.

“When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”

Proverbs 31:26

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