As I write this, I am bracing myself to go for an operation. Miscarriage gone bad. Not that any miscarriages go well but some need to be aided along with a skilled professional. My husband and I have both been adversely affected but not on an equal level. His psychology experienced it. Not his body. But even as I talk of psychology, it just wasn’t the same for him. He hadn’t achieved the same level of connection with our (potential?) child as I had.
Right now, he is at work, carrying on with his meetings, responding to emails, networking et al. I also have a job. I actually run a company. But I am not there. I am missing out on potential new business leads I might have had today. I am missing out on potential networking opportunities that I might have had this week. I am missing out on urgent emails that only I could have handled the way I handle. Because right now I am dealing with the after effects of a miscarriage. And there is nothing I could have done to prevent or change the situation. I will be out of it for a while and feel bad that I lost the baby; I feel bad that it’s messed up all my plans; I feel bad that it’s messed up my days. Having said that, I am glad I have a husband who works hard and earns enough money to afford me with the kind of health care that I am have received thus far.
When I was younger, much younger, I always wondered why very few women made it as far as men in the work force. Now I get it.
But even before this miscarriage, I got it. We have one other child who when I was pregnant with, also affected my potential for career advancement. And here, you can harp on about equal parenting all you want but the fact is, even in that we are never really equal from start to finish. The days off when I had all day morning sickness were taken by me- not my husband; the fatigue at work was experienced by me- not my husband; the 9 month hiatus taken from going out and ‘having fun’ was taken by me- not my husband; the 3 month maternity leave was taken by me- not my husband, the subsequent role I took on as a mother could only have been played by me- not my husband. All the while, for my husband and many other men out there who had pregnant wives, it was business as usual. They were advancing in their careers (I hope). Make no mistake, I love being a woman, I love and treasure motherhood but…with all this to deal with, is it any wonder that very few of us break the glass ceiling? I am not resentful of this fact; I just mean to use it as one of the myriads of examples that illustrate this fact: Men and women are not equal. Never have been, never will be. Anyone who deems us so is very naïve.
The idea of competing with each other is so ridiculous. But the sad fact is, today, husbands and wives are locked in battles about who does more on the home front, who spends more time with the kids, who brings in the most cash… Tell, me, when we have to deal with issues such as the one I have outlined above, does anyone stand a chance?
I will leave you with this one truth, you already know it but it cannot be emphasized enough: Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings who will necessarily experience or even achieve the same things. Men and women are equal, yes but men and women are different. Each of us has been blessed with unique qualities that we bring to the table and our role is to support and complement each other in our shared struggles as we journey through life. In this, we are equal.