Knowing Your Value

A couple of years ago, I read a book called “Knowing Your Value” by Mika IMG_2626Brzezinski.  Mika, I can call her that because I feel like we’re friends, writes about her personal experience of negotiating her worth in the world of journalism on the popular morning political roundtable “Morning Joe.”  She not only talks about the roadblocks that women still face in the workplace but also of how women get in their own way.  She interviews some amazing women about how they have succeeded and failed in promoting themselves in the workplace and, knowing their value.  As I write my personal statement for law school, I find that I need to read this book again.  The tone in which I write is one of justifying the choices I have made and not tooting my own horn.  Deep down, I know my value, but in many ways, we, as women, are conditioned to downplay our accomplishments and blindly subscribe to certain gender roles.

When Ryan (my husband) read my personal statement he said: “I feel like you’re apologizing for the path you have taken, like you’re trying to justify being a stay-at-home-mom.  Honey, you’re a badass and the admissions committee needs to see that you’re a badass!”

Isn’t he the best?

Why do we do this to ourselves?  I started to think about this question and in light of an article in the Washington Post I read recently called “Nurses, Fathers, Teachers, Mothers.  Why do we devalue someone the minute they care for others?”,  solidified the fact that we undervalue ourselves as caregivers.  We mothers are raising these little beings to be independent, upstanding individuals who are one day going to go out into the world on their own and we feel like this isn’t important.  We are the only advocates for these helpless beings in the initial years, yet I feel like I need to write about every single plate spinning in the air so that the law school admission committee will see that I didn’t just sit on the couch for the last 6 years.  We as a society don’t value the benevolent act of caring for someone else, especially when we cut hours at work or even worse, put a career on hold.

I have worked my tail off for the last 6 years growing children, taking care of them and a house, all while trying to stay relevant and get back into “shape.”  There is honor in what many people do in my position.  I’m not done raising my children but I’m done apologizing and making excuses for deciding to stay home with them.


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