I have been blessed with an amazing husband, who helps me whenever he can. I became a therapist because I love helping people and not a single person on the planet has ever accused me of being a financial wizard. But it is still my company, I started it, I grew it. I wrote the proposals for contracts with Fresno county, and I have hired (and unfortunately, terminated) employees on my own. And yet, even though he has not even been on a single email thread regarding anything related to this, when we walk in to a room, people shake his hand first. That was bad enough, but walking in to a room with one of my male employees and having people shake his hand first, that was tough. I feel compelled to wear heels, because at 5 foot 2 inches tall, people seem to only take me seriously as a business owner if I am wearing heals and an expensive suit. Why is that? Why is it that new people will always shake the tallest persons hand first, no matter the gender? And why does this matter to you?
Three years ago, VMS began offering professional coaching services on a contract basis, and three months ago we opened business coaching services to the general public. Personally, I am in the process of becoming a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and have been offering coaching services to professional women. I am passionate about helping executive women who constantly feel as though they have to justify themselves, what they do, and why they do it.
This is a blog that will be quite transparent and honest, which can be a scary thing. But I am hoping that women will read this, and connect with it. Even if it is only one woman. I chose years ago that I would not have children. It is not that I do not love children, I LOVE other people’s children. I am a therapist who specializes in the treatment of children, and I am passionate about helping families succeed. And now there is some expectation, either my own or societies, that my business must flourish, that I must make “a lot of money” to make it “worth it” to not have children. It was only in the last few years that I realized that it is not my job to justify to others why I do not have children. I asked my husband if he has to justify to others why we do not have children, and he shared that only a few times in his life has he even been asked if he has children, let alone trying to pry and make him justify why we do not.
If you are a woman who has decided to have children and a career, more power to you. It is not your job to justify to other people “how you do it.” You do not have to volunteer for every single event at your child’s school in order to show that you can be a “great mom” as well as a “great CEO.” You can ask for support from others, particularly an executive coach, to make sure your management skills are at their peak, without feeling as though you are a failure.
I am in no way blaming men for this. It is surprising the number of women who very clearly judge me for not having children and some who seem to think that there is some way that they will convince me to have children. This is not a man or woman thing. It is a society thing. And I personally cannot change society. What I can do is help you, help you find your own inner power, and be able to stop judging yourself. The gift of freedom, the gift of being able to just be and not judge every single decision made, it is an awesome feeling.
If you are feeling stuck, if you feel as though you are running on empty because you are constantly trying to be everything for everyone, contact me. An executive coach can help support you in finding a way to have strong management skills, have a good work life balance, and find peace in the process.