It is August again and time to celebrate the women of South Africa. With so many phenomenal women to choose from it is sometimes difficult to decide who to honour and who to acknowledge. This month I have decided, rather than the overachievers, I want to raise a glass to the women I look up to.
Whether by blood or by choice, nobody gives support like a sister. They have known you your whole life, they know the good, the bad and the ugly. A sister will tell you when you messed up and will be your biggest cheerleader when you try out. They love unconditionally and will be there for you whenever, wherever and will always try and lift you up and keep you going.
I am blessed with two sisters and they are my sanity and my saviors. Both are phenomenal woman in their own right, the one a specialist with her own business and the other a survivor with more qualifications than I care to compete with. It doesn’t matter where in the world we are, there is always a distinct and unbreakable bond that pull and keep us together. We cry together, we laugh together, and we share each other’s accomplishments with the whole world when we can.
I raise a glass to Corne and Sonje.
The overqualified moms
You know them. They sat next to you in class and beat you at every test in every subject. They were voted most likely to succeed and you knew you were going to read about them in the business pages one day…until you didn’t. What happened? They were destined for greatness, they made you believe that women are equal if not better than their male counterparts.
This is a difficult one for me, because I used to judge my counterparts who choose to become full time moms. I was devastated to lose my partners in crime to the humdrum of suburban living. However, dig a bit deeper and you will find that the reasons for leaving their high-paying positions in the corporate world were not all that straight-forward. In most cases they gave up a lot of security and independence for the sake of someone else. Whether it was grandparents who needed full-time care, children with special needs, or becoming part of a blended family, every one of these women had to make the tough choice of putting their need for success and acclaim aside for the better of their family and community. I became jealous of these women who seemed to be able to take life a bit more leisurely, playing with their kids and spending time developing their other talents. That feeling lasted till my daughter was about 5 weeks old and I was begging my employer to allow me to come back to the office and to sanity. I realised the hard way that not living your dream is a luxury that very few women can afford, and that doing so will always come with other sacrifices. I also realised that my live would be a lot more challenging without the friends who I can call at the last minute to make sure my kids get home safe if life happens without my consent.
I raise a glass to the women who work harder than I do.
The nannies and grannies
Grannies and nannies are the unsung heroes of every working woman’s life and most definitely in mine. Whether it be advice on how to get the pap to taste right, how to swaddle a baby or how to make hubby do his chores, these are the women behind the women and without them our lives would fall apart. Generations of knowledge are available from these amazing women if we only take time to sit and chat when dropping the kids with them for babysitting. In my life we have the added bonus of a granny that loves to spoil us with her handmade masterpieces – anything from handbags, shawls, blankets, you name it. She is truly next level.
Nannies have a way of becoming family after a while. How can it not be if they know more about the kids than the parents in some situations? When you find a good nanny hold on to them, treat them well and hope and pray that they stay!
I raise a whole bottle to the nannies and grannies in my life!
The brave women
Single moms, women who left abusive relationships, women who succeeded against all odds and all women who can look at their past and take the learnings, put on their battle armor and wake up to fight another day, I would like to raise the biggest glass of all to you!
Happy Women’s Day to all the gorgeous women out there!