All posts tagged 4Word

Can We Have It All: What Is “It All”?

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Can we have it all?  At we discussed last week, it depends on who’s asking the question. 

The next logical question is what – what is “it all”?

In her article, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, former White House official Anne-Marie Slaughter concludes that, within in the framework of our current society, having “it all” is unlikely – especially when our children are in their formative years.

Yet this conclusion begs the question – what does having it all look like?

This is where the rubber hits the road.   Like most tough questions in life, we must answer for ourselves.  Often through trial and error.  I never want another woman to think my “it all” should be her “it all.”

Yet as I wrestle with the tough questions, I always appreciate a diverse dialogue with other women.

I found such a dialogue at 4word.  In What Having It All Means To Me, notice how different “having it all” is defined by these powerful women: 

  • For Dianne Paddison, a corporate executive and former Fortune 500 COO, “having it all” meant early investment in her career, later “enabling me to take significant time off to be my my son during some rocky teenage years.”
  • For attorney Richelle Campbell, “having it all” meant leaving a big firm and having her career take a back seat to motherhood.
  • For Bonnie Wurzbacher, Senior Vice President of Global Customer & Channel Leadership at The Coca-Cola Company, “having it all” meant marrying a great partner —   “I don’t know of even one highly successful woman leader who has a “traditional” marriage.” 

Like us, all of these women define “having it all differently.”   Each inspires us as she speaks through her own lens.

I likewise appreciate Slaughter’s bold dialogue as well as the spirited discussion she has sparked (including a piece on the Wall Street Journal’s The Juggle last week), challenging  us to create a more flexible workplace — so that women and men can have viable choices at home and at work.  Otherwise, what’s the point of the dialogue? 

What does “having it all” mean to you?

Working Moms: Do You Feel Alone?

Working Mom's Devotional

Sometimes, you can tell when a friend feels alone.

My friend (I’ll call Amy) stopped by the other day.  I hadn’t seen her in over a year.  From the outside, things look just perfect.  Her kids are healthy.  Her faith is solid.  And her new business has taken off.  I mean really taken off.

But I could tell she was hurting.  Even depressed.

No, it’s not what you think.  No one around her is ill, her husband isn’t having an affair, and she isn’t having a mid-life crisis.

She just feels alone.  Spiritually.

Amy is so busy working and taking care of her family that she’s lost touch with her local church. And she doesn’t know how to get connected.  As she shares, I wonder to myself, she’s not so different from the rest of us.  And what can we do to connect working mothers in a faith community? Continue reading →

Working Moms: Here’s How Diane Paddison Does It!

Diane Paddison is what you call a power mom!  She’s the founder of 4word, author of Work, Love, Pray, C-level executive, director, volunteer, wife, mother of four, and child of God.  And she took time out of her busy schedule to share her story with me last week!  Here’s our interview together.

Tell us about all of the “hats” you are currently wearing.  

As I think about my life, I am first focused on being a woman of God.  In addition to being a wife and mother, I feel like being a daughter has been a bigger part of my life these past five months.  After my mother passed away in July, so much of my focus has been on my dad and helping him with his finances as well as our family business.  Those of you with aging parents can certainly relate.

I previously served in COO roles in two Fortunate 500 companies. I left that 24/7 work world in 2009 and founded 4word, a non-profit designed to support and equip working Christian women. I now spend about 50% of my time with 4word, given its recent growth. Even though I transitioned to a not-for-profit in 2009, it has been important for me to stay in the for-profit world, currently as Cassidy Turley’s Chief Strategy Officer.  I also serve as independent director for three for-profit companies and four not-for-profit boards.

Continue reading →

Who Wears The Pants – And Who Irons Them?

Men pants

“Trying to blend two personalities in a marriage is hard enough, but when you both work – and especially when the wife earns more than her husband – you’ve got a potential disaster on your hands.”

In Work, Love, Pray, Diane Paddison hits the nail on the head.  Dual career families are complex.  And when the rubber hits the road, dividing up household responsibilities can be tricky – especially when both spouses work outside the home.  Should the wife take full responsibility for household duties, just because she is a “woman”?  Is her husband less suited to contribute inside the home, even if she earns more than he?  Is a “woman’s work” primarily inside the home?

You can probably guess where I come out on these issues!  As a wife, working mom and lawyer, I rely heavily on my husband to “hold down the fort” when I’m running to court or hopping on an airplane.  No, it’s not easy, and Diane fully recognizes the complexity of modern working families – a dynamic inadequately addressed in many Christian communities. 

Rather than starting a debate or getting defensive, Diane steps back and takes a reality check.  The fact of the matter is most women are working outside the home in growing numbers.  And most collage educated men (some 71% – as compared to 37% in 1970) are married to college educated women.  We are living and working in a different world than other mothers and grandmothers.  Which means we have some issues to tackle:

  • Who makes the financial decisions in your marriage?
  • Do you have separate or joint checking accounts?
  • How should you divide household chores?
  • Does your husband feel valued and appreciated, even if he isn’t the breadwinner?

Work, Love, Pray doesn’t present easy answers to these questions.  More importantly, it starts a dialogue.  A dialogue that doesn’t draw lines in the sand or throw stones.  A dialogue that gives practical examples and insight.  A dialogues that encourages us to play to our strengths and approach marriage as a team – with joint stewardship as the goal, not gender stereotypes.

How do you go about serving your spouse while dividing up household responsibilities?  Should gender play any role?  Whether you’re married or single, how can the Christian community can better address modern families?

[Continue the discussion with me at the 4Word Book Club.]

Christian Working Moms: Join Me Today At 4Word

You know from my review last week that I’m really excited about a new book for young professional women called Work, Love, Pray.

And you also know that I’m supporting 4Word – a national nonprofit designed to connect, lead and support young professional Christian women to live out their God-given talents!

Today, I’m joining 4Word over at their blog.  Check out my interview about my own journey as a Christian working mom and my book Chasing Superwoman.

Leave me a comment today here and over at 4Word and I’ll send you a copy of Chasing Superwoman!