Women at Work

Last week was a full week for me. I had multiple collaborative projects at both the university and at church which left me exhausted. But in surveying the scene of accomplished tasks, I was served a valuable reminder— one which I don't often express publicly:

I know some hard working women.

I grew up the child of work-o-holics, having parents whose idea of fun was to do chores around the house. My father worked a full-time job while starting a business on the side, and still found time to do continual maintenance on our house and our church building.

All the while, my mother made sure her house was in order and her kids were cared for.* But while it might not sound as impressive, Mom was always moving. Ask anyone who's ever been over to dinner at their house and they'll vouch to this. It follows her upbringing as a farmer's daughter. She worked the tobacco fields, worked her way through college, and hasn't stopped working since.

I guess I just expect all women to be like that. As a result, I probably am not as observant as I should be of those ladies who are constantly giving their all to their jobs, families, and churches. And as we're in the midst of a mancession it seems like these ladies will be working even harder. I don't intend this to sound emasculating, but perhaps I shouldn't be surprised about this.

Living in a low-income neighborhood, I've been the object of virtually every panhandling scheme. But of those who have asked for money, I'd say well over 95% have been men; true, some have done so on behalf of their families, but this is definitely the minority. In our neighborhood, the women who are impoverished (many times single mothers to boot) are out there working. I'm not sure if I care to attribute the root issues of this situation, rather, just focus on the fact that these women are scratching out an existence for the betterment of their family.

It's sad, but it's downright admirable.

Anyway, this past week, I witnessed numerous examples of women going the distance to get the job done. In my department at work, there are three ladies who tirelessly do the work of dozens of people. When we were doing a late night orientation last week, they were constantly pushing to get the job done. Additionally, I've notice how many other women around campus work long hours for not enough pay, something I overlooked in my youth.

And as we remodeled a room in our church building this past week, there were many ladies (as well as men) that came out to get the job done. Even doing volunteer work, this women were going all out, nose-to-the-grindstone, removing carpet (Melissa, you're a beast) and painting without complaining. I was loving it.

And as always there's my wife who, even in her new-found state of unemployment, works harder that I could ever imagine. Yep, I married a girl just like my mother.

I'm blessed to witness Proverbs 31 lived out everywhere I go. I'm thrilled that my daughter is surrounded by these incredible examples of ladies who work like there's no tomorrow.

So dudes, no disrespect, but give it up to those working ladies.


*Later on, my mother returned to the classroom and is still teaching now. Even when she went back to work, she made sure the house was always well-kept. As a result, my brothers and I had a demented view of homemaking, thinking it normal that the wife naturally keeps a house spotless, and thus making it difficult for our wives to keep up with that status. And yet the remain married to us . . .