Why do women feel inadequate? The more chats I have with women, honest chats, cutting the crap and getting right to the point of what we think and feel, the same question seems to linger ‘why do women feel inadequate’?

Oh women! Aren’t we beautiful and complicated, funny and oh so serious… all at once! And don’t most of us think what we do isn’t ever quite enough, perhaps worrying how others perceive us, our choices and our so called chosen- lifestyles? I’ve never known a woman who thought she was doing enough. Have you?

I was walking home from dropping the girls to school this morning speaking to a fab woman. Scarlett is mother to a preschooler and a stay at home mum. Her lifestyle is entirely her choice, and guess what…. she often feels its not enough, that people judge her, that her choice is perceived as perhaps being lazy and that her role in society has almost no place in our modern world. Perhaps her day to day life seems less hectic than that of others but like with anything there are the down sides too. No second income means less disposable cash and all the things you could do with it, right? And then there is her endlessly having to listen to other female powerhouses of women – the ones that pack it all in (the career, the family, the marathons, the volunterring, the clean eating and mountain climbing!!) You know the ones I mean, right? Besides, keeping up your self esteem in a results- driven society can be one hard nut to crack!

And then there is one of my best friends, Amy, mum of two beautiful children. Amy did pursue her career and she’s done it brilliantly. She originally looked into using a company such as Go Au Pair to help out, but she (somehow?!) managed to squeeze a five-day-a-week job into four days, working many hours whilst the kids were in bed. Her choice yes, but she also needs to earn an income as it pays as much towards their bills as her husband’s income, and life ain’t cheap, right? I’m sure I don’t need to go into explaining the stresses of managing four people’s lives (yes, most of us manage our husbands as well as the kids and our own routines). You can all imagine how much of a toll this must take on Amy, and how the first thing that has to give will be time for herself. Exercise, when? And guess what, my beautiful friend also feels inadequate: that she is spreading herself too thin, that there is not enough one-on-one time with either of her children when they need it. And then there is everybody’s (often, well-meaning) advice of how she could improve her lifestyle…. when often getting through a week is all that she can think of!

And then there are my beautiful friends who have not given birth to children, out of choice or perhaps they wanted to become mothers and they had to come to terms with the heart breaking reality that it wasn’t going to happen for them. Either way, a massive, life- changing ‘thing’ having to come to terms with and make peace with. I know many of my beautiful female friends who have not become mothers (a better way to say than ‘childless’ as I don’t agree in the ‘less’) feel judged, by other women and men. They’re made to feel that they ‘don’t really know what its like’, or that they ‘just have no idea about the stresses…’. And they will never have an answer to the big question: “Am I missing out big time?”

And what about my trooper of a sister- in law? A young single parent to two young daughters living on benefits. The responsibility of being a single parent, the financial struggle each month to making it work and the worry about the future, her further education being a possibility on the horizon. But can she do it?

I could go on giving so many more examples on my quest to find out ‘why do women feel inadequate’, but it I am sure you are getting the jist!

I’ve never known a woman who thought she was doing enough! Have you?

Now, girlfriends, hear me: You are SO NOT iadequate! You’re just not Super Woman! Becasue no one is! You’re just human who was brought up a little brainwashed into thinking that you have to be perfect before you can feel good enough! Like most women I know, you were probably taught to be perfectionists, to look after everyone else, to try and fix everyone elses unhappiness and love them happy again.

Whoever you look at, we have all made choices that contribute to how we live our lives and what’s important to us. And often we have not made active choices and life just happend – a spanner thrown into things and we have to pick up the steering wheel and go from there.

Whatever happened: Let us feel ok about OUR own choices and to be kind and accepting about OTHER women’s choices.

Whichever path we’re on, time- rich, money- poor, working- mum, woman without offspring – there are downsides to everybody’s lifestyles!

We never really know what’s going on inside other people’s lives. There are so many battles we all have to fight that most people around us will never know about. Because this is just how we are.

We’re one of a kind – Women: BE KIND!

Accept, be open, support and try and understand (even if you think someone else is really weird!) the woman opposite you, walking next to you and give her a smile!

Love, Dani x

Dani Binnington

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