She's behind the scenes. Doesn't make an appearance unless someone is out sick. But she knows the whole drill from top to bottom and can rescue the whole ship if it sinks. She's got her picture and bio in the program but she doesn't get any applause. She also doesn't take a bow at the finale. But she should. But she doesn't. She's the understudy.
There's a lot that goes into preparing for this role. Jumping into a role that she has no idea how to do. But she has the talent, she memorizes the work, and she previews the show to everyone's amazement. But for the most part, she sits back and does the work for the whole world not to see.
This might sound familiar to you. This might strike a familiar chord. And if so, may I just say, congratulations, you are a bonafide bad ass.
Some people are the lead in the show. Not many, but some. And the lead is pretty revering. But the understudy is not only understated and under the radar completely, she's unannounced to the world as someone that most definitely deserves the sun and moon and all the stars. You see, in motherhood, this analogy fits well. There's a lot of you out there doing it all, but there's no flowers and accolades thrown down your way on a hot lit stage. And that can feel like nothing. And nothing sucks.
I've never been an understudy. In fact, I was the lead in many shows, mostly every one I auditioned for. And the lights, the applause and the "you were the best thing I've ever seen", felt really good. And any time I step foot on a stage now (which is rarely), when I hear the claps, I get butterflies. Feels damn good to know you've done well. Really damn good.
They say in motherhood, for those who make the choice to stay home with their kids, this is a conscious choice. And it is. These women know this feeling. In fact, just this morning I was in this conversation with another mother who uttered a similar pain on her heart. A woman who stays home with her child, but at one point no longer than 2 years ago, held a leading role in her field and was revered and rewarded for her work. Now, almost 2 years in as a stay at home mom, she still consults here and there, but her job is mothering. And her treatment in her field regardless if she hustles part time is that of non existence. Are we being punished for staying home with the children and raising human beings?
They say you have to be present to win. I totally understand this concept. But for the understudy, this sucks. This is balls. Because the job title underestimates you from the beginning because you're simply not important until the ship sinks and you must step in.
Mothering is similar on all levels. Most mothers wouldn't dare even mention these feelings but as many conversations that I have with working women doing many things beyond changing diapers, it is a conversation worth mentioning, because their work is worth more than accolades, it's worth gold.
Regardless of the outside world and whether or not we are being punished for staying home with our children and raising good human beings, the point of this is black and white. Your worth in the world isn't determined by your dollar value or being the star of the show. Your value is determined by how you feel. Most women I know that have struggled with this topic are top notch. And when I mean top notch, I mean competitive, compelling, beautiful, capable, smart as a whip and yet tender to the touch. They mother as soft and gentle as a baby's butt. And they love their job as mothers. And happiness and satisfaction fills their hearts. These women are heroes and are the stars of the show. So in case you're wondering if you're alone on the reg at 4pm struggling to find something creative to cook for dinner, haven't showered since yesterday, have done 3 loads of laundry, paid bills, ordered birthday presents, grocery shopped, sent your mother in law's birthday card in the mail, emailed the accountant, picked paint color for the trim, ordered balloons for the birthday party, got a bikini wax, planned the summer vacation, fed, bathed and kept multiple children alive all while filling your vision board for your business idea you want to launch someday, just know that although the accolades aren't there and the applause is that of yesteryears, the role of the understudy is just as crucial as that of the lead. You are important. You are a boss lady. And you are worth a million and a million times over that. In case you've ever thought otherwise. K, love you bye.