Don’t Buy the Lie – You are NOT what you Earn.

When we moved to Switzerland from the USA three years ago, I changed from working full-time to part-time to help our family make the transition to a new country.

I help people for a living and am fortunate that my work is my life purpose. Even with a deep connection to my work, I really enjoy working part-time. For the time being, I’ve decided to keep it that way. I don’t have the stress that I had before being a working mom. Working less allows me to be more present for my family and myself.

So, what does the thinking mind do when life is calm and happy? It conjures problems. To prove my point, I recently said to my close friend Alexa, “Maybe I should work more because Rob (my husband) has most of the financial burden. If I worked more, I could share that responsibility.” Alexa spat out her tea. (This is exactly what a good friend should do when you say something ridiculous.)

Alexa replied, “Who will share your burden of groceries, cooking, feeding and care of animals, kids’ schedules, laundry, social director…. shall I go on?” It’s true. My husband’s career is very demanding and hasn’t allowed for the flexibility mine has. I am the engineer of our family’s Operating System: Coder-In-Chief, responsible for all upgrades and bug fixes.

So, why with a full plate of responsibilities was I questioning my contribution? I had to ask myself, “Do I really believe my domestic contributions and responsibilities aren’t as valuable as a working parent?”

There is a fundamental belief in our society that says, WE ARE WHAT WE EARN. This question is not foreign to stay-at-home parents, teachers, nurses, healthcare workers, and countless other roles in society that are critical but not well-compensated.

When I was working full-time in the USA, I had a firm belief that domestic contributions in a household were as important as financial contributions. My belief was tested as my financial contribution diminished.  We’ve all had that happen. We hold an opinion or belief about something and then we have a direct experience (new data) that informs our opinion or belief and with it brings a new perspective.

Whatever your contributions are to society, don’t buy the lie. You are not what you earn, you are so much more.

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