According to Dr. Joan Borysenko, cofounder of the Mind/Body Clinic, Harvard Medical School, women are happiest when the opportunities for self-in relation are the greatest.
One of the main pleasures of busy working women, not surprisingly, is the relatively large number of relationships that can develop in the work setting, as opposed to the relatively isolated existence of a woman who stays home.
Working moms have it best?
The Lifeprints study done at Wellesley College, found that the highest level of life satisfaction came from the busiest women in the sample, working mothers. The satisfaction comes from interacting in many ways with a large variety of people. The more diverse our interactions the more parts of ourselves surface. Seeing and experiencing ourselves in a multitude of ways builds self-value.
While I may complain about overloaded schedules, this information and quarantining for the Covid 19 pandemic, made me realize how much happier I am when I am in contact with different people.
More relationships = more satisfaction
I spent time feeling depressed when I was strictly home with my children. I still believe it is important to be home with children as much as possible in the early years, but the well-being of the mother transfers to the well-being of the children.
When we moved to Minnesota my kids were five, three and one. We had no family in the area and I knew no one. My relationships diminished to the ones between my children, my husband and myself.
My need to get out and take guitar lessons, volunteer at the school, workout at the gym and volunteer in the juvenile system, was me seeking opportunities to know different sides of myself. My role at home was fairly one dimensional. It was mother first with a few bits left over to be a wife, which obviously is not the best setup for a thriving marriage either.
Seeing ourselves in a different light, energizes
Last fall, as I started a full time job in the local school district, I feared all of the interactions with children and staff would drain me. I thought I would come home at the end of the day, limp and worn out. The opposite happened. Most days, I felt energized, eager to share my day with my family. I got to experience myself as a paraprofessional, co-worker, student, friend, etc. It was rejuvenating to be seen from so many angles. Being seen rejuvenated me.
How many of you have had a similar experience? Is wearing many hats ultimately the happier way to live?