Katherine may seem like a less interesting character on A Million Little Things, but she holds a very special place in my heart. I mean, Gary and Maggie are and have battled life-threatening illnesses, Rome is dealing with severe depression, and Delilah’s family is working through the trauma of suicide.
Katherine just works a lot.
The scene where she told Eddie that she doesn’t work because she wants to, she does it because she has to, I felt something. Her heartfelt proclamation that she would rather spend time with their son was touching and relatable. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t the full story.
It’s absolutely true that, like many people with time-consuming and demanding jobs, her character would like to spend more time with their son. It is also almost just as true that she enjoys her job, loves seeing the fruits or her labor and enjoys professional advancement.
It is possible to want both: A presence at work and a life at home.
It’s acceptable to be driven toward professional greatness AND want to enjoy being a mother. It is also many working moms reality to battle the joys work wins against the guilt of not being at every field trip, school play, pick up, drop off, play date, friends birthday party, etc.
I find that giving myself a break from measuring my motherhood against the fulltime presence of other mothers helps. Setting boundaries at work… setting expectations at home and work… turning off the alerts… setting timers… all of these things help me with sanity and balance. That and prayer and meditation. Even little things like alternating bath night and shower night with my kids (who love insanely long splashy baths) helps. That’s one of the many negotiations that keep me upright, not curled up into an overwhelmed ball.
This Shonda Rhimes TED Talk showed that a mothers pride in work and love for her kids can coexist.
One of my friends said after watching the TED talk that she wondered why Shonda Rhimes even had kids if she likes working so much. That’s not fair, in my opinion. Family is important to many women, but it isn’t the ONLY thing that is important.
Katherine’s character in A Million Little Things took a stand in demanding time to eat dinner with her son, and it cost her the partnership at work. That sucks, but she took that stand for her sanity. That’s what this post is about. Standing up for yourself. Being proud of your work life AND home life and not settling for less.
I was also recently watching The Today Show were they were talking about women who receive a lower income for their professional services. The message was that women need to become more comfortable asking for raises and to be paid competetive salaries. The person talking about this subject was Shannon McLay, the founder of The Financial Gym.
I was moved by this spirit of demanding more. Katherine set goals and boundries for her time. Shannon McLay helps men and women understand and set goals for their money. She says:
“If there is one thing I want all of you to learn from my story, it’s the importance of dreaming big and setting out to manifest your dreams. Every single day at The Financial Gym our clients are manifesting dreams, I’m manifesting my dreams and if you’re not working with us, we’d love to help YOU manifest your dreams. After all, it’s our theme of 2019!”
Parenting has changed, as has the path toward professional success. We get one shot to raise a family AND simultaneously achieve our professional goals. I just want us to all be empowered to take a stand, make our desires known, and not feel ashamed or guilty for trying to do it all.