By Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila

We used to often hear that “The place of a woman is in the home.” Of course the Feminist Movement advocates aggressively disagree because they espouse the absolute equality of women and men! I am not a member of that movement because I don’t think there need be any conflict between one’s family life, social life, and working outside the home as long as one’s priorities in life are in order. We women can be strongly feminine, homemakers and business-oriented all at the same time. We are, each one of us, catalysts in our own inimitable ways, wherever we find ourselves.

I am often asked how am I able to balance my multiple roles of wife, mother, grandmother, finance officer of MAPECON, our family corporation, editor of the national magazine of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, Portal Editor of the BCBP website www.bcbp-phil.com, a BCBP sharer and formator, as well as writing weekly columns for the Negros Chronicle and co-hosting a twice-weekly radio program. I believe the key here is “focus” and “prioritization” combined with the finely honed feminine skill of multi-tasking.

The home and family should always be the priority focus of a woman. The time spent in building a home where members feel loved and nourished, cared for and secure, is a definite source of fulfillment for any woman. Even a single woman will find comfort in making her apartment or condo a suitable place for the expression and growth of her personality.

In the workplace, we women need to understand that we are not “equal” in the sense of being man-like in terms of doing things and making decisions. We are not better or worse than men; we are uniquely different and bring to the workplace our special brand of femininity that enriches wherever we are and whatever we do.

As women, we have certain innate God-given characteristics that make us uniquely women. These include our gentleness, our warmth and caring generosity, our love for detail, our intuition, our innate strength … and many others. I also believe that a woman’s femininity is genuine only to the extent that she is aware of her own abilities and uniqueness. She should not just try to imitate the men; she should develop her own potentials so that she can live a constructive, fruitful, and meaningful life as a woman.

One problem is – and I have been victim of this at different times in my life – that we would like to excel in everything we do. Since this is impossible, we become stressed out, anxious, frustrated with ourselves, even depressed, and end up doing nothing well. This problem is not ours alone, many men also suffer from this. It is ironic that the men use this very reason to illogically say that the woman’s place is in the home. I challenge them to spend a week doing housework, caring for the children, preparing meals, snacks, and baons, etc. and experience which is more stress-building – the home or the office!

I have found that instead of trying to tackle the large problem with its myriad facets, in many instances it is better to take one step at a time, always beginning the process in prayer. Get focused on what is most important to you at that particular time. Establish priorities, get organized, concentrate on getting that mini-task done, without worrying about what lies ahead. Little by little, as the situation straightens itself out, you will be able to take time out to plan ahead, and prepare a life management plan, not just a time management schedule.

We women today are called to take a more active role in society than ever before. With our unique feminine gifts we can greatly enrich all aspects of society, civil and community life. Focus, prioritization, exercise of our feminine gifts – this is the challenge, not just to accomplish tasks but to contribute positively to the upliftment of society and humankind.

We need to realize that even an apparently unimportant simple lifestyle becomes important in the overall design of life. Whether we are homemakers, working wives and mothers, or career professionals, if we allow our femininity to express itself in all that we do, we will realize our fulfillment as women.

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1 comment

Ludy Z. Pardo April 11, 2011 - 2:01 pm

Sis. Nancy aptly and candidly described the seemingly simple roles of a Christian woman (wife, mother, career person), but in the real sense, essential and significant. Without a woman’s touch, things would not be complete – the role of the part is as important as the role of the whole body (1 Cor 12). We have the strong tendency to be “superwomen” and be multi-tasking most of the time (yes, we can do several things at the same time), but it would greatly help if we plan and prioritize our activities, and carry these out in a systematic manner. Being organized in the things we do could really pay-off and could allow us, energetic women, to accomplish better. This goes without saying that all these are not going to work out well without prayers and without our following the leadings of the Holy Spirit.

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