There has been something bothering me for a very long time. It's a saying that, I think, is meant to be some kind of compliment. I've heard it a lot throughout my life, but I hear it a lot more now that I'm divorced and a single mother. I hear it now from people who look at my life -- a full-time, working, professional problem solver and an accountant managing a very large empire for one of the 1% (or shoot, maybe the .5% at this point) and a full-time mother with 50% custody of two very athletic, school-aged children, and a really, really good friend to the people who mean the most to me. Consider this a public service announcement: STOP SAYING "I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DO IT." I mean, really. Stop. It's insulting.
Every woman I have ever met has survived the unthinkable. Things you read about or see on TV and think "oh I don't know what I'd do; I couldn't handle that." I'm talking about anything and everything from parents dying at an early age, to their child dying, to rape, to identity theft, to physical abuse, to mental abuse, to having to work 3 jobs to survive, to practically dying during child birth, to the sudden death of a spouse, to the long and exhausting death of a spouse, and so many other things that seem impossible to live through. Except...they did survive. When all the dust settled, they poked their heads up, took a look around, and realized "Damn! Things need to get done." So they did them.
There is nothing more unattractive to me than a man looking for sympathy because he has a cold. Really? You're sick? I'm sorry, but I don't even know what that means. I can survive on zero sleep, zero food, and zero time and still get everything done that needs to get done for everyone I'm responsible for. I don't have time to be sick. I'm sure there are times where I look like the walking dead, but I still have to get up and put one foot in front of the other and get shit done. The men I'm most attracted to are the ones who can solve their own problems. I love seeing a man who is divorced and making a home for his children and still going to work and maybe even has time to coach some of his kids' teams. That's HOT. That's someone who doesn't know how not to do it. The guy whose world shuts down because he sneezed -- not hot.
It amazes me that men are so threatened by women and their success. Our success doesn't serve to negate men's success, but we have certain skills that are huge contributors, in pretty much all areas. Putting a woman in charge of anything -- from a Fortune 50 to the United States of America -- will get problems solved. Period. End of story. We don't call meetings to talk about how we need to solve problems. We actually solve them, and more efficiently (both with time and money). The men who embrace these kinds of women are the men who are helping our society to grow and evolve in the right direction. The ones who don't are threatened because their comfy lifestyle of "golf course meetings" to talk about setting up another meeting to discuss the agenda for a future meeting about a problem, will come to an end.
Stop asking us all how we do it. You know how we do it because you do it, too. We do it because we have to. We do it because there is a life we want and we know the only person who can give it to us is us. We do it because we want to raise children who understand what problem solving looks like. We do it because we find it paralyzing to ask for help (even though others probably want to help us). We do it because failure is not an option and we do it because we don't know how not to.