Work Life Balance

In case you missed it, last week I met with Miri Bar Natan, or Meshuganehmum, as she’s known on Snapchat. I’ve already shared our conversation about Snapchat with you, and this week, I want to share the continuation of our discussion and cover the work-life balance and Meshuganehmum’s take on women’s right of passage.  


So you work really hard, and you have a husband and kids. How on earth do you juggle it all?


Listen, I just don’t believe in the work/life balance. There is no balance. You can’t give 100% to your work and 100% to your family. It just doesn’t happen. You know, there are some people who are interested moving up, becoming a manager and then a VP.  And people tell me, you’re talented, you can move up. And I tell them, I’m not interested. That’s just not me. I’m the type of person that works hard and plays harder. That’s just the way I am.


So do you try to take vacation and spend more time with your family?


I take vacation. But it’s hard. It’s as if our misery is our whole being; it’s our right of passage. I have to justify it when things are good. Like if I go on holiday, I have to justify it, I’ve worked so hard and blah blah, and so I deserve to go on holiday.

You know what? Even if I didn’t work hard, why shouldn’t I go on holiday? Why shouldn’t good things happen to me? That’s how I feel. I don’t know if other women feel like that.


I totally feel like that. I think it’s the way we, as women, are conditioned. I don’t think guys feel the same way.


No, they don’t! It’s completely a woman thing. I think that’s totally a woman’s thing, that you feel like you have to deserve it.


I think it’s the same with gratitude. I think that men accept gratitude far more easily than women. Women have a hard time accepting gratitude if they didn’t have to work especially hard for it. I’ll give you an example that just happened to me.

I needed a receipt from a year ago from SuperPharm.

I went into the drug store, and they couldn’t find the receipt for me, so I came the day after and I spoke to the store manager, a super-lovely woman. Anyway I gave her my credit card, she couldn’t trace the receipt, I went home, I brought Asi’s credit card; she still couldn’t find it.

I said, ‘it’s impossible. The doctor gave me this date. It’s in the computer.’

She says ‘let me try something else. Give me your i.d. number.’ I gave it to her and she found it.

She was so patient and so wonderful.

And then I said to her, ‘thank you so much, I’m so grateful.’ She just brushed it off – ‘it’s nothing, I didn’t do anything.’ And I said to her, ‘don’t say that. Women always say I didn’t do anything. Yes, you did something. You spent your time helping me. You devoted your time to me. You did everything in your power to help me. I’m really grateful to you.’


Most men would automatically think they deserve thanks, and accept the gratitude.


This woman practically had tears in her eyes. And I said to her little son, who spoke English, ‘you give your mother extra hugs and kisses, because she is amazing.’

But the point is, that not being able to accept gratitude is something we do as women, and it’s horrible. And if we don’t stop it, then we’ll pass it down to our daughters. It has to stop with us.

The Collective Lesson We As Women Must Learn

We women, only accept gratitude if we feel we are worthy of it. And here is the lesson from my meeting with Meshuganehmum: we are enough. We are worthy. It’s vital that we learn not to brush off the good that we bring into other people’s lives. We have to own our achievements. If not for ourselves than for the sake of our girls.

What do you think? Do you think misery is women’s right of passage? And if it is, what can we do to change it?