ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTHFort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.
Meet April’s Woman of the Month! She’s you. All of you.
This month I am celebrating us.
The women tackling, feeling, re-routing for, and surviving COVID-19.
I see you. I feel you. I’ve cried alongside you. You are making a difference right now.
I see you, the entrepreneur who has had their business limited and then eventually deemed as ‘non-essential’. You have been thrust in to an online-only marketing campaign without a moment’s notice. Whether you have had to furlough employees or not, your business and the services that you provide still matter.
I see you, the entrepreneur who skirted by on the ‘essential’ list that has had to re-route your entire business to fit these new times. Your ‘normal’ way of serving our community has shifted drastically and now involves limited exposure to customers, quick grab curbside items, and marketing skills of a future forecasting guru. You’ve adjusted more times than you can keep track of and have continually lost sleep (and years of your life) as you adjust. Keep going.
I see you, the teacher who was just starting the ‘fun months’ with your classroom. Spring bliss and moments with students that you have spent all year getting to know have now been taken from you. Add on top of that, you have rearranged your entire classroom, curriculum, and personality to fit on a computer screen. Your way of teaching has completely flipped upside down and now it’s as if you are virtually herding kittens.
I see you, the stay-at-home mom who has had her routine, schedule, and space bombarded 24/7 by not only children, but husbands, virtual schoolwork, and a grocery roulette game that makes your head spin. Every day is Groundhog Day and you are in charge of making the world within your walls go ‘round. Frankly, there is not a break on the way in the near future but you can handle this.
I see you, the bride who has not only lost wedding showers but potentially the big day as well. The vision of having all of those that you love most in the world in one room has disappeared because of something you can in no way control. The moment and celebration you have dreamed of forever has so drastically changed. If you are rescheduling, I can only imagine it feels that your planning process is practically starting over. The only thing worse than wedding planning, in my eyes, is planning the same wedding twice.
I see you, the administrator. Your school has stopped and changed on a dime yet you are still fully in charge of calmly relocating all workbooks, textbooks, and technology at an acceptable social distance. You are worried about breakfast, lunches, and snacks for the students you serve. You have an empty building that still needs to be maintained and you have answered who knows how many thousands of e-mails.
I see you, the provider. You visit homes to provide services such as speech, meals, counseling, protection, physical therapy, etc. These are in-person, interactive processes that have all been forced behind a screen. I see that you worry about those you serve because despite all changes, what you do cannot be replaced by devices and you feel responsible.
I see you, the graduating Class of 2020. Your moments have been stolen and you’re being expected to just move on. That hurts. Yes, this will be just a blip on your radar of life, but the pain and hurt of losing graduation, Prom, etc. does sting and that’s ok. To those of you graduating from college, the world you are entering has been flipped on its’ side and none of you know what’s next. Be patient, be courageous, have faith in yourself, and open your mind to different career opportunities. This will be a blind dive in to your next steps.
I see you, the single mom who was holding on tightly, but barely. Now you are not only fully in charge but you are potentially without a job, without daycare, and/or over-demanded. Your worries are as high as is your fear for your family’s future. This will be a long fight and there is help available. Admit when you feel weak, ask for help, and power through. You are the strongest of the bunch already and you will see the other side of this.
I see you, the ‘over 60’. All of a sudden Millennials and Gen-XYZ children are lecturing you to stay inside, avoid all human contact, and skip the grocery store. You didn’t feel that old but you certainly do now as people worry about your safety and bring you casseroles. You are still young but please let us love on you for now. You are a generation we can’t afford to lose as there is still so much for us to learn from you.
I see you, the college student who left for a perpetual, never-ending, not-so-much-fun-anymore Spring Break. Your dorm room, clothes, and belongings may still be at school and your computer has never been so important. You are expected to carry on without the foundation you were accustomed to. Also, you might be with your parents again. Enjoy this irreplaceable time.
I see you, the working mom who is now surrounded by screens, conference calls, and hands all over everything all at the same time. Your space has been entirely invaded by tiny humans who don’t really care what you’re up to, yet you’re expected to keep the bar of your professional life just as high as it’s always been.
I see you, the business owner who feels not only the weight of your spot in the situation, but the weight of all of those who work under you as well as the weight of what is right. In a situation like this, one can only be so prepared. Your nonstop worry about making the wisest choice will prove fruitful one way or another. Not everyone will agree and occasionally doing the right thing means disappointing people. Please remember that you are not a disappointment with your choices during this time. Follow your gut.
I see you, the single gal at home. After only a few days of yoga, movie-watching, popcorn binging, dog walking, and countless Facetime moments this situation started to truly stink and loneliness is evident. Your feelings are important, valued, and felt. You are also important, valued, and felt.
I see you, the pregnant mom who is in whatever trimester feeling as if this is some kind of pregnancy curse. Not only can you not drink, but you must carry a child in a time when hospitals are scary and anxiety is high. You may or may not be alone in the delivery room. Your baby shower may or may not be cancelled. Your hormones are ready to completely annihilate this sickness with the power of a pregnant superhero yet you are completely powerless of your environment outside your walls. This is scary and you are brave.
I see you, the non-profit team who has had the rug pulled out from under you. The event and fundraising you have prepared for with a committee for months completely vanished, yet you feel the pressure of still helping the cause amidst this crazy time. If your event has been fully cancelled, it feels like defeat. If your event has been rescheduled, you are now one of the other twenty events that will be stuffed in to the Fall months of 2020 and you officially have an uphill battle to climb.
I see you, the Grandma who has been waiting years (or months) for your precious grandbabies. Unless you live in their home, you can now only see them through a door, window, or screen. There aren’t any hugs and the dynamic has changed. Your urge to physically love on your grandchildren is felt and you are incredibly missed! We want to keep you safe and please know we miss you as much as you miss us. You are allowed to feel incomplete.
I see you, the woman in an abusive relationship who is now stuck in your secret at home. What is meant to be a safety measure is now a danger for you and possibly your children. Your hurt, worry, and fear is not ok and there are others to help. I not-so-politely request that you find safety, shelter, and assistance. Although we are all busy in our own worlds these days, there are people wanting to help with open arms and we will be there for you.
I see you, the caregiver who helps with memory care, hospice, nursing home and/or assisted-living facilities. You wake up every day scared for those you serve and walking on eggshells to keep them safe. The rules seem to constantly change as to how to best move forward. The length of time this fear will last is getting longer by the day. You leave your family to care for our most vulnerable population, a population that may not even fully understand how chaotic the world is around them.
I see you, the ‘essential’ woman who must still get up to do their job everyday while we shelter-in-place. As we complain about being bored, you are continuing your day-to-day job most likely without a ‘thank you’. While the majority of us stay home, you continue on in order to keep our world turning and preserve some sense of normalcy. We could not be us without you.
I see you, the doctors/nurses who have removed yourself from your family or even sent your children away so that you can do your job to the best and safest of your ability. Your hurt is real. Your hurt is painful. I know you miss them and I also know that on the other hand, this is your moment. This is your time to live what you have always dreamed about in regards to your occupation. Despite your best efforts, you will inevitably lose some lives but you are also saving so many. We need you.
I see you, the nurse/first responders who is on the front lines and expected to be ok. Most of the time you power through but then you find yourself mysteriously breaking down at the grocery story. Yes, what used to be a little errand is now hard and after a day like yours it probably feels insurmountable. Your voice, compassion, and knowledge make a powerful difference during this time.
I see you. We got this.
Cowtown courage. Texas strong.