Imagine a person who wakes up in the morning at the sound of a Big Ben alarm, puts on a pot of coffee, jumps in the shower, wakes up the children, quickly gets dressed, makes sure the kids are properly dressed, cooks or whips up a healthy breakfast for the kids, sees the kids off to school, and endures rush hour traffic to get to work by 9:00 AM while struggling to put on makeup.

This is the same person, who, just the night before, tidied up the house and ordered take out food for the entire family after spending at least an hour in the kitchen for the last 4 days cooking a hot meal for her kids so they wouldn’t have to rely on macaroni & cheese or Chef Boyardee. Let’s not forget how the dishes had to be rinsed and placed in the dishwasher and the counter tops had to be wiped spotless. That same night, the youngest child needed help with homework, clothes had to be washed and later ironed as usual, and all had to be in order for the following morning before going to sleep.

Is there any time left over for a favorite TV show such as Seinfeld or reruns of I Love Lucy? Of course not! At ten o’clock, the only sound coming from this person’s room is a faint breathing sound bordering on a snore due to the daily stress and overexertion. If you listen closely enough, the gratifying sound emanating from this person’s nose and mouth actually sounds proud and peaceful.

This person accepts the roles and responsibilities that go along with being a loving and nurturing parent and/or spouse and at times, it seems there is no opportunity at all to have any free time, the kind of “time” every health and medical expert claims is so essential if you want to live a healthy life.

In a flashback, I have just described the daily life of my mother whom I consider to be the ultimate workhorse of our family! She is a “chosen one,” someone who was put here on earth to selflessly provide for her children, husband, and even her family members in their times of need! To me, she is the greatest mother on the planet and the backbone of our family. I consider my father the greatest father and provider who ever lived but he was not the workhorse mom was and still is today.

A female workhorse doesn’t have to be married or have kids. There are plenty of single women out there, young and old, who fit the criteria for being called a “workhorse” due to their strong and undying efforts and commitment in working hard and trying to balance their professional lives with their free time.

Female workhorses still face gender inequality in the workplace. During the past several years, women have been obtaining roughly 10% more bachelor degrees than men. Still, once these women enter the workforce, they are only paid a measly 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. This can be attributed to the stereotypes of how some people mistakenly believe women are not intellectually equal or superior to men and the submissive roles women are expected to perform in society.

The truth is while many men work extremely hard and face many difficult challenges throughout their lifetimes, most will never come close to working as hard as some of the female workhorses who roam this earth! It’s just the way nature intended it to be; you will see few men assuming the great responsibilities of running a family household and working a full-time job the way a woman does.

I challenge you to take a look at your immediate family and see if this is not true. In families with two “bread-winners” I can almost guarantee at least 90% of male and 100% female will agree how women have gotten the “short end of the stick” after the economy has all but obliterated the term “housewife” (the other 10% of men are just lying to themselves) over the past several years.

The average woman can no longer stay at home and call it “having a job”; they have to go out there, bust their tails at work, and come home and continue working while the average male sits on the Lazy-Boy recliner for the rest of the evening because in his mind, hey, he makes an average of 20 cents an hour more than her so it must mean he works harder and he’s contributing more than enough! With that said, there are some¬† men considerable enough who share responsibilities at home and even some who completely assume role reversals with their wives or girlfriends due to different factors in the workplace and at home. Furthermore, even most men who “have it easy” at home will tell you how much they recognize and appreciate their female workhorse!

Whether or not women will ever be equal in the workplace is important but not nearly as important as a woman standing up for herself for what she believes in, continuing to be the ultimate workhorse warrior she is, and moving forward at a steady pace in a never-ending journey to balance work with a full, enjoyable, and rewarding home life.