It’s been a hard couple of years. We’ve parented our children through a pandemic AND worked at our “money-jobs” while parenting our children through a pandemic! Much like the Zoomer who has a suit jacket on top and only underwear on the bottom, we too have cut ourselves in half, trying our best to show only the part of us that was needed in each moment. One minute we are brokering a sibling squabble over a missing Lego head; the next we are trying to make our Keynote presentation look perfect. It’s dizzying.
Now that the worst of the pandemic has mostly passed, I think we should use this moment to start nothing short of a global parenting revolution.
I propose we QUIT – not the job of parenting itself; just the lying about the job.
I’ll take the plunge and start us off by publicly admitting a few things we parents tend to not say out loud:
- Parenting is a JOB. It doesn’t happen silently in the background. It takes focus and care and deserves respect. And when the world expects it to just happen and doesn’t acknowledge that we are making it happen, it begins to feel like a silent, heavy burden even though for most of us,“Yes, we chose this.” Think of it like this: you may have chosen to get married but when your partner takes you for granted, well… it’s hard.
- Sometimes we don’t know how to do this job as well as we want to. Parenting is the very definition of, “Building a plane while we are flying it,” so if we look like we are winging it sometimes, yeah, we might be.
- On any given day, you should assume we may not have taken a shower yet. But we’d like to.
- Our mental health as a parent will suffer if we don’t get the support we need, and if that happens then our children’s mental health will suffer as well. Friends who bring meals by or call to say they care really do lift our spirits. As do bosses who understand what we are carrying.
- Your help is more powerful than your judgment. If you see me falling, don’t let me off the hook, but please do catch me.
- None of us can have it ALL. We can only have one thing at a time. Those aren’t the same thing. So whatever you see me or anyone else doing, “on Instagram,” please know there are ten other things I am NOT doing.
- We parents are at the forefront of civilization. We are literally holding the next generation in our arms. Our kids matter, and so do we. If we all acknowledge this fact, we could make real change in the world quicker than we think.
Together we can stop upholding impossible norms, and get real about what it means to raise little humans into adulthood.
With love and respect for each and every one of you who never gets to take the first bite of your own sandwich, and who gives back rubs at 2 am, even though you have a presentation at 9 am the next morning. At least now we are all clear about what you’re really doing.