My question to everyone: Why can’t we be more focused on changing the world, our country, lives, by being fantastic PARENTS? Why is there so much focus put on making men and women equal? When will we understand that we aren’t equal? You should do your best at whatever you do and that means that you can only do a few things. There can only be one TOP priority in your life.
Sheryl Sandberg is the author of a book called Lean In. She says that “In order for women to sit at more tables in the board room, men have to sit at more tables in the kitchen.” I agree with this but it also means that you have to give up that time with your kids. I’m not trying to disrespect working women but I am going to tell you about a conversation I had with my daughter when she was in the ninth grade.
She told me that she no longer wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. I was disappointed. Honestly, she is incredibly smart and I always loved that she wanted to be like her dad. I asked her why. She looked me in the eyes and said, “Before, I didn’t want to get married or have kids because I wanted to have a job like Dad’s. He isn’t home much and it’s hard for us. Now I know that I want to get married and I want to be a mom. I can’t do that well AND travel and work all of the time.”
I was sad. She was right. You can’t be great at two major things in your life. I know that men and women THINK that they are doing a great job. The problem I see is that schools can see the difference in children with two working parents and children that have a parent at home, assuming both sets of parents are equal. ie. good parents. You can love your kids with all of your heart and still not be giving them what they truly need. The saying, “quality not quantity” does not apply to parenting. You have to put in the time.
Think about the adults that you know. Yourself included. How did you grow up? Who made the greatest difference in your life? Who do you most identify with? Why? Who are you most emotionally attached to in your family? I am willing to bet that it’s the person you spent the most time with. The special time with. The person who dried your tears and made you feel special. I’m not saying that kids can’t grow up okay and be great adults if they don’t have a family member at home. I’m asking you to think about what you wished for as a child and what you wish you could change in your life right now. Oh! and when you think about what is wrong in our world today, know that it’s how children are raised and our future world is based on how we raise our children today. Someone that loves a child has to be responsible for raising that child.
It is so incredibly true that parents are the biggest influences on their children. Like I said in my letter to teachers, you are having an impact on the kids in you life whether you mean to or not and sometimes its good and sometimes its bad.