I Want Your Job!
I am not much for “locker” room conversation – or even any conversation at the gym. When I am working out – don’t bother me. This is my time – so go build a nest somewhere else. It’s sounds crude but it’s necessary – a survival mechanism. It’s part of the same secret rule of invisibility that men ignore each other when they are peeing at a urinal. Yes, it’s odd but true. I don’t exist – you don’t exist. So when an acquaintance came up to me in the locker room – my hackles were already up. He said, “Hey, not working today?” My answer, “Well… yes I have some bankruptcy motions to file and I also raise our kids full time.” He quipped “Oh not working.. I want your job!” – to which my response was “then have kids.” His terse reply came with a thick heave and out came the words “Urgh.. ick..”
Selfish, pigheaded, boorish and highly disrespectful — that’s what you get from a 20 something with 6 packs abs and a dead end job. But seriously, how could the most wonderful, hardest, least forgiving job of all – being a parent evoke such a response – from someone so young. People need to grow up! As a parent – I was quite setback by the vulgar connotation in his voice – as a gay parent – I felt shame – for him.
Honestly, every parent knows that the “outside” world can view our job as thankless – I mean what do you get for changing a diaper full of poop, or playing judge, jury and, sometimes punisher every day of your life. Oh, and doing cooking, doing the laundry and dishes – isn’t that a blast?!
Like many other parents, gay and straight, Michael and I brought 2 children into this world – fought to ink our names on each child’s birth certificate. Not an easy task (see upcoming blog for that horror story). For us, children bring a world of love united with fantasy and an aspiring future. When I get a kiss on the cheek from our 4-year-old boy saying “I love you, Papa”, or a “knock down” hug flattening me to the ground with a bear hug, or a beaming smile from our then 2-year- old daughter the first time she stuffed a chocolate truffle in her mouth, or the day we cut their umbilical chords and brought them into this world to breathe on their own – you realize – that’s what life is. Life, not as a noun but as a verb.
It’s said people change jobs 2 to 3 times in their lifetime, this is change number 3 for me – and it’s the most worthwhile job I never thought I would have – in my lifetime.
What about you? How do you react when people intimate that raising kids is not a “real” job?
Bennett Cunningham is a Bankruptcy Attorney licensed in Texas and is a former investigative reporter for KTVT (CBS station) in Dallas. Bennett has garnered 7 Regional Emmy Awards, including the Best Investigative Reporter in Texas 2 years in a row, as well as several National Awards for his exposés into the mismanagement of taxpayer dollars and government waste. Bennett is also admitted to practice in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas and the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Texas. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney’s and the American Bar Association – and most importantly, a stay-at-home dad.