Our Story Begins:
Parenting is NOT a Job! (Video)
Let’s see . . . it starts out with no pay. No vacation. Lots and lots of exhaustion, bending over, lifting tons of weight and no sitting down.
I was inundated with posts about how “true” this was and how “you should hug your Mom today!” and any number of sappy and pre-written responses that the video was expecting to elicit. There’s just one problem, in my opinion: the video has this all wrong.
Okay, I’m not going down the whole, “Why aren’t there any men” road with this. Yes…I’m a single Dad and yes…I play both Mom and Dad after my wife, Andrea, passed away a few years ago. But the basic premise of this is so thoroughly incorrect. I’m sorry to all of you Moms, Dads, significant others and life partners out there but it’s not work. I’ve been parent to one child . . . then a second . . . then to twins!
It’s the argument that this is a totally thankless and ridiculous and worthless job that only someone crazy would do if they thought about it that bothers me. From the moment I watched my oldest daughter, Abbi, look up and me and snuggle into the fold of my elbow I was done-for.
Do you want worst-case scenarios? I can give them: Abbi had GI tract issues. She was allergic to everything: soy, pre-digested, even breast milk gave her issues. She vomited like a baby from the movie The Exorcist. My wife nearly died giving birth to my second, Hannah . . . and then Hannah nearly died from the virus RSV at just a week old. The boys? I had times when I cannot remember what I did for days-long stretches because of exhaustion. That’s true. I was tired, my back aches, I forgot to eat . . . but what I never did was complain (too much) about being a parent. The video posts this might possibly be the worst job ever.
I’ve had the worst job ever and it took me exactly five minutes to do it: I told my kids they were never going to see their mother again. That is a job I would have gladly traded. Everything after that pales in stark contrast.
The premise of this video is that you give up your life, your identity and your freedom to be slave to this little creature. It assumes that you give up your love, your hobbies and your identity to work in an environment that is like indentured servitude. Parenting isn’t work. The minute you think of it that way it becomes work. I changed diapers, cleaned up vomit, made awful smelling pre-digested formula. I’ve also been to Disneyland, fed parrots, walked in giant Sequoias, chased pirates, driven sports cars, met a Mythbuster and a blues legend. Most with my kids in-tow. I play…constantly…like a little kid. I see the world in adventurous and wondrous ways. I chase dragons and talk like a Grinch and speak in funny accents. I sing all…the…time. I write, I work and I play. Much of the time those four little people are included.
This video did what it was designed to do: get internet traffic, go viral, and sell greeting cards for Mother’s Day. What it wasn’t designed to do was tell you the full story.
What about you? Do you think parenting is a job, work, awful? Or do you see the rewards and take the gratitude your kids give you? Do you agree? Sound off in the comments!