Hunting Hobos and Working The Pole

THE Relationship Blog

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Anyone who has had a child understands losing balance in life. All parents or child caretakers of any age understand the sleepless nights, the concern and the overwhelming immensity of the task of raising a child. Raising and caring for a child can be a full-time job with a couple of part time gigs as a chauffeur and seamstress. You can drive yourself crazy wondering if little Rupret has eaten correctly from every food group or if little Antigone’s sneeze was the warning shot from the flu to follow. How we respond to these questions is also a paramount part of Olympic parenting; The Role Model Event. Our lifestyle is a huge part of what makes up a child’s character. So, do you think you would win the Gold in this event?

A child learns balance from Mom and Dad. Scary! We learn that life is a perfect example of checks and balances. We see our kids take cues from our lives as they tackle the issues and crises of their lives at an early age. Even when they are pretend playing, a child will draw from what they know. If they play Mom and Dad, is one of the parents working too much, screaming too much, bossy, busy, not present… This is your mirror and we would strongly suggest you look at it and examine your life.

A kid doesn’t know better. A kid loves no matter what. A kid does not know that working 70 hours a week is too much and he/she certainly does not understand the idea that a married couple who happen to be parents should be a couple first. They accept that their upbringing is completely normal. Barring movie of the week households where Dad is training little Jebediah how to hunt hobos for food or Mommy is teaching little Gertrude how to pole dance for her allowance, we assume everybody was raised the way we were. It is only when we socialize that we notice differences and even then, we assume our friends are wrong way before we are. It is only as we start to ease out of our adolescence that we see that we may have deserved better, different or even healthier.

So, it our job to bring a semblance of balance to little Sacajawea and Atticus. They must see that Mom and Dad are not just Mom and Dad but also Husband and Wife or Man and Woman and friend and employee and Fan and hobbyist and daughter and son and all sorts of people. We show our children that we are multi-faceted and not automatons placed on this earth by the evil overlords to be their caretakers and taskmasters. We show them that we are not their maids or man-servants placed here to cater to them. We show them that we are feeling, living, evolving creatures that deserve a life. If we don’t, the consequences are dire.

Let’s be clear here. You are not going to like what happens if you devote your life and limb to your kids at the risk of losing yourself. Your children will take you for granted. Your children will assume that you are still sitting next to your window like a sentry waiting to be called to duty. You never bothered to show them that you were human so why would they think that you would have any other kind of life or deserve a phone call? Would you call your maid and tell her you’re alright? Or, worse, they can stay with you, tethered to your emotional umbilical cord because you have made them useless to the world because Mommas Boys or Daddy’s Girls are not marketable in the work force.

We don’t know about you but we are raising our kids for the world, not for ourselves. So, when little Quinoa and Bloviar are adults, they will understand that balance in life is of the utmost importance. And we can go and live our lives without having to sit by the phone waiting for them to call. Besides, we have cell phones.

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