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November 5, 2018
I often hear the phrase “put her (or his) life on hold to take care of the kids.” This phrase is most often used in the context of a couple of high-earners, one of whom decides to take time off work to become a stay-at-home parent.
I take issue with this phrase, first, for the reason that it implies that someone is not living life unless they are working. That seems almost exactly backwards, although I will concede that a lot of people do derive great meaning from their work.
I also take issue with it because it measures childcare as far less worthy of someone’s time than work. Once again, I concede that a lot of people do derive great meaning from their work, but a lot of people do not. I’ve done a bunch of jobs, and while some of them are more interesting than raising kids on a day to day basis, they are sure as hell not more fulfilling, and they’re not harder.
I don’t know who it is that’s perpetuating this myth that staying home with the kids is a break from work, but when I want time off from the kids, I go to the office and work. It is so much less mentally taxing than caring for children.
Leaving aside what is more fulfilling and what is more difficult, raising children matters. These kids will grow up to vote. They will grow up to be stewards of the environment. They will grow up to befriend each other and teach their own children. They will run businesses and hold office. They will write books and make movies.
And not only do we send the message that preparing them for all of that is less important than any other job, we also imply that taking care of kids isn’t even living life!
Raising children is important, and we could do a better job of letting the people who are raising their children know that we think they are doing important work. Just as important as sending that invoice or calling that client.
Raising Abundance is mainly a daily personal journal to look back on while we live our unconventional lives with the additional hope of helping others do better and get more out of life.