Pointer to Working Parent Stories you can watch via video
Lately a number of Working Parent Stories are being told via videos. We've gathered them in one place in case you're in the mood to watch a few or binge-watch them all.
Pointer to fascinating research about parenting and judging parents
When our kids were growing up they flew alone from Denver to Detroit every summer to visit their grandparents in the Mitten State. They took their first trips when they were seven and eight and were so intent on going alone, they insisted on being there different weeks. Maximizing a rare chance for some undivided attention was probably their primary motivator.
Most of our friends and co-workers knew about the ritual, and I distinctly remember the time one of my co-workers, my manager actually, told me, "I would never let my children travel alone on a airplane." Apparently she wasn't impressed with our attempt to foster a strong sense of independence in our kids while ensuring some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa. Instead, she thought we were putting them at great risk. And I assume she thought the risk was greater than any potential reward.
This memory was triggered recently when a friend pointed me to an article written by Tania Lombrozo that was published on the NPR web site in 2016. It's called "Why Do We Judge Parents For Putting Kids at Perceived - But Unreal - Risk?" and references research* published in the open access journal Collabra. The article and research provide really fascinating, and sometimes surprising, information about how we perceive various risks parents take, and it draws attention to some thought provoking ideas like the following:
Working parents need to make a lot of deliberate decisions about childcare, and this article makes it clear that society judges those decisions ... sometimes harshly. And sometimes unfairly and ignorantly. This article will get you thinking, hard, about making decisions that will help your children both short-term and long-term. It may build your confidence in terms of decisions you've made or are making. Or it may cause you to question some decisions. Either way, it'll make you think.
File this story under "Fresh Thinking". And at least try to skim the article. It's really fascinating.
* More about the research: It included a series of clever experiments written by authors Ashley Thomas, Kyle Stanford and Barbara Sarnecka. They found evidence that shifting people's moral attitudes toward a parent influences the perceived risk to that parent's unattended child. Learn more.
Pointer to a video about MJ Hegar
This story is about a political candidate in the US named MJ Hegar. We know almost nothing about her political positions, but think her campaign video is great because it highlights another contribution from another working parent.
Prepare to be impressed. And surprised.
Commentary about a Forbes article
Throughout life, we encounter people who encourage us to strive for more, while others (hopefully only a few) think we should strive for less. At least that's how it is for me. My husband comes to mind as a person who pushes me to strive for more, while my high school guidance counselor, who I only met once, surprisingly seemed to suggest that I should strive for less. (When I told her about my college plans, she asked, "Why would you want to do that? It will be really hard.") In hindsight, she did me a big favor because her comments served as a motivator when it did turn out to be really hard, and I struggled. Her words rang in my ears as I steeled myself to prove I could do it.
Why is it that some people want us to strive for less? I'm not sure, and figure that different people probably have different reasons. But at the end of the day, at least in my experience, striving for less rarely leads to contentment. It seems like most people are wired to be most content when they're contributing as fully as possible.
Which, of course, brings me to work. And the role it plays in our lives. The most content people appear to seek out work (and other opportunities) that align with their capabilities and interests. When people are finished pursuing careers, or during their time off, they're often pursuing activities that look a lot like careers ... without the pay. That doesn't mean that people who aren't employed don't have more free time than those who are. Instead I mean that they often fill a surprising amount of that free time with activities that align with their capabilities and interests.
Forbes recently published an article called "This Is What Success Means Now: Beause It's Not Just Paychecks and Promotions". Working parents may find it interesting, and their parents may find it insightful. Stop reading right now if you don't want to know how it ends. The final point seems like a bit of a stretch to me, but claims, "Work is no longer something that you have to do, it's something that you should want to do ... it is the way we become ourselves, not the opposite way around." While that final claim seems to ignore the fact that most people work so that they can support themselves and their families financially, I think they're spot-on in in terms of recognizing that when we find a fulfilling job, it is part of what makes us whole; it helps us become more.
People sometimes asked me why I worked. My husband had a good job; we didn't need the money. The thing was, I wanted more; more contribution, more challenge, more satisfaction, more recognition. More for myself, more for my community, and more for my kids. I wanted the satisfaction and fulfillment that only a career could provide. I wanted to set an example for my children and other people too. I loved challenges and enjoyed the experiences (most days). I wanted more. If you're reading this, you probably want more too.
Pointer to Poppy Harlow / RBG video clip
The RBG movie (and the review we wrote) got us thinking even more about spouses and the important roles they play in our careers. In fact, it caused me to head to YouTube to learn more about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, who are portrayed as Working Parent trail blazers.
The search led to a February 2018 interview with Ruth by CNN's Poppy Harlow. Their exchange, during the interview introductions, revealed another story about a supportive spouse; Poppy's husband, Sinisa Babcic. Watch the first minute and a half min of the video to hear the story.
"Behind every great man there stands a woman" is a phrase I often heard growing up. It was stated as a compliment and recognized the value of a supportive spouse; always a wife back then. Many years later I find myself recognizing that there is a lot of truth in that statement; a great person or great people are often supporting people who achieve anything of value. Maybe some succeed against all odds and without any support, but the vast majority of us need somebody in our court; someone or someones who want to see us succeed, encourage us to strive for more, and are willing to make at least small sacrifices to help us achieve "great things". It's the reason we encourage people to establish relationships with mentors, coaches, managers and peers.
When one's spouse can act in a supporting role, one has an advantage. When a spouse can act in multiple supporting roles, one has an even bigger advantage. It's hard to find a story that makes this point more clearly than the RBG story, but many of us have stories to tell. We've collected quite a few of them hoping that they will inspire you. Enjoy!
More stories about supportive spouses:
Movie Review: RBG
According to the new movie RBG, both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty, were rocking Working Parent roles back in the 1950s. And this documentary shows that they were doing surprisingly more than that at the same time.
Readers outside the United States may not be familiar with Ruth, who is sometimes referred to as "RBG" (her initials) as an affectionate term of endearment. She is one of nine justices on the US Supreme Court and has developed a fan base recently.
It wasn't my idea to see this movie; my husband suggested it. But we both enjoyed it a lot. And apparently we're not alone; the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. The movie is informative, educational, funny, sad, frustrating and more.
At one point in the movie, Ruth makes the claim that being a parent actually enhanced her ability to succeed by providing an advantage not available to her parentless classmates and colleagues.
Like other stories we share on this site, a case is made within the movie that both Marty and Ruth encouraged and engaged each other in significant ways that helped them as parents and on the job.
We won't share any more, because we don't want to spoil the story or give away the ending. But trust us when we tell you that we think you'll enjoy the show. And at the very least, be sure to watch the trailer.
Video about Tamara Strait and Her Dad
In addition to being a mother, wife and real estate agent, Tamara is also a daughter who learned a lot from her father. Watch this short video (2 min) to learn more about the lessons Tamara learned from her dad.
An update from working parent Patrick Hickey, Jr.
Last August, Patrick Hickey, Jr. shared a great Working Parent Story with us; A Haven for Her Soul. Since then a lot has happened in his life including the publication of his first book, The Minds Behind the Games, which is a collection of interviews with cult and classic video game developers. And not only has Patrick published a book, but people like it as evidenced by its five-star status on Amazon.
Copied from Facebook with permission
This Facebook post sums up working parenthood in a nutshell ...
Pointer to HBO's new Docu-Series Being Serena
Working moms on Reddit brought our attention to the new five-part Docu-Series on HBO* called Being Serena. The series chronicals the most recent events in Serena Williams' life; from winning the Australian Open while pregnant in April 2017 right up to attending the recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
But it's the stuff in-between those events that is most interesting ... and inspiring ... and thought provoking ... and relatable.
For those who don't know, Serena is married to Alexis Ohanian, one of the co-founders of Reddit, so it's especially interesting that Reddit led us to this program. Talk about a synergistic relationship!
Working parents (both moms and dads) are likely to appreciate Serena's story and find themselves relating, thinking, and being inspired as they watch.
* It appears that Being Serena is also available via On Demand until early July. More info.