Amy Glass wrote this recent post and has gained some attention for it. Feel free to read her post then come back here.
This post was upsetting to me (not enough to act like a dumbass and send her death threats like some parents did), and it wasn’t upsetting for the reasons you may think.
I have been a father for almost 11 years. In that time, I have juggled school, up to 3 jobs at once, relationships (and being responsible with them when it came to my daughter), and I have done my best to be a great parent. In the past year, I have also married a wonderful woman and I do my best to be a good husband as well.
It IS easy to marry someone and have a baby. I agree with Amy that any idiot can do that and, unfortunately, many idiots out there think that is ALL they need to do is find someone (and whether or not they want to be married) have a baby. What Amy fails to understand is how hard it can be to be a good parent AND how hard it is to make a marriage successful.
Both parenting and espousing (it is a word-look it up) takes both time and effort. I can’t go for happy hour when my daughter Olivia is waiting at home because she deserves my attention (helping her with homework and chatting while my wife and I make supper). I can’t do that, but I wouldn’t want to. Call it networking or just happy hour…I wouldn’t want happy hour to be a focus of my week. On a similar note, coming home to my wife (or going to the gym with her and Olivia) is the highlight of my day. Even though I am a little too talkative for the both of them as they’re decompressing from their day, I still enjoy seeing them right away. Going to happy hour just throws that off. Maybe Amy just hasn’t found that kind of person to be with. With her negativity, I imagine it is difficult.
I can’t go backpacking in Asia…not because I am married with a child, but because I don’t want to. I have better things to spend my money on. Maybe the Asia trip would be a retirement thing. Either way, it isn’t anything to brag about…whatever we do, someone is always doing something they feel is more awesome.
As far as Amy’s job reference and saying a woman doesn’t have time to further her career, I would say that thinking outside of the box doesn’t always lead to a promotion either, though that seems to be Amy’s recipe for success. Often times, thinking outside of the box in the hope you’ll be promoted just leaves you feeling…well, like an outsider.
I also feel that life is more about experiences with people than it is about promotions or extravagant trips. Amy may never understand that and that is sad. I loved seeing my Olivia and nieces, and nephews walk, lose teeth, and have super complicated conversations about Santa Claus. I wouldn’t trade those moments for any promotion.
Speaking of promotions, I seem to have beaten Amy’s odds. I have gotten promotions while being a father. I have also lost two jobs and quit a third. After leaving radio, it took quite some time to find my second skill set. It just so happened that my current employer hired me and showed me that skill set. I never even knew I had it.
I did all of this while managing a household. Amy seems to think men don’t care about “stupid things” like that, but she’s wrong. I take great pride in cooking good meals, in doing laundry well and ironing every morning, I take pride in a clean home (though my wife is cleaner than I am) and I take pride in being a good father and helping raise Olivia to be a good person. Its too bad Amy will look down on the lives of people like mine. It means she’ll likely live an incredibly emotionally unfulfilling life…probably backpacking through Asia with her boss so she can get that next big promotion and work more.
My daughter will not grow up to be someone like Amy Glass and I like to think good parenting had something to do with it. Whether it was the good meals, the life lessons she learns, or because she learned to accept people for who they are and to see how interactions can change the outcome of a situation, my daughter is a better person than any child Amy Glass could ever raise.