I am sorry for Amy.

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.

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2 comments

  1. Jessica Thoma · February 12, 2014

    While I obviously do not agree with most of Amy’s points, I also do not agree with all of yours Sean.

    While becoming and being a parent and maintaining a good marriage can be hard work (depending as you said on who is doing it), so is maintaining a working and traveling lifestyle and accomplishing such feats as backpacking alone ANYwhere. And you do not know exactly how hard it is as that is not your life, just as I do not know exactly how hard it is to be a parent, as that is not my life. But one thing I’ll say is that if everyone can brag about weddings and children, how can you say that backpacking Asia is not an accomplishment to brag about?

    I have to more so agree with Amy when she says, “I want to have a shower for a woman when she backpacks on her own through Asia, gets a promotion, or lands a dream job, not when she stays inside the box and does the house and kids thing which is the path of least resistance.” And I must agree that I think a lot of people take this path just because it is the path of least resistance, and it doesn’t require thinking outside the box whether that leaves me feeling like an ‘outsider’ or not :). I think having to feel like an outsider is one of the best ways to gain strength, confidence, and many other useful traits that are important in improving one’s life.

    Now while Amy’s post was very one sided and made her look ignorant, some of your statements were a little on the fence for me as well. For example, “Maybe Amy just hasn’t found that kind of person to be with. With her negativity, I imagine it is difficult.” Or maybe Amy is not looking for that kind of person to be with….as some of us aren’t.

    And “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.” Why is that “sad”, if thats what makes her happy? And how do you know that she is not sharing these experiences of promotions and extravagant trips with people of importance to her. Just because these people are not a husband or child does not make them any less important to her specifically. I would know.

    I’m just saying, if you are going to scrutinize some close-minded lady’s blog, be aware of superlatives and one-sided statements in your rebuttal. And remember that you now have a transient, strong-minded woman in your audience. One who doesn’t care about doing the husband and kids thing, but does care about her upcoming promotion on a boat in Alaska, and her off season travels in South America next winter.

  2. Minnesodad · February 12, 2014

    You have some good points here. I can answer a few of your questions/statements..
    You asked: “…how can you say that backpacking Asia is not an accomplishment to brag about?”
    My response: I am sure it’s fun, and I am not saying it’s a simple task to do, but the fact that she (like you) feels it’s harder than a relationship and that marriage and kids seem to be a path of least resistance blows my mind. Science shows that humans are genetically not actually meant for monogamy (similar to apes..for thousands of years, we mated for a bit, then moved on and the females mhad multiple fathers of their children based upon male traits and such) and the path of least resistance is still therefore being single. This may change over time, but we have thousands of years of evolution to undo. Being a parent and spouse isn’t “inside the box” at all. I am sure being a traveler can be taxing and challenging and I am not discounting anyone that chooses to live a transient lifestyle or have adventures like hiking through Asia (or working on a cool boat in Alaska)…I was just saying that working for one promotion and taking one backpacking trip (as Angela seems to be saying) to Asia is not harder than a lifetime of challenges and adventure brought about by marriage and children. The two don’t even compare when you see them as one point in time versus a lifetime. Now, if she’d looked at a lifetime of travel or a full career, that’d be different, but she doesn’t point her conversation that direction, because she can’t see things in a “lifetime” kind of way yet. I didn’t make anyone to feel like an outsider either. Don’t feel like an outsider for doing what you love, but don’t look down on others for NOT doing what you love. I didn’t judge her for what she does, I judged her for what she said.

    You stated my comment about her negativity was on the fence. It was. I felt she was being too negative in her post and I pointed that out.

    The statement about my “that is sad” opinion can be summed up this way: I don’t feel it’s sad to share life experiences with others outside of a husband or children. I never said anything of the sort. Life is about connections, not just married ones. I simply said I feel it is sad that Amy seems to be saying that work success and trips should have priority over personal relationships (friends or more is undefined). I am sure that, as a traveler, your trips are often (if not always) made better my the company of friends (old and new) and family (old and new). I am sure she shares her (work and trip) successes with friends and family and they may or may not be happy for her…but I feel it’s sad that she felt that was all she had to celebrate. What about making some good foods, trying some new recipes, or meeting new people? She seems to shy away from the non-success celebrations in her article and only focus on two things: Trips and Work (three things, if you count her disdain toward the married and parents).

    That said, I hope I was able to clarify a few things you felt you needed to question and I hope you’re a little more at peace with what I had to say. Yes, I am a little one-sided in my posts from time to time -just as Amy was- but having been on both sides now, I feel I can express my opinion of her one-sided article. Thanks for your comment! Continue being strong minded, transient, and happy in your life ma’am. You’re doing it admirably and it’s always a joy to hear from you.

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