Don’t worry; this is not about politics.
I had a bad case of salmonella lately which I don’t wish on anyone. After a week in the hospital I had two weeks in quarantine.
To while away the two weeks I watched the old tv series The West Wing on Netflix. I realized something as I watched.
You Are Like a President of the United States
You have many things in common with any president, especially if you are a parent.
- You have a hectic day, every day.
- You deal with emergencies small and large. You have to wake up in the middle of the night to take care of some of these.
- You consult experts for advice (doctors, friends, the Internet) and then make up your own mind.
- You get up every morning to face new challenges and handle your responsibilities no matter how tired you are.
What You Don’t Have that the President Has
- Help you can call on 24/7/365
- People you can delegate tasks to quickly
- Applause and/or standing at attention when you enter a room
- People shaking your hand at the end of the day saying we did a good job today
- The power to tell people to go away when you are tired and they won’t get offended
- Everyone calling you Mr./Madam President, sir or ma’am to show respect
Appreciation Is Hard to Find
Which one of these would you like to have? Personally, I would like the feeling that my work is appreciated. Parents don’t get that very often.
Perhaps it would help to imagine when you start the family morning routine that you are greeted by a standing ovation for showing up and being the responsible person.
Or when you go to bed that your imaginary chief of staff shakes your hand, looks you in the eyes, smiles, and says, “We did good today, didn’t we?”
Now that my kids are grown I do get words of appreciation from them quite often. You don’t get that when they are little. It’s sweet, really sweet, when you finally hear them.
Your Power Expands Into the Future
You don’t have the perks of a president, but you are more than just the executive of your family. You are building the confidence and abilities of your children that will go on into the future. You have the ability to improve the world that can expand with your children’s children and so on into the future. That’s powerful.
I know you are tired and stressed, but know that you are making a unique contribution to the world. And you can pat yourself on the back for your sacrifice and dedication.
Like a president you have good days and bad days. But it’s the everyday effort that makes the difference. You are sending your children into the future to do good. There is nothing more important in my opinion. It’s a noble cause even when you’re cleaning up spilled milk!
This post is dedicated to parents everywhere and to my grown children and their spouses. I’m so very proud of what great parents you are, giving so much of yourselves to your kids. You make a difference!