Saturday 21 July 2007

Parenting Skills

Why do we not value parenting skills? Brazen Careerist, a blog by Penelope Trunk, is a blog I try to read every day. Some of it is aimed at the 18-25 demographic and wholly irrelevant to me but I read it anyway. I do hire people in that demographic so I like to get her perspective on things.

She is struggling with her marriage. And blogged about it. See I'm not the only blogger that blogs about everything.

She just wrote a post about Stay-At-Home Dads and how they struggle, particularly with keeping their business connections and skill up to date. But what I don't get is why we don't value the skills of parents?

When you become a parent, there is no training and the on-the-job training is sort of the deep end kind of training. You can read all the books in the world but who's got the time when you are in the middle of the battle. That's like becoming a firefighter and the first day of training you are sent to a fire. Then in the middle of fighting the blaze, hand the firefighter a book and say read about how to put out this fire.

Parents have loads of skills that are of value in the workplace. Penelope isn't good with details but her husband is. That's why he packs a better lunch box. But surely that carries over into the workplace. He is probably a very conscientious detail oriented worker. She perhaps is not. I know that is true in my family.

I always put notes in my son's packed lunch. My husband considers it a waste of time (especially when I did it before he could read). My husband is not a people person and has a very low empathy quotient. That's why he works for himself. Alone. And doesn't manage any people. I do. Lots. And I'm good at it. Although I don't put notes in their lunch box.

My sister asked me the other day why do people always say fat and dumb together? Just because you put on a couple extra pounds (or more) doesn't mean I've had a frontal lobotomy. Similarly, just because I became a mother, I didn't suddenly become unskilled. I didn't forget everything I've learned or been taught. And more often than not, my professional skills help me be a better parent and my parenting skills help me be a better professional.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I totally agree with the detail-oriented aspect - that's rather me!

Interesting perspective... I also commented about Penelope's post from my blog too.

It seems that those associated/bosses who are parents DO get it (and recognize the parenting skills/issues/challenges), but those that aren't been a parent are usually completely unaware about it.

Last thing - I have seen some parents that I would have expected some of the parenting stuff would have rubbed off on their work skills - and hasn't. Like being able to start something completely on your own even when you don't fully know what you are doing (and boy did I get it when we had kids - talk about a life change!)...