When a parent considers their role to be a “job”
This seems like an interesting question to me. Has it ever occurred to you? Have you ever found yourself thinking “this is the hardest job I’ve ever had”? Well, it didn’t occur to me until I had an honest conversation with my husband last month.
He was describing his typical day at home, driving to school, shopping marathon race, school pickup, quick cook dinners and fast eating, and the race to dance class and back. The bedtime routine now pressed for time when the clock goes to 8:00 pm and you desperately want those kids in bed with the lights off to do this again tomorrow. My husband can do all of this on a strict “every minute counts” schedule.
In his mathematical mind, he has reduced each activity to an equation of seconds and minutes and goes from A to B to C, all while keeping a countdown within himself. WOOF!
I, on the other hand, am more relaxed. I have a schedule and I value “being there.” I give time for discussion and time for breaks because sometimes children need help getting out or getting in the door. I go less for the time of the clock and more for the rhythm of the day. I still do things in due time.
A difference in views
This realization stopped me in the middle of the conversation. I was really surprised and intrigued to notice this differentiation between us. So he feels that it is his “job” to take care of the children. You feel the same pressure to do housework and get children to places on time as if you met work deadlines and if a boss evaluated your progress! He moves through the house with the same energy, speed and determination as someone with great purpose.
But not me …
What does “being a father” mean to me?
In my opinion, parenting is “a way of life.” I chose to be a father. I was lucky, blessed. I did it hoping to make sacrifices. I am a caring person by nature and I feel that it is important to help others first. Being a parent is fun for me and it gives me a sense of pride and joy, and it asks me about the future.
While my laid-back nature radiates positivity and passion, it’s easy to see how others can feel overwhelmed.
The role of gender in parenting
So I was so intrigued to learn that my partner and I had such contrasting views on parental obligations that I set out to conduct an unofficial research poll on social media.
I asked parents who identified themselves as mothers and those who identified themselves as fathers to answer “yes” or “no” to whether they felt parenting was a “job” or not.
What other parents said: results of my social media survey
My capture from social media ended up small, although the survey was sent to many platforms and many viewers. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most used. I couldn’t design an official poll from my Facebook page, so I posted it as a general interest comment.
Availability, interest and commitment seemed to be the main reason for the small sample size. He was still impressed by the results. I am looking forward to sharing the findings!
But first, a few things to keep in mind about limitations:
More people who identified as “dad” responded to the survey overall compared to people who identified as “mom.” (This may have biases in some of the results)
The sample sizes of both groups vary small and may not be generalizable to larger populations with more equal sample sizes.
The survey simply captured people who wanted to respond and had time to respond over a 48-hour period.
Results of my survey on social networks: Do parents see paper as their “job”?
Social media results of my survey:
During a 48 hour period, 8 people responded to my survey question “Do you consider being a dad your” job “?
The results were 63% “yes” for dads.
Only 37% answered “no”.
Results of my survey on social networks: Do moms see paper as their “job”?
Social media results of my survey:
During a 48 hour period, only 5 people responded to my survey question “Do you consider being a mother your” job “?
The results were only 20% “yes” for the moms.
The vast majority -80% answered “no”
Discussion of the results
So now I am very curious! Why do men or people who identify with the role of “dad” tend to see the role more as a “job”, and why do women, or people who identify as “mom”, the vast majority don’t consider parenting a “job”? ?
It is due to old fashion views that traditionally Dad worked outside the home, traditionally being a worker and probably the “bread winner.”
Or is it just a dad thing, that everything is a job?
And similarly, why don’t most women or moms consider their role as a “job”?
Because we are traditionally the caretakers and the breeders of children?
Or because we are more likely to take time off from our actual work to babysit as needed? So does that change our idea of what a “job” is for us?
The dynamics seem multifactorial, and unfortunately for my question of mine, although some people responded to the survey, no one left any comments. Feedback would have been very helpful in helping us understand what parents really think of their roles and why
How the results influenced us
Regarding the results and reflection of our own personal discussion, my husband and I have changed a few things for us. I feel that because my partner feels like he is “always on”, even though he is at home, he does not recharge in the same way as me.
You do best with a specific time to relax at the end of the day, on your terms in your own way. May he have his time. As a support partner, I help create and maintain this time for him.
As for me, I am not so regulated. I top up when I have 5 uninterrupted minutes to take a few sips of tea or coffee. I recharge in a few minutes of silence, or a few minutes of sitting on the couch before getting up to redirect my attention to the next full effort. Some people seem to work best with short, frequent breaks, and others seem to prefer long, consolidated hard work and a long rest period, with the peace of mind that they won’t have to get up to go back to another round of “work.” “.
Again, the old adage is true, a good relationship is all about commitment! When you take the focus off disagreements and work on fine-tuning the subtleties, you enhance teamwork.
Hopefully these social media survey results will not only help my family, but yours as well!
To view the survey results directly, visit Considering Being a Job Parent?