I am a woman, a wife, a mother and a professional. I have pivoted my profession so that I can savor some special moments with my daughter who is in her high school and starts college next year. This pivot has made me pretty available around the house which has not been a usual sight for last fifteen years of our family history.
So, I experience some conversations like these :
- “Look at these napkins. I just don’t like the color. Also, why can’t we have of the tray of face towels and hand towels by the side of the wash basin in the dining area?” asked my husband, irritated.
We have had this discussion once before where I told him that it will be a hassle at home to have a lot of small towels for washing, drying, folding and replacing every day.
I come from ‘Keep it simple’ school while he comes from ‘Make it grand’ school. Alas, the twain doesn’t meet.
Anyway, to avoid a hat-trick of the same discussion, I took the grand decision. My husband uses three towels every day from the stack with pride and loves the arrangement when guest come over.
- Though he watches videos and travels by cabs, he considers the phone to be a menace (All the incoming calls are on reject mode on his phone). As a result, I generally book these cabs because he doesn’t like the hassle.
“Why do you give the house number? Give only the number of the building? He asks each time he hears me talking to the driver.
I have explained it to him that it is needed if you want the cab to be waiting for you just outside the building, not the compound. Still, he asks the same question every time thinking I need some correction.
- Recently, my daughter was debating with me about the trouser she should wear for a formal school event. It is a very tough decision for a teenager to make and I was trying to scrape for all the patience in me to keep having a ‘dialogue’ with her.
The father entered the discussion to offer advice. As he was not regularly a part of these decision-making sessions, he found our daughter to be rude and unnecessarily angry for no reason. She settled for a trouser quickly to close the discussion in presence of a foreign entrant but the parting shot came from this new entrant on the scene, “What is the point of writing all these Parenting Books when your daughter is so ill-behaved?”
That set me thinking. Such thoughts, opinions have been around for so long that we assume them to be acceptable.
Anyone who takes on domestic and parenting responsibilities by staying at home becomes a collector of such thoughts, opinions, beliefs that start changing you the way age does – silently, subtly but substantially.
The partnering and parenting domains are considered as an operational hazard by those who are passive participants in these. But they reserve their right to judge, instruct and advise.
sPice framework is neither about women leaving professional roles and falling off the leadership cliffs nor about how to stick to the ambition. It is about valuing the work of everyone who is ‘working’ away from meeting rooms and office desks and creating a skillset which is professionally relevant and ‘lifely’ must.
Why is ‘Leadership’ offered a pedestal and ‘Parenting’ offered a Sigh?
Why is ‘Leadership’ celebrated and ‘Parenting’ tolerated?
Why ‘Leadership’ is a life-long learning but ‘Parenting’ is a gap in the resume?
If leadership skills help a person and an organization discover himself and contribute meaningfully, parenting skills do the same, rather more profoundly.
With artificial intelligence taking the mechanical aspect of our jobs away, humans would be left to focus more on the ‘human’ aspects of our jobs – that which can’t be executed by machines.
The creative, collaborative, and communicative skill set required for us to succeed and stay relevant has deep roots in our skill-sets that make us effective parents, caregivers, and homemakers.
Excellence in life comes from summing up the skills that we create and develop in both settings – at home and at the workplace.
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