My Journey Home
Earlier today I responded to a post on my LinkedIn feed with what I had hoped would add a dimension to the discussion taking place, while maybe also providing a tap on the shoulder to the mom who posted it. The post was a video of an 8 year old girl doing an impression of her mom at work. The mom is obviously working remotely and the daughter requested to show her mom what she looked like while working. The mom videotaped it.
To some, this video was hilarious – as the child talks on the phone, frantically taps on the keyboard, and repeatedly snaps her fingers at the child(ren) who are constantly entering her office space to interrupt. To others, it was condemnation of the mother for ignoring her children. To me it was much more.
I reached out to give empathy to all parents who are struggling through working at home with children afoot; it cannot be easy. But I also stated that if we’re only seeing this as “funny,” we’re missing the point and there may be deeper insights here. I ended by sending prayers out for all those parents who are juggling much too much, with my hope that they find a better balance for themselves and their families.
Sadly, not everyone is ready to hear this advice with the loving intent with which it was given. It baffles me how such a loving response could elicit such negative responses – not from the mother (yet) but from one of the 19,000+ who chose to comment on the very real (and to me tragic) circumstances that require this very stressful mode of multitasking.
Most who commented on the feed related to this rendition of a “normal” work day. I guess from their perspective it is inevitable that with competing obligations, the children need to take a back seat. Others commented that the daughter is learning about the commitment hard work takes, and considered it a “good lesson” to learn. Simply inserting the “idea” that some deeper insight might be possible propelled me somehow into the category of being less-than supportive. On the contrary…my subtle suggestion for some “self-reflection” is a loving nudge towards a better balance. I believe with all my heart that this was the intention of the daughter as well.
People don’t often listen to children, believing that they are too naive or lacking in years of wisdom that adults (supposedly) have, but the truth is we come into this world with lifetimes of wisdom which we continually attempt to impart to our elders. This child – with all the naivety of her current lifetime – attempted to send a message to her mom through this reenactment that appears to have fallen on deaf ears. My message may as well. But, I stand by my message.