“My mom doesn’t go to work. She stays home.”

“My mom doesn’t go to work. She stays home.”

The other day my niece slept over at my house. She and my son are the same age, love being together, and keep each other thoroughly entertained while simultaneously destroying my house. It was a school night, but they’re both in preschool so that stakes are low. I mean, if they don’t do their coloring page that day, they still get an A. Side note: Is it possible to fail preschool? I should probably look into that.

When they woke up the next morning, I was getting ready for work. As I started gathering my things to leave, my niece asked me, “Do you go to work every day?”

“Yep, I do.”
“My mom doesn’t go to work. She stays home.”

If only my niece understood that by recognizing this and talking about it out loud, she was stepping into a quagmire of opinions and judgement.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I quickly answered, “You’re right. She does stay home, but she works at home taking care of you guys, and that’s a lot of work.”

That’s the thing. When you’re a mom or a professional or some combination of the two, there’s work all over the place. And if you don’t have enough work to do, trust me, I can find something for you to do.

The problem I see is that when one form of work is held in higher regard, the other is inherently devalued and trivialized.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Instead of saying one is more important than the other, can’t we just appreciate the value of both? Can’t we just recognize that hard is hard, and wasting time saying your hard is more hard rarely gets anything positive accomplished? And that when we support one another, we all succeed?

I think we can.

And I think we can in these small moments, when your niece recognizes differences but hasn’t yet placed judgement. We can shape the tiny humans (and maybe even big humans, too!) in our care to be accepting and kind and appreciative of the important role everyone plays in shaping a more compassionate world.

I think it’s possible. I KNOW it’s possible. And I’m up for the challenge. How about you?

New Year's Resolutions: The Microwave Edition

New Year's Resolutions: The Microwave Edition