How Parenting is (Kind Of) Like Any Other Job

Parenting is by far the best, and hardest, job I have ever had. While there is nothing quite like it, I couldn’t help but notice some parallels between parenting and the more familiar professional arenas:

Investment banking: The hours are insane and the sleep deprivation is real. You are sleeping 4-5 hours, maybe. The rest of the time you are feeding, changing a diaper, or trying to calm down your fussing baby. It comes out to be like 130 hour week. Take that Wall Street. Money Parents Never Sleep.

Consulting: Consulting people always like to say that “everyday is different”, consulting “keeps you on your toes”, because “you are constantly learning”. It’s the same with a baby. No two days are the same. Today she might sleep like an angel, and tomorrow she will go on a sleep strike. One day she refuses to eat and the next she will eat nonstop. Just when you think you have a routine nailed down, there will be a growth spurt, or sleep regression, or teething, or cold, or something. There will always be something new to figure out. Something to keep you on your toes.

Healthcare: Tending to all and any discomforts. Regularly coming in contact, and becoming very unfazed and familiar, with all kinds of bodily fluids. Unlike a doctor, you are never not on call.  

Law: There are few black and white rules, but exceptions abound. You try your best to avoid those slippery slopes, while following the spirit of your parenting principals as much as possible. Some will try to strictly follow the letter of each rule, while others will heed more to the changing times and circumstances. Most decisions are made based on facts and circumstances, and “it depends” is almost always the right answer.

Tech: The initial rewards are not insignificant, but full amount only realizes when your child steps out of your private nest and into the big public world. You pour your heart and soul into your baby, hoping one day everyone else will value her as much as you. And despite the statistics, you fervently believe your baby is a unicorn. Meanwhile, you live in sweats and PJs, and snack 24/7 because proper meals, like real clothes, are a thing of the past.

Education: You are nurturing and inspiring little minds, and it is extremely rewarding and meaningful. You are making a world of difference and humanity literally can’t go on without you. Yet support, appreciation, and recognition are painfully lacking. You regularly pay for both necessities and extras out of you own pocket, even if you can scarcely afford to, but you do it because you love them.

Like all jobs, there’s a fair amount of Zoom calls, because it’s only way to introduce your baby to friends and family these days.

Unlike any other job, there’s no vacation or PTO. Ever.

P.S. My husband astutely pointed out that these disproportionately highlight the downside of having kids, and who would after reading this? Here’s what convinced me: FOMO.

Love / Interest Is Not Enough

One of the hardest things I had to learn about relationships was love is not enough. Like many other lessons this one seems painfully obvious once learned, but not at all otherwise. After all, “Love is all you need” sounds much more romantic. I still remember the way I struggled with “defining” love as a teenager and in my early 20s. At the height of each new relationship I was convinced that I had finally figured out what love really was, only to find myself back at square 1 when it ended. After a few rounds I finally gave up on the notion of “one true meaning of love” and settled for the belief that it will probably keep evolving as I kept learning. Underlying my search for the “true meaning of love”, I think, was this mistaken belief that true love meant forever, that love was both necessary and sufficient for a relationship to work out. It took more than a decade and a handful of break-ups for me to realize how misleading that belief was. Continue reading →

Friday Highlights

It’s been a sad week. The world lost two beloved souls, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My heart goes out to their families and friends. I encourage everyone to read this article, which sheds some helpful insight on this pernicious disease that is more pervasive than many realize and takes too many lives. I’m looking forward to seeing Ocean’s 8 tonight and visiting an alpaca farm on Sunday.

falling into the blogging rabbit hole

I worked quite a bit on the blog last weekend and through Monday night. By Tuesday I had to take a break to give my eyes a rest and to (finally) spend some quality time with Vincent (who has been very patient and understanding as I fell into the blogging rabbit hole). Ramping up the work here has been an exhilarating experience. My main objective in writing this blog is to help through sharing. I love sharing ideas, experiences, and discoveries – this is something I do regularly with my friends and now I hope to bring it to a larger audience. Continue reading →

Radical honesty at work

battle black blur board game

Photo by Pixabay on

While driving to work this morning, I listened to a podcast by Adam Grant on learning how to love criticism (great podcast, by the way, highly recommend). Ray Dalio from Bridgewater was a guest on the show, so the concept of radical honesty came up. This wasn’t the first time I had heard of the controversial practice, but the timing was…fortuitous. I was scheduled to have my quarterly meeting with the head of our group today, and I had been contemplating what to discuss with her. More specifically, I had been wondering just how honest I should be. Continue reading →