If you take it really seriously, parenthood is the most challenging job you’ll ever have. The hours are long and the pay stinks. It requires the most emotional investment and the greatest patience. And no matter how well you do it, there will always be that nagging little voice in your head wondering, “Should I have handled that differently?” But parenthood is also the most rewarding and important role you’ll ever play. And the good news is that we're all in this together...

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I had a difficult conversation with my eldest recently. It had to do with reassessing her plans if her current post-grad dreams don’t result in some form of financial independence within a reasonable amount of time. (I keep thinking of that delightfully cryptic Doonesbury comic where Joanie tells her son his “days as a reality intern are over.”)

It wasn’t a conversation I especially wanted to have, being confrontationally averse. And I didn’t take Joanie’s hardline, no-nonsense tack. But it came as a natural segue when my daughter mentioned some of her immediate life goals.  I suggested she add to that list finding something she really liked to do that she could ultimately parlay into work that would sustain her financially, since her current artistic endeavors were not likely to do that. That was met with tears of disappointment and betrayal, with suggestions that I don’t support what she’s trying to accomplish, don’t believe she can “make it.” It was a very tough moment. I countered with lots of reassurance and validation of her talent. (I believe in you, but a life in music is so difficult, the economy is so bad, blah blah blah.) But I didn’t back down, and it left us both feeling sad.

When my younger daughter came home awhile later and I mentioned how I was feeling and why, she saved the day for me, helping put it all in perspective. “Mom, sometimes parents have to say really hard things their kids don’t want to hear. But you still have to say them. And you weren’t try to cramp her dreams, you were just trying to tell her that she needs a realistic back-up plan.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes…

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