family work

Work lessons from parenthood

Model employee | pixabay

Ty Fujimura, a friend and founder of Cantilever, a web design firm, has written a LinkedIn post about how his company is attempting to take work-life balance more seriously.

It’s a good, well-polished read, but I particularly appreciated this portion. In it, he provides one of the most insightful and articulate descriptions I’ve seen of traits that parents can bring to the workplace:

Parents bring unique and invaluable perspective to a team. When you take care of children, you have no choice but to grow more patient and more resilient. In giving so much to a child, you sublimate your ego. You learn how to teach, to motivate, and to energize another human being. You learn how to prioritize, and get the most out of short bursts of productive time. You learn how to push yourself harder than ever before. Who doesn’t want a teammate with those skills?


After Dinner Cleanup

Every night, we split the ritual of cleaning up after the kids at dinner time vs. putting them to bed. And every night its my turn to clean up after dinner, I inevitably turn my body into a garbage disposal unit, eating the children’s leftovers, reasoning, “Well, I wouldn’t want it to go to waste.”

It occurred to me today, however, that the Mindlessly voracious goat from The Onion’s, Hey, You Got Something to Eat? is a far more accurate metaphor:

Do you have any trash? I’ll eat trash. You were gonna throw it out anyway. Hey, lemme eat it. Lemme at least taste it. If it’s no good to eat, I’ll know. I hate to see it go to waste, is all. […]

Maybe I could eat something else for you later, something maybe that you’re not interested in eating. Or maybe something that you intend to only eat half of. I might be able to eat the rest of it for you.

I’ve tried about enough of the grass around here to last me a while. I’m sick of this grass. This damned same grass day in and day out, I could just about… I take that back. This grass is okay. I’ll eat it. It’s pretty good. It’s great, actually. I mean, it’s okay.


“Cooperative” Mode

To play Portal 2 in co-op mode with the eight-year-old while holding the 12-month-old in my lap is to contemplate all the possible meanings of the phrase “working at cross purposes.”