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Work-Life Balance: Competitive Parenting & Maintaining Balance - Executive Leadership Articles

Work-Life Balance: Competitive Parenting & Maintaining Balance

Executive Leadership Articles

Work-Life Balance: Competitive Parenting & Maintaining Balance

Competitive parenting is already a kind of scourge on all our well-beings, but add it to the workplace and a career, and it can be crippling on a few different levels.

There’s the pressure—almost always imagined—put on working parents to be as good as other parents. We’re not going to pretend there’s no such thing as good parenting and bad parenting, but there are so many different kinds of each that it’s senseless to hold oneself up against others as a measurement. Some hands-off parents raise well-rounded, well-adjusted, independent-thinking young men and women, while other hands-off parents raise kids who think they can get away with anything they want. Some hands-on parents raise considerate, team-oriented, inclusive young men and women, and some hands-on parents raise the slyest rebels waiting for a moment’s alone time to do the opposite of everything they’re taught.

Even if there were such a thing as a right way to do things, the right way guarantees nothing because children are humans perfectly capable and willing to make their own choices. Sometimes those choices are destructive. And they don’t necessarily point to bad parenting.

In the 2015 Anne Hathaway film The Intern, Hathaway’s character is the CEO of a startup online clothing company. So involved is Hathaway that she makes it a point to take a customer service call herself once a day, and while she’s hailed at the office, she’s shunned by the other moms at her daughter’s school, who turn their noses at the grocery store cupcakes she brings to a party.

Hathaway feels it slipping through her fingers: not only her control over everything in her company, but in her home life as she struggles to be a good mom. She rights both ships with the help of her intern, a retiree played by Robert De Niro, who reminds her that she built a company her way, and she can raise a daughter her way, and it’s going to be difficult but she can do it.

This oversimplified synopsis risks oversimplifying the issue, which is certainly not the intention of this article, but it should remind us all that parenting is extremely difficult, and that we’re all doing the best we can, and it never becomes easy, not even for those hyper-competitive moms and dads who behave as if they have it all figured out.

It bears reminding that work is also difficult, at least if we’re doing it well. Adding one to the other is insane, yet most of us do it and most of us get through it. It’s difficult enough without the extra pressure of comparing ourselves to others, and comparisons are especially silly given the truth that nobody has it all together. Each of us needs to deal with our issues completely absent the thought of how others are dealing with them, except in cases where others can lend us the helping hands we all need.

Reference link:
An open letter to competitive parents, from a parent who hates the rat race: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-josephson/competitive-parents_b_5335056.html

 

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Work-Life Balance: Competitive Parenting & Maintaining Balance - Executive Leadership Articles

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