Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:

What I told you was true… from a certain point of view

In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 

But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 

Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 

When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.

And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with doing other things to give her full attention. 

Does that make me a bad Dad? Is there anything I can do about it? To some extent, sure, I guess there is. I could make more time for her. Maybe plan better.

But to some extent there isn't. Because parenting is a two-edged sword where almost every decision subjects you to an alternative interpretation in which you are the bad guy.

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