I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting all year for today. One day dedicated to recognizing the people who “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan.” Only this isn’t a line from an old TV commercial about women but a reality about *every* working parent. The people who spend their days (or nights) generating an income for baby clothes, school supplies, dance lessons, pediatrician visits, braces, school trips, and the millions of other expenses that it takes to raise their children to adulthood. And with adulthood coming later and later, often well *into* adulthood as well.
I don’t know about you, but Working Parents Day should be celebrated every day. It isn’t enough and certainly minimizes the herculean job of working parents who are trying to balance – or as I prefer – integrate two competing roles and responsibilities. They often say that unless you’re in it, you don’t get it, yet every working parent knows the juggling act required. Some days work and others are nightmares. Some days are all about putting out fires at work and at home. Some days, a 10-minute bathroom break no matter where it may be is likely the only break possible until they fall into bed for a few hours of sleep before it starts all over again.
I don’t know about you, but working parents are the people in our society who deserve the kudos…and more. They are keeping businesses in business while raising the next generation leading us into the future. They’re meeting deadlines and making clients happy while making sure that their children are educated, safe, and have a decent breakfast every day. No combination of jobs or roles is harder or more significant.
So while I don’t know about you, what I do know is that every working parent — married or single, white or blue collar, working days or night shift, raising children with or without special needs…every working parent deserves more than a day. They deserve support, recognition, decent wages, flexible work hours, paid family leave, affordable child care, support for their child’s education, the ability to step off and step back, and genuine appreciation for a job well done each and every single day.
Business leaders need to stop and consider just where their businesses would be without working parents. They need to recognize that some working parents need more flexibility and others need specific benefits. They need to understand that working parents are working hard to be “top performers” yet sometimes the push/pull requires difficult choices. And they should never forget that the child who needs Mom at home for two days due to the flu or the teen who wants Dad to visit colleges with them are the same people who will be filling the roles in their businesses tomorrow. So hurray for Working Parents Day. As far as I’m concerned, it’s 365 days a year.
SIDE NOTE: My blog is moving to our website — http://www.Education-Navigation.com — shortly so please visit me there. I welcome your comments and more…