It’s Not Easy. A Story For Parents

Having a baby isn’t easy. Working with a baby really isn’t. One question many of you have asked over and over again is “how does Jason manage to work with Maya?”

That’s not easy to answer… without sounding like a pompous twit.

Before I try to answer let me first say this has given me a whole new respect for “moms” and especially my mother.

She raised 3 sons, managed the books of the family business, kept the house clean, and dinner on the table. She drove 20 miles, every day, to take us to school (and 20 miles back). She did this in the old stereotypical fashion with no help from my dad. After all, “that was a woman’s job”.

My, how times have changed.

Now the traditional gender roles are blurred. There are more variables than I have space to cover. But to say the least, many dads are home with the kids whether they are working or not.

Which brings me back to the “how’s he do that question”.

The short, clichéd and obvious answer is, “I just do it”. The real answer is “it’s a constant struggle between ideally and realistically”. (There is a Tom Cruise joke about that, but it’s not appropriate here.)

Ideally Maya would play nicely while I get all my work done. Realistically I spent several months getting up at 5am to work. I work frantically any time she naps (which up until recently was never). And, Isa and I both work most weekends.

Sometimes, for lack of a better way to put it, that really sucks. But hey that’s life, right? Everybody has their issues.

I read somewhere that an optimist is someone who finds something good when everything is going bad. And a pessimist is someone who finds something bad when everything is going good.

For me that’s what it all comes down to. It’s all about the mindset. That’s the key to everything else. What’s going on around you is irrelevant if your head’s not right.

For years I saw the problems in situations. And that’s still the easiest thing for me to do. But I’d be in trouble if I still did that. There’s always something bad, always. But luckily, if you look for it, there’s always something good. What I focus on is my choice. (for the record my mother told me “it’s your choice” for years… and that really irritated me. It was only a couple of years ago when I finally “got it”.)

But I can’t talk about how “I do it” without talking about Isa. We are both in this together. I couldn’t do it without her. It’s not always easy for her either. I often see it when she walks out the door. But she’s hardwired to make things work. So she does. I learn a lot watching how she handles things.

And we both learn a lot from you.

That’s one thing about this profession. We get to see a lot of different approaches to raising children and dealing with life in general. We see successes and we see failures.

But most importantly we see many people who have figured out what’s great about their life regardless of what they, or others, may consider bad. People who keep moving forward regardless of the obstacles they face.

I’m not talented enough to describe how inspiring that is to Isa and me.

But for that, we both thank you.

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Jason Marrs

Jason Marrs is the Director of Research and Awareness for the Where I Can Be Me® social skills program. Read More