The Miso Soup challenge: how to be a good parent and a good worker?

by Vasco Duarte

For this article, I was doing some research. And, as I often do, I went to feedly.com for inspiration and ended up finding a mouthwatering recipe for Miso Tahini Soup. But, more interestingly I ended up reading about why ‘men with families feel more trapped than ever’. (Luckily, the article also included a part on ‘how to fix it’). As I’m not a man, and I don’t have kids I need your help: read on…

Making hard choices

I was interested in reading the article because I have friends with kids and was curious about what bothered them. I didn’t get an answer. And to be honest, I didn’t like the article too much; the views in it were a bit too old fashioned to my taste. (Where are the mums in this article?) But there was an insight the writer and I agreed on.

She claims that ‘men were raised to be standouts’ but that in order to stand out, they have to make hard choices about their jobs. These are choices that people (she says men, but I think it’s women as well) don’t like to make anymore because they want to be a good parent.

Innovative and creative

Her solution: have realistic expectations. I agree on that, but maybe in a different way than she intended. Because I also firmly believe that most people are way more capable than they think they are. And that, as long as you make sure you aren’t stuck in a traditional working environment, there are solutions to be a good parent and a good worker. These solutions don’t require magic time-extension skills (a day will only have 24 hours, no matter how hard you work). These solutions require imagination and creative ways to organize our work.

The article reminded me of the freedom I have: I can do whatever I want, as long as the results are good. So if I were a parent, I wouldn’t mind working at ten o’clock in the evening. As long as it meant that I could take my kid to the movies on a Monday afternoon. All in all, this it wasn’t the subject I though I was looking for, but I had fun reading the article. It made me feel all philosophical. And in a mood like that, there’s nothing I like more than miso soup, so as they say “all is well that ends well.”

Tell me, how do you manage to be a happy worker and a happy parent?

Photo by Steven Depolo


One thought on "The Miso Soup challenge: how to be a good parent and a good worker?"

  • Kalle Hallivuori says:

    I work four days a week, with pay reduced accordingly. I have to accept work places that accept this choice; none of the “best work places” do. I have to be present at customer site. This means my wife has to take the kids to and from daycare. When she can’t, I accumulate work time debt. That sucks.
    I’d love to work from home, preferably on open source, as there remote work is assumed rather than mistrusted, but establishing name in that area would require putting in some time which I’ll only have once our kids have grown up. This sucks.
    Spend your student years well, young ones: contribute to free software as much as you can. It will make a name for you that you can use to leverage your living conditions.
    I’d love to have a society or culture that would share work more evenly among people.

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