Home > Career, Relationships > “Nothing comes before those kids”

“Nothing comes before those kids”

As previously mentioned, I watch a lot of HGTV.  One of their ad campaigns right now is for a new show called “Tough as Nails” about a female home builder.  In half-sentence clips and voiceovers they provide a 30-second biography of her and two selling points emerge: she’s the best builder you can get and she’s a fantastic mom.  As she puts it, “nothing comes before those kids.”

Except I doubt that, and I wonder why we have to bill her that way to begin with.  Why does she have to be “the best you can get” and “fantastic” at work and at home?  Would we not watch a show about her building homes if she was a bad mom?  Would we care whether a male home builder was a fantastic dad?  I don’t even know if HGTV star Mike Holmes is married – and I don’t particularly care, because he’s awesome at his job.  Why should we hold the female builder to a different standard?

And beyond that, when will we realize that you can’t do everything the best?  If you’re the number one person in your industry you probably do need to put work before your kids sometimes.  And if you want to be the best mother or father in the world, you probably aren’t going to be at the top of your industry.  I’m okay with that.  We each have a limited amount of time on this earth and we have to choose how to spend it.  I will probably never make it to the top of any corporate ladder, because I don’t care enough about being on top to make the sacrifices it requires of my personal life.  I have no problem with people who want to get to the top – but I hope they don’t drive themselves into the ground trying to reach “fantastic” status at home, too.  We can’t be perfect.  We have to make choices.  So perhaps HGTV should stop trying to sell “doing it all.”

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