It is so interesting to hear everyone’s different perspectives on how we are functioning as a society and the changes that we hope to see in the future. Not only was it about women attempting to be superwomen with more moms working now days then ever.. but about how men are trying to identify their place in the home and at work, how old laws worked for old norms but not necessarily the new emerging norms of today’s families and the most eye opening part to me was the way we view and treat our care givers as a society.
Caregivers meaning: Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Therapists and most importantly everyday families taking care of children and their elderly.
Think about it… our society really doesn’t allow time or acknowledgment of being a caregiver of any sort.
We don’t applaud those that take their elderly parents into their home and need time to take them to doctors appointments or care for them while they are ill.
We don’t applaud mothers or fathers that have children and want to take them to school and pick them up and be home while they are sick or make their very important basketball game.
We don’t applaud or look up to the teacher’s that take the mind of a young child and nurture and transform it into a bright young adult who will be another successful functioning citizen in our society.
There are so many people in our society that are giving care to someone and, yet as society we look down on them for leaving from work early, missing that meeting because their “kid” is sick, saying “oh your a teacher” or “oh you are just a mother”.
How does that make sense?
In my opinion it doesn’t come down to men or women or the roles and we play in society. It comes down to the companies the we work for and the way we view certain professions. Why we value investment bankers over teachers will never make sense to me. I also blame the companies we work for and the corporate structure and culture they employ. Working straight from 9-6 or 8-5 doesn’t work for most people I know and receiving the cold shoulder response from you boss when you ask to be absent from the office to take care of a personal matter isn’t a settling matter either.
We are suppose to work to live… but in my eyes more and more we are living to work.
At the end of the event Maria Shriver didn’t ask Congress to do something about it and didn’t just use her report to complain about society as it is, she asked that each and everyone of us start the conversation at our kitchen tables and start making the change from within.
She urged us to be the person that says to your teachers, thank you for putting time and effort into caring and educating my child. Be the manager or boss that says your child is sick go home don’t worry about it or get out of here early to make his basketball game. Just to be conscious and supportive of those who are caregivers around you.
We don’t need a law to tell us how to act or respond to things. We can do that all ourselves.
Of course, my opinions are my own and we can get into that a whole other time, but I wanted to started the conversation among my readers.
Praise your caregivers, value them and next time you go to say something that undercuts them and why they are doing what they are doing, just STOP, praise them and say Thank you.
Go home tonight and ask your husband what he thinks about his role in society as a man, ask your parents how they feel, ask your girlfriends about how they feel.
Just simply start the conversation.
For more information and more statistics and stories on the other topics discussed please visit The Shriver Report.