What does parenting mean for your mood today?

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Today, I’m celebrating the heroic single parents who work their magic in raising good kids.  Like Michael Keaton in the 1983 movie…I’m Mr. Mom this week.

Today, I’m fixated on a specific segment of our society: we all need to celebrate the heroic efforts of single parents.

This is the week of the year my wife Melinda and her sisters visit their parents in Sun City, Arizona. Like Michael Keaton in the 1983 film… I am “Mr. Mom” this week.

This ritual has been going on since our oldest child was two years old. He just turned 23, so that means this week has been a Darwinian test of my parenting for 21 years. 1997 was the apex – we had three kids under the age of five, which meant Melinda trusted me with a preschooler, a toddler and an infant.  For five days.

Five days!? The whole word just laughed and said: wah, wah, wah…blah, blah, blah.  You pathetic whiner…no one is crying for you!  Back in those days, our office administrator Liz Seitsema would listen to my Mr. Mom episodes and laugh at me. I deserved it.

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Bonnie Franklin (left) liberated the stigma from single parenting with her role in the 1990s sitcom: One Day at a Time

Actress Bonnie Franklin died last week.  She became famous playing the single parent, Ann Romano, in the hit TV series “One Day at a Time”.  Sociologists have already identified her role as the one to lift the stigma from single parenting. We know it worked, because years later Dan Quayle felt the anger of single parents when he criticized Murphy Brown — another TV single parent. Clearly, he hadn’t ever done the Mr. Mom thing.

Enlightened people understand there are reasonable explanations for why single parents exist today: both Moms and Dads. Unlike me, they perform the miracle full time. We all know it’s hard work.  Both the children and the parents deserve our most intense admiration. And support.

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Melinda helps me create a Day-at-a-glance calendar with specific instructions for each day. Even I can’t screw this up!

The one thing all working parents have in common is “personal leadership” — the aura we produce at work. It isn’t always easy to maintain a positive mood and tone at work when the kids don’t sleep at night or cooperate in the morning!  And it’s irritating to get a text message that says: “My lunch account is out of money!” during an important meeting.  The least we can do as leaders is to understand what’s going on in the personal lives of the people important to our success…so we can help each other stay resilient, patient and positive.

In the spirit of true disclosure, the hardest days of Mr. Mom are long gone for me. We only have one kid left at home, Anna, now a high school junior who has her own car. Normally she and I seize mom’s vacation as an opportunity to PARTY with our own rules. But, alas, Anna has finals this week. Yesterday she asked me to leave her alone so she could STUDY. Sheeezzzz.  Must be her mother’s child.

Good leaders make a habit of embracing daily parenting challenges in ways that help them show up at work with good energy.  And they do us all a huge favor by producing good kids who will be our future leaders, employees and customers.

Please share your joys as a single parent with us: full time or part time.  We want to celebrate your dedication and courage.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

10 Comments

  1. Guest on March 5, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    What a great post today. Thank you, Paul. My joy in being a single mother is instilling values in her that will lead her to be an inspiring part of our community- at home, at school, and eventually in the workplace. 



  2. Guest on March 5, 2013 at 9:23 am

    What a great post today. Thank you, Paul. My joy in being a single mother is instilling values in her that will lead her to be an inspiring part of our community- at home, at school, and eventually in the workplace. 



  3. DMS on March 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    What a great read, Paul!  Thank you!  I love being a single parent!  Is it hard?  You bet, but special people at my work have a hand in helping me raise my daughter, that’s for sure! 



  4. DMS on March 5, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    What a great read, Paul!  Thank you!  I love being a single parent!  Is it hard?  You bet, but special people at my work have a hand in helping me raise my daughter, that’s for sure! 



  5. Lynn on March 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Three cheers for all parents–and especially the single ones–who raise kids who become productive adults. I’m not a parent, but I can’t imagine that any job is more difficult. I’ve also noticed that good parents can be great leaders, too, because they know that all human beings, not just the little ones, want do it themselves, know why, and hear “You did a great job!” 



  6. Lynn on March 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Three cheers for all parents–and especially the single ones–who raise kids who become productive adults. I’m not a parent, but I can’t imagine that any job is more difficult. I’ve also noticed that good parents can be great leaders, too, because they know that all human beings, not just the little ones, want do it themselves, know why, and hear “You did a great job!” 



  7. Paul Batz on March 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Good vibes from the blog about parenting.  Ironically, I left out my two dogs as part of my responsibilities…that was a mistake.  Our oldest dog, Max, is 15 1/2 years old…and yesterday his back legs quit working.  I had to carry him around the house, and outside to do his business.  Taking the afternoon off today to take him to the vet. Sheeezzz, the work of a parent never ends.



  8. Paul Batz on March 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Good vibes from the blog about parenting.  Ironically, I left out my two dogs as part of my responsibilities…that was a mistake.  Our oldest dog, Max, is 15 1/2 years old…and yesterday his back legs quit working.  I had to carry him around the house, and outside to do his business.  Taking the afternoon off today to take him to the vet. Sheeezzz, the work of a parent never ends.



  9. MsWms on March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you for acknowledging single parents. I am a single mother of my soon to be 15 year old son and it is a challenging yet rewarding undertaking. Being a single parent I empathize with all parents, but I do hold a special place in my heart for the single mothers on my team. Try to stay positive to be an example for them and make myself available to them when times get tough. As I am typing my response one of my team members, a single mother of 3 comes to me in tears confessing how tired she is, she has to go pick up one of her kids. It does my heart good that she trusts me and that I can be there for her. Single parenting is a tough job but you have to be very special to be entrusting with such an important role.



  10. MsWms on March 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thank you for acknowledging single parents. I am a single mother of my soon to be 15 year old son and it is a challenging yet rewarding undertaking. Being a single parent I empathize with all parents, but I do hold a special place in my heart for the single mothers on my team. Try to stay positive to be an example for them and make myself available to them when times get tough. As I am typing my response one of my team members, a single mother of 3 comes to me in tears confessing how tired she is, she has to go pick up one of her kids. It does my heart good that she trusts me and that I can be there for her. Single parenting is a tough job but you have to be very special to be entrusting with such an important role.



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