Bryan Caplan is a busy economist. He’s also a busy parent of four kids, all of whom he now homeschools. Might having that many kids and that much education to supervise impede on his career? Probably. But as Bryan tells his grad students as well as his children, “You are not an interruption of my work. You are my work.”
All of us are busy. We have a lot to manage and conflicting responsibilities. Still, we can’t even forget what our real job is.
Our job is to raise great kids. Or, actually as we’ve said before, our job is to raise great adults. The time we spend with our kids—whether it’s home school or on the couch watching a TV show—this is not a distraction from our work. It is work. Really important work.
Who could really view their life as successful if they were famous but their kids were struggling? Who would be truly happy accepting a Nobel Prize knowing that they had failed as a parent? What good would a billion dollars be if all the money in the world can’t buy happiness for your family?
That’s why kids can never “take away” from our careers or “hold us back.” They can’t interrupt our work because they are our work. We are always teaching them. We are teaching them that we care. We are being there for them. We are stating our priorities. We are instructing, explicitly and implicitly. We are having multi-generational impact.
This is our most important job. Work at it.