Who’s number one?

I’m a warm person, not a cold person. I take pride in the niceties of civil behaviour. The simple things like warm smiles, warm hellos, kind gestures. I want our kids to be raised to be warm, not cold. How we react/respond to their questions, requests, and needs will impact how they grow up. We’re all guilty of being short with the kids from time to time. But two parties being guilty doesn’t make the norm okay.

We work all day. We tend to our own needs and wants throughout the week.

None of this matters if we’re not putting the kids first. Doing stuff for them like making dinner or folding laundry is not putting them first. That’s just maintenance. It’s not what a healthy relationship needs. It’s something a robot can do.

What matters is the memories we make. Will they remember us as people who put our clients ahead of them? Will they remember us as people who put our staff and friends ahead of them? That we’re too busy and other things are more important than their needs and wants?

No. Nothing is more important than our children and their wants and needs. Our clients can find another agency. Our staff can find another employer. Our children aren’t so lucky. And when we’re short with them or put them second to our work and personal goals, they feel it. They know it. They grow up feeling second, third, or even far last.

But kids are resilient. They learn and adapt. They learn that they can’t get love from their parents. They’ll learn that they’re not number one with mom and dad. Clients are. Employees are. Project milestones, quotas, and OKRs are priorities. They’ll learn. And when they’re old enough, they’ll seek love and attention elsewhere. Even if that love and attention are dirty, fake, or unhealthy. But they’ll find it.

There’s a point where our children won’t care for our attention.

There’s a point where we’ll be old and they won’t care to visit. They won’t care to live with us. They won’t care to take care of us. They won’t care to love us and put us first. Why should they? They have their own project milestones, quotas, and OKRs. But this is not a bad thing. We’ll survive until we die. What’s sad is, they won’t have time for their kids either. They’ll raise cold children without love.