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Why Parenting is Like Being on an Escalator

And, no, it's not because it has ups and downs.

This epiphany came to me this morning.

I took the train to the 34th Street Station for an early morning appointment.

For those of you unfamiliar with the NYC subway system, this is a two-story, single person escalator and, in the morning, it is jam-packed with people in a hurry to get to work.

That being the case, the general rule of thumb is to walk up the elevator.

Well, this morning I did not feel like walking up and there was no reason to. Just the opposite. I was tired; I did not have a restful night and I hadn't had my coffee yet. It was more than a little too early for my appointment. And, to be honest, I was also a little achy from yesterday's workout.

And, at first, I stood there on my step. But then I felt uncomfortable, like I was being judged, so I started to walk up, because that's what was expected.

And now we're getting to my epiphany. As I left the underground for the street above, I thought about how this is what happens so many times with our parenting. We do things that we don't really want to do, that we are not comfortable doing, that don't really "work" with our families, because that's what's expected. We don't want to be judged.

Beverly was allowing her middle-school son to use language that she found offensive because all his friends' moms did. She didn't want to be "that mom". But it bothered her. It went against her core values.

And that showed up by her nit-picking on other things that he did. Every little thing became bigger - and turned into an argument. She and her son seemed constantly at odds and their relationship was suffering. We worked together to help her to establish her boundaries. It took some soul searching, honest conversations, and time but now there are a lot less arguments. And she cared less about being judged because her relationship with her son was back on track.

Here's what I know to be true:

Most people are too busy with their own lives to pay any attention to you.

And those that are paying attention are judging you no matter what. And it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Because those that is how they make themselves feel better.

So the moral of this story is to trust your gut and stand on your step. Unless, of course, it's you who needs to move.


I know 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hand that


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