Boundaries of Absence

It’s a challenge, a double-edged sword. There’s an assumption, implicit, but there, that my personal time and my social life have less value because I don’t have children. There’s an assumption that I can work overtime, stay late, come into work early because I have no children at home.

And it’s true.

I want my colleagues to spend time with their children. I want them to take them to school, to read them stories, to eat dinner with them. In a great many senses, I’m happy to do the extra work. The years are short. Their children will only be little for a while. Memories take time to happen.

I know this because I don’t get to make those memories. I can tell you the value of those memories because I have mapped the boundaries of their absence.

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3 Responses to Boundaries of Absence

  1. Phoenix says:

    Wow. Powerful. I felt this on a visceral level.

    I also want people to spend time with their children. Read to them, share meals, wipe tears, laugh, play. They are only children for a short amount of time.

    Like you, I know the value of those memories. I know the pain of not getting to make those memories and I know the pain of watching others get to make them.

  2. loribeth61 says:

    I don’t begrudge other people taking advantage of flexible work arrangements & leaving early, etc., because of their children. If I had kids, I’d be doing exactly the same thing. I only ask that they extend the same courtesy to me when I ask for flexibility for my own personal reasons. My time is not any less valuable than theirs, just because I happen to spend it differently.

  3. Debby Hornburg says:

    I see my world from my small POV. Sometimes, when I read your words, I glimpse the same world from another POV altogether, and there is an audible ‘Ooooooohhhh’ that bursts from my heart.

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