From Dr. Jane's Notebook
You're Not Allowed to Get Sick
Dual career families face a host of challenges when it comes to raising children and
managing two careers. Even when employers are understanding and flexible, it takes a
concerted effort to manage the fine balancing act of being a top-notch parent, spouse and
In the effort to achieve the near impossible goal of survival under these
circumstances, beware of the following pitfalls...
- Children are rarely sick at the same time. In families where there are multiple
children, you can expect that one will become sick, just as the other becomes well enough
to return to school. As a corollary to this rule, there's a 50% chance of a relapse in the
well child, just as the other is well enough to return to school. "Sick Leave"
is really a family affair.
- Children resent mothers whether they work outside the home or not! In the effort to
please our children and provide good quality time, we are often caught in the following
"Catch-22". If we are overly available, children often take us "for
granted" or experience us as smothering. If we are busy working to provide for their
physical needs, we are often accused of not spending enough time with them.
My belief is that if you're going to take the "quality time" route, tell your
children "this is your quality time". Otherwise, when you have finished playing
all their games, they will continue to say, "Mommy, you never play with me!"
- Just when you think you're being an excellent parent, your spouse will feel neglected.
It is a monumental task to keep everyone in the family happy. Just when you feel caught up
with the housework, have spent quality time with your children, and feel in control of
your life, you may be reminded of that all-important role as a "carefree, sexy
lover". At this point, it is essential to remain cool and meditate on the truth of
this issue. We do have two relationships to maintain... that of spouse and that of parent.
When parenting begins to dominate the situation, remind yourself of how things were
B.C.... "before children".
- If you're going to be great, you'd better take good care of yourself! If you want to
succeed in your career, be an excellent and loving parent, and be a devoted and sexy
spouse, you're going to need to be good to yourself! It takes alot of positive energy to
master these various roles in your family. Mutual support and encouragement between
spouses is a must. It is essential to feel that both of you are playing on the same team!
- Teach your children how to treat their parents. Parents today often display shyness
about teaching their children to be respectful. We may teach them about manners for use in
public, but then, not require their use at home. When we fail to be assertive with our
children and let them treat us disrespectfully, resentment and anger develops in our
relationship. About this time, you may find yourself screaming and yelling in a way that
you vowed never to do. To prevent feeling abused by your children, be respectful of them,
and expect respectful treatment in return. Parent-child relationships are a two-way
Saundra Maass-Robinson, M.D., was recently quoted as saying, "Ultimately,
parenting becomes the wonderfully rare opportunity of assisting in the development of life
long friendships with very special people --- your own children". I couldn't more
ęCopyright, 1991, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,