Motherhood

Fellow Caretakers, Have You Watched Ryan Gosling’s Golden Globes Acceptance Speech Yet?

Monday January 9, 2017

Ironically, when it aired last night, I was working through Bean’s bedtime while Dave was off at a conference, and sent me a text that Ryan Gosling just gave the perfect acceptance speech, “just killing it” at the Golden Globes.

When I finally got a chance to track it down, he was totally right:

 

 

You don’t often hear about caretakers in widely watched public forums, let alone in such a stark, appreciative, and genuine tone. Sure, there the “moms, you have the most important job!” cliches that pour forth from daytime hosts and yearning politicians. They don’t really feel like much when you find yourself at a party and have successive people walk away once they realize you’re (just, only) a stay at home mom.

So, yes, it’s nice to have this stuff pointed out for all to see.

While I don’t think I’ve sacrificed much to stay home with Bean (and definitely don’t feel like that when I’m texting photos of us frolicking at the beach to a poor Dave, stuck in an endless block of meetings), it is a truism that I (and other caretakers) have taken this on so that others around them are lifted from the burden and can go forth and succeed.

A working parent, with a stay-at-home parent, doesn’t have to worry about getting to work on time after a rough morning getting the kids ready for daycare. Likewise, there’s no rush to leave work by 5pm because of daycare hours. They don’t have to worry about their kid getting sick, and having to unexpectedly cancel a critical meeting or presentation. Unexpected late meeting with the director? No sweat. They can go to any conference or out of town work assignment they’d like, without thinking at all about who will take care of their kids. I’ll repeat that: they never have to think at all about who will take care of their kids. 

Imagine a sibling who is likewise freed from caring for an ailing parent because another sibling has stepped in to take it over?

They are freed from the psychological burden as well, knowing their kids or sick parent is in great, caring hands.

Because of caretakers, others are given the space and energy to prosper.

(Caveat that I also realize the worker bees aren’t exactly completely home free. They still have to go to work, and the working parent has to maintain their salary which I’m sure is no small psychological burden itself.)

But when you are the caretaker, none of this really comes to light. There are no promotions or milestones. There’s nothing to pride yourself on. No one has ever said “I’ve really advanced in my role as caretaker these past few years.” No one ever feels like an exceptionally good caretaker; it’s much too messy of a job for that. We don’t get a special pin to commemorate 5 years of service. We don’t get a tote bag or hoodie with the corporate logo to wear around town. There’s never a reward ceremony. Never a plaque. There’s no forward movement and no successes. There are no bragging rights. It just is what it is. Caretaking.

As Dave has succeeded in his career these past few years and carved out a specialized niche for himself, it is difficult to see that perhaps I’ve had a role in it, all the way over here back home. I am immensely proud of him, and awed by his professionalism and abilities and ideas, and if anything, feel that I’ve been left behind as his former colleague. I don’t think a Ryan Gosling speech is going to change that either. But, it’s still nice to hear.

Tags:
Motherhood, Work, You

2 Responses to “Fellow Caretakers, Have You Watched Ryan Gosling’s Golden Globes Acceptance Speech Yet?”

  1. Great blog. You’re right-for some reason, caretakers don’t get the credit that they deserve. I’m not sure why that is.

       

    1/9/2017 at 6:11 pm

  2. Maybe because, by its nature, caretakers only working with/for a few people. Like, I’m doing all this in order to raise one (1) child. Not running a division, not heading up a committee. Just one kid and me. So, while she may think my role is important, it doesn’t seem that important in the grand scheme of things, you know?

       

    1/10/2017 at 2:40 pm

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