Parenting is not easy. There is no right or wrong in parenting. Every mom and dad loves their children and wants the best for them. (This story was sent to us by Brooks).
My son just quit his $45,000/year job without any prospects and asked if he could move back home. I was shocked, needless to say. He was so excited when he got the job right out of college and my wife and I rejoiced with him. Over the course of the next couple of years, however, I saw the joy — not just about the job, but about life in general — drain away.
Over Thanksgiving, he talked about insane deadlines, a boss who micromanaged, and a business owner who ruled with an iron fist. I encouraged him, but could tell he wasn’t the happy-go-lucky son I once had.
So this past weekend, when he told us over the phone (he lives in a neighboring state) he walked off the job after a heated argument with his boss, he started sobbing and apologizing. I said, “Son, you have nothing to apologize for. No job is worth what I see this job doing to you.”
His “shame” was compounded by being married for only a couple of years and having a two-year-old daughter. He then asked if they could stay with us for a couple of months until he figures things out. I told him not to worry. We’ve got a big house and everyone is welcome.
More apologies. Promises he’d get a job as soon as he could. My wife and I told him not to worry about it. In fact, we said a condition of him returning would be that he NOT find work until he’s taken care of himself.
He struggles with depression anyway, so I said he should see a psych/therapist, get the help he needs to recover his mental wellness, and go from there. No timelines. No promises needed. He was beyond grateful. No parent wants to see their child struggle because of their job.
So this is a shout-out to all parents of children regardless of age: We can be a part of the antiwork/labor movement. We can be a “safe haven” from abusive work relationships. We can TRUST our kids to make the right choices and encourage them to do whatever they think they need to to have a fulfilling happy life. The only thing any good parent ever wants from their children is that they have the best of all life has to offer.