Sometimes You Don’t Need to Keep It Real…

Family making memories at Cedar Point

“I would blame my bad night on my bad day and expect my family to understand.” Casey Graham

A recent post by a CEO dad went viral because he implored working parents, to “don’t let your bad day become your family’s bad night”. I’m assuming it went viral because a lot of parents can relate to the sentiment. Work is hard enough on its own, but when you combine the pressures of getting your kids up and dressed, your commute, and the people you have to work with, it can be REALLY hard on some days. It can be hard not to let those pressures seep into your evening and infect your time with your family.

Not allowing your family to see you struggling can also seem inauthentic. There’s this selfish mentality that has been in the public discourse for a while. It goes something like, “I can only do what I feel.” “If I’m not feeling it I’m not doing it.” “And, I pride myself on keeping it 100.” To me, that line of thinking is simply an excuse for engaging I poor behavior, especially for parents.

A coworker once told me that it is important to remember that having a positive disposition is an essential component of any job. I agree with her wholeheartedly, and think most people do. My conclusion is based on the fact that most people manage to complete an entire workday by being pleasant, engaging in common courtesies, and smiling. At work, most appreciate that the work should not be disrupted because you’re having a rough day.

Well, the same is true of family life.

Although families are created by love they are maintained by people digging deep and treating the people that they love with courtesy, dignity and respect. They are not a dumping ground for your frustration, depression, and failed dreams. Indeed, every single day, you are teaching your children how they should approach life and treat those they claim to love.  

We all have hard times, but sometimes you don’t need to keep it real. You just need to keep it respectful.

Being able to treat everyone in the household well, despite what you may be going through teaches your kids a valuable lesson, “there is no excuse for treating those we love badly”. Period the end. And, although many people forget that this lesson is taught through behavior and not words, it is no different that the other lessons you teach. Most people teach their kids that they should respect authority, regardless of frustration. Most people teach their kids to use good table manners, even if they are really hungry. Most people teach their kids (after they are potty trained) that they must also use the toilet, even if they have to go really badly.

If you wouldn’t tolerate your potty-trained kid sh*tting on the floor, don’t sh*t on your family because you had a bad day or are having a rough time.

Thanks to Casey Graham for bringing this issue to light and for including details about what he did to change.  Read his post included below. I hope his sentiment resonates with working parents everywhere.

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