Last week I posted about what a day in my life is like. It’s crazy. It’s not like any day anyone would want to have, if they had a choice. And I’m working on changing it. For example I took a trip to LA with the kids, so I could get some time to think.
But I was stunned by how many people told me that I wasn’t suited to be home with kids. Or how many people say that homeschooling isn’t right for everyone—as if some people just don’t have it in them to do what’s best for their kids.
Would you say that about work? Like, “Oh, you are just not a person who should be supporting herself financially.”
Have you ever taken a personality test? I love this type of test. Here’s a fast, free one:
I’m an ENTJ. Only 3% of all people are this type, but nearly 100% of Fortune 500 CEOs are this type. This means I’m great at work, but it also means I don’t have a lot of patience for peoples’ emotions, and I’m sometimes deaf to them. (On top of this I have Asperger’s, so you can just imagine how extreme this is for me.) When I first started working in corporate jobs, I was stunned by how completely stupid people were about managing their careers and climbing ladders.
Now I see that some people do not actually need to get more and more power at work, so it doesn’t matter that much that they suck at it. But at the beginning of adult life, in one’s twenties, everyone is working. Very few college graduates have kids. So they have no outlet for the emotional, care taking aspects of their personality.
But you’ll be great at home with kids. To the same extreme that I will be terrible at home with kids. It’s not what we choose, it’s how we are born.
However we can choose to do our best with what we have. That’s what a 22-year-old ISFP does at an office. And it’s what a 40 year old INTP does at home. Often, because of where we are in life, we have to do something that is not easy for us to do. We try anyway.
And would you have it any other way?
Let’s say that half the people in the world are happier taking care of kids, and half the people in the world are happier working in an office. Because if you look at Myers Briggs research, that is pretty much true.
Does this mean that we tell half the kids who are 22 that they should not work and just have kids? And we tell half the people who are 35 with kids that they should not take care of their kids all day but instead go to work?
My guess is you’d say no. So then don’t tell people who hate staying home with kids that they shouldn’t stay home. Because I don’t tell you that even though your kids need to eat you should not go to work because you don’t have the temperment. I think we just have to figure out how to work with what we have. No one has a perfect personality for every stage of their life.
And for those of you who adore staying home with your kids, don’t be so smug: You will wish you had my flair for work when all your kids are grown up.