My Personal Blog

Time for children

By on May 30, 2011 in Parenting & Education

schooldress-731x1024They Grow Up So Fast…  If you talk to parents of older children this is one of the most common things you will hear.  This will often be followed by regrets of how they did not spend enough time with their children and maybe how they missed out on certain things. I do understand what its like to be busy young parents usually struggling to pay a mortgage or even just the rent. I also have regrets about not spending enough time with my kids when they were younger and know there is a lot of things i could have done better.

That is the nature of being first time parents in the West with our nuclear family model. In many cultures that still embrace the extended family, the grandparents are there to provide  support and guidance. In the West grandparents are too busy being independent or relegated off to old people homes. Our Western cultures do not value wisdom and experience and this is being perpetuated by future generations that observe how we marginalise and even ridicule the aged in society.

I recently watched an interview with Julian Lennon the son of the late John Lennon of Beatles fame. John Lennon was apparently not a very good father to his first son Julian who said he felt closer to Paul McCartney and on the rare occasions he got to see his father, it was Paul that had time for him.  When John divorced his first wife Cynthia, Paul wrote a song to console Julian which went on to be a huge hit.  They song was renamed Hey Jude but was originally called Hey Jules which was the nick name for Julian.

In 1975 John Lennon retired from public life and music for almost five years to focus on his family with the arrival of his new son Sean from his marriage to his second wife Yoko Ono. That fact that he decided to prioritise his family and spend time with his child is to be admired but at the same time he could afford the luxury of taking time out, while most people are not in a position to quiet their job or put their career on hold to focus on bringing up children.  Or course for many decades women were expected to do exactly that.

Modern women are told they do not need to sacrifice their careers and independence for children.  Child minding facilities mean that they can start a family without giving up work and woman that decide to become a full time parent are even looked down upon. It is almost embarrassing for them to answer that they are a full time mother as if it is an indication they were are too lazy or lack ambition to do anything else. The big problem for society here is that we do not put enough value on the importance of bringing up a child and the role of parents.

John Lennon’s decision to focus on his family surprised most of his friends and fans and  when he returned to music prior to his murder in 1980 he wrote a song about those years and reaction of many to what he was doing.  The song was released as a single posthumously on the Double Fantasy album and called Watching the Wheels.  There is another song on the same album called “Beautiful Boy” where he writes about his love for his young son and there is one line in the song that has always stuck in my mind.

Life is what happens to you
While you’re busy making other plans

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