Are you really doing your job?


Father’s Day is a big deal in our house because we have two dads. We have the boys’ biological dad – my Ex – and we have the Farmer. On Sundays, including Father’s Day, we all spend the day together, on the farm, in mostly harmony.

It is not perfect. A few weeks ago, my Ex left early because I’m so annoying to him. And just this morning, the Farmer and I had a fight that scared the kids so much they cried. But I think we are doing okay. And on Father’s Day I feel particularly grateful for both men, because they work really hard to make sure the kids feel like they have an integrated, stable family.

The New York Times says that women go into politics to change something, and men go into politics to be someone. I think this is true for all work, not just politics. I think women are more likely to feel important because they are home with kids, which is why more women than men leave the workforce to be with kids.

Men are changing how they parent, but not too much, because there’s still this survey from ERE that shows men prefer work to being home with kids. I do not believe we can change things completely. We are who we are. Men and women are different. The more I write about these differences in the workplace, the more I appreciate the differences at home.

We all know that if a mom is at the playground with three kids, no one notices, but if a dad is there, people say, “He’s such a great dad.”

I know that Father’s Day is traditionally the day to say how great dads are blah blah. But I have a feeling that the biggest compliment we can say to a dad is that he’s showing up. He’s there, reliably, doing his job, and it’s no big deal. Because dads are expected to do their job.

So today my Ex played with the kids while I surfed the web, and I saw that the Farmer posted to his blog about Father’s Day. And he quoted my son’s blog, about the farm. And now I’m going to quote both those posts. And if you are thinking that you are blogging because you are going to earn money from it, think again. Blogging is about ideas, self-discovery, and growth. And anyone who lives a life about ideas and self-discovery will be worth more in the workplace, no matter who else is reading your blog.

So, here’s the Farmer’s post from his blog, that quotes my son’s post from my son’s blog:

Happy Father’s Day!

This is my second Father's Day, but the first where I feel I've really put in the work. Parenting has more challenges than rewards, but I'm thankful to have the opportunity.

Shepherd is a budding writer, and updates a blog for family and friends. I thought I would share the following entry from his blog. It made my day.

Last year I raised baby tadpoles and set them free as frogs. And this year I'm going to do it again. A few days ago, I went down to my grandparents pond with my dad and we caught one very interested toad, but we let it go because the tadpoles are what we want to raise and we will just let frogs and toads be loose. That's the main thing in project.

It's fun to catch the tadpoles in the pond. Me and my dad also caught a leopard frog. It's a not a frog-sized leopard! It's basically a leopard-quick frog that's yellow with black dots, but not poisonous.

Two big achievements that me and my dad made were:

1. Catching a bullfrog tadpole with legs. The back row of legs, that is.

2. Another thing we did was we found the tadpole nest. But we didn't take anything from it because it would disturb the nest. That's where we found a leopard frog, but we didn't catch it. We found the leopard we caught on our way back to the truck. The reason we didn't keep the frogs and toads we caught was because they would probably eat the small tadpoles.

I had a great time.


29 replies
  1. lb
    lb says:

    Dear The Farmer: Welcome! Nice to see your cameo appearance in P’s blog !

    Thanks for sharing the very sweet story (though the bathtub pic is kind of nasty; guess it must be a little kid thing … my days of frog catching have long since past).

    Happy Father’s Day. My dad died nearly seven years ago so it was another tough father’s day without him. But your post made me smile …. thanks from a fellow Wisco-ite.

  2. Howard Stein
    Howard Stein says:

    I took a break from reading you for awhile when the whole Brazen Careerist thing looked like a messy headlong rush to be Cesar Millan. Now I’m back and you are fresh and excellent. You’re good not because each post is brilliant but because you deliver them. As Seth Godin would say, you ship! I love one comment here, “Anyone who lives a life about ideas and self-discovery will be worth more in the workplace, no matter who else is reading your blog.”
    You make a very important point. One needs to be hired in order to find that out, but I expect it is true.



  3. Lori
    Lori says:

    I’m not a stay-at-home mom, but I used to work with kids … which also made me leave the out-in-the-world workforce—the kids at work. So, I didn’t leave the workforce to be with the kids, but because of the kids. Which, I think, still somehow counts.

  4. poppygirl
    poppygirl says:

    Welcome you, Farmer!
    more challenges than rewards, such a guy thing to say. still, you did it/blogged it, AND are thankful,
    i remember catching frogs by the back legs in spring and the almost cat like eeeeeeee sound they made.

  5. Marsha Keeffer
    Marsha Keeffer says:

    Love the farmer’s post and your son’s post about the tadpoles was wonderful – reminded me about taking buckets of baby frogs home from Frogville and making a pond for them.

    You are always so real, and I appreciate that about you.

  6. Diana
    Diana says:

    I didn’t know The Farmer had a blog, have you mentioned it before? Anyway, I would love to read it so tell us the name!!! Even if he doesn’t blog about your sex life, I want to read it anyway.

  7. Overly Enthusiastic Reader
    Overly Enthusiastic Reader says:

    It’s apparent that you and Farmer Man intentionally do not link to each other or name each other in your blogs. That’s too bad, because I found it funny and compelling to read his wry down-to-earth posts about you and Melissa. And I bet it’s not only me who likes this in-group gossip stuff.

    Now if you could just twist Melissa’s arm into blogging about the two of you, and then all three of you would start to publicly disagree and feud on your respective blogs… Or maybe I should just satiate my gossip cravings by watching daytime reality TV.

  8. Amy Parmenter
    Amy Parmenter says:

    The Farmer has a blog??? Who knew!

    I think it’s interesting that this post is Penelope quoting the Farmer, quoting her son. It’s just one big happy blogging family… lot’s of love in it all.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to identify exactly what my blog is about.

    Ideas. Self-discovery. Growth.


    Thanks for that.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  9. Anna
    Anna says:

    I had no idea the farmer blogged. And thanks to this post, it was extremely easy to find it (is that creepy?). Reading his side of life with PT is fascinating.

  10. Twister
    Twister says:

    I think your gender boundaries are so set simply because of the social circles you travel in (corporate america, farmtown america).

    My husband is working on cutting edge cancer therapy because people die every day from the disease. He works in a lab full of total geeks. Very nice, ego-less men.

    One of my best friends and I were both raised by our dads (although my dad was also a small farmer so had an at-home pursuit) and an ole friend of mine had a baby recently and she and her partner both work part time so neither of them are trapped at home with a screaming infant all the time.

    • Tzipporah
      Tzipporah says:

      “I think your gender boundaries are so set simply because of the social circles you travel in (corporate america, farmtown america).” I second this.

      And really, I’d much rather go to work than stay home with my kid, but I’m an INTJ. So I’d also much rather stay home and do my own projects by myself than go to work OR have my kid there with me.

      I love it that your son so unselfconsciously refers to the farmer as his dad, and his parents the grandparents. Makes me think the family drama from early on in the relationship isn’t going to be as toxic to the kids as I’d worried.

  11. Kathryn C
    Kathryn C says:

    If someone could promise me that my kid would be as cool as yours, I would definitely get on the kid bandwagon. Forget the farmer, I want to read more of your son’s blog.

  12. Max Ikbal
    Max Ikbal says:

    The NY Times has it wrong…it should be like, ‘women go into politics to change something, men go into politics to change EVERYTHING.’

    Humor aside, I believe women should be the stay-at-home parent because quite frankly, we men suck in that dept. Women are much better homemakers.

    As for why guys prefer work over family time…well, they don’t really. We’d rather be home with the wife and the bambinos livin the good life, but our appetite for accomplishment is mainly satisfied through work. We need to DO something out there in the world to feel important.

  13. kupangboy
    kupangboy says:

    for me every day is father’s day, in my country there are still many women who do not have equal rights with men, many women are still working on the house (kitchen) to prepare everything for his family

  14. Wording For Wedding Invitations
    Wording For Wedding Invitations says:

    Definitely a good read. I am reminded about the value of relationships. This is something I have uncontiously stepped away from being it so hard to find a good friend that accepts you for who you are, and doesnt spill all of personal life out to other people!

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