In the May 5th issue, The Economist magazine admits that “Economists sometimes fail to measure what matters most” but the article is unclear about what, exactly, they fail to measure. If you ask anyone what is most important to them, they will probably reply, “My family, of course!”
We care about each other and, because we do, we take care of each other. We are not paid for this real and valuable work and, more important, we may not have good role models or receive training to help us do it well.
In The Economist’s words, caregiving makes up most “non-market activity,” the unpaid work that keeps the world’s economic engine humming. Much of this work used to be, and still is, done by women. Now many men, thankfully, recognize that since the women in their lives are in the paid workforce, they should do a fairer share of homemaking and childrearing.
But misconceptions and stigma about the unpaid work done by parents and others in parenting roles persist. If this work is viewed, by some, as brainless and boring, does it have no value or is it easy? No and no! Raising children, helping them become the confident, capable human beings they can be, is both valuable and challenging. Doing it well takes intelligence and resourcefulness. On our best days, parents make enormous contributions to individual and social health, first by bonding with our infants, then, as our children mature, by instilling in them positive behaviors and good character.
Let’s all pay more attention to what really counts, even though what really counts may not be counted in economic terms! On June 1st Parents Forum invites you to #StandUpForParents.
The UN has proclaimed June 1st as an international day that you may not have heard of: Global Day of Parents. Parents Forum invites you, at noon that day, wherever you are, to take five or ten minutes… stand up… talk with coworkers, supervisors, friends about the support you each have, and need, as parents.
Whether you are a parent or not, please consider supporting our direct and online services to parents: locally, as near as Winthrop, and globally, as far away as Algiers, by donating to our #StandUpForParents fundraising campaign
This launches on Global Day of Parents and will build on our 25 years of community service. On behalf of parents everywhere, thank you!