Kenny Bodanis points out that continuing your education as a parent is easier said than done.
I just watched Supernanny encourage a mother of three children under six years of age to use her evenings to pursue passions she gave up on after having children: reading for pleasure and education. The mom mentioned the moment she realized she had lost herself in her role as a mother: she read on a social media site two of her former classmates had completed their PhDs. It was a sad reminder for her of the personal sacrifices she made for her family.
The solution for the weary mom?
“Why can’t you do the same?” asked Supernanny.
“I don’t know. I guess I could take some online courses.”
“Yes, you could!” encouraged Supernanny.
The two women hugged it out as theme music serenaded the sunset and the credits rolled. Voila! Another family saved.
Boy, would I love to see a follow-up show in a year.
During the first fifty minutes of the show, Supernanny did have great advice for this busy stay-at-home mom : using time-outs effectively, following through on threats, create routines and sticking to them, offload to your husband when he comes home from work, and – most importantly – take advantage of the hour or two of available free time during the day to sit down and have a cup of coffee.
But, pursue a PhD once the kids are asleep?!
She is a better person than I.
Supernanny met Supermommy.
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I only have two children, and I stay-at-home with them only part-time, and the only PhDs I have energy for after the kids are in bed are the guys on Criminal Minds, and a bowl of Phritos and Doritos.
I believe it is possible to become a doctor while minding three toddlers. I would just like to see how it’s done.
Supernanny had all kinds of concrete advice that parent-viewers could learn from and apply at home. I would like the weightiest of these – get your Doctorate once the three toddlers are asleep – to be spelled out for us (we?) uneducated mothers and fathers.
As it is, we divide our day with our respective full time jobs (parenting and office work). They we divide our evening among homemaking responsibilities – children, supper, and bedtime. At some point, according to every marriage therapist on the planet, we should make time for each other. Once all that is accomplished we should, according to all available psychological studies, make time for ourselves.
Somewhere in there, according to Supernanny, there room for a PhD.
Could be; but I need a chart. I want to see the plan. I want to know how. Largely because I don’t think it’s possible to accomplish with three kids at home all day; and more selfishly I’m wondering if I still have time to become a pediatrician.
This where reality shows don’t deliver.
They can never be seen to fail.
If Supernanny had told me as a stay-at-home parent of three kids under 6 to use my evenings as study-time for a doctorate, I would have a nervous breakdown on camera as the credits were rolling. They would have had to put the breakdown in the first block so they could end with a high point – like my kid eating an artichoke or something.
Curious that there aren’t more reality shows about parenting. There are dozens about real estate, construction, cooking, makeovers, diets and wackos like the Kardashians. There are almost none relating to parenting – a field which is desperate for on-air expertise.
Could it be the best parents dedicate so much of themselves to their jobs, they have nothing left at the end of the day to pitch a reality show, much less become Dr. Mom?
Photo—Senior woman graduating from Shutterstock