Structure and parenting

R package build


What an odd title for a post! Moreover, sometimes I know that I’m writing something that is not even half-baked and that I’ll look back on in embarrassment. Nevertheless …

One thing I’ve been noodling on this past semester is how different structures - having to be somewhere at a particular time or for a certain duration of time or taking responsibility for something, for example - require me to do certain things. Concretely, in the context of a spouse doing so much as a parent and in her profession, being asked to take responsibility as a parent is something that a priori seems like a big deal, but in the moment is quite different. I wonder if other things are this way, too. I’m thinking about being asked to communicate with those you don’t normally communicate with; or having an event or responsibility that one doesn’t look forward to, but is pleasantly surprised having done so. I think these responsibilities (and structures) might - for me - represent blind spots and therefore opportunities that I may have missed.

Considering how taking responsibility as a parent has presented literally the best thing in the world for me - doing things with my son - makes me think about other structures that could exist and could benefit me (and maybe others). Particularly, I’m thinking about how particular structures impact where we live, with whom we socialize, and where our children learn - and how taking responsibility within certain structures might make our neighborhoods/workplaces/communities better. Maybe in some ways structure may matter as much as individual agency beyond parenting, too.