I recently learned that there is a free ebook entitled "How to Pass Professional Designation Exams Without Completely Ignoring Your Family". We are told not to judge a book by its cover, but based on its title this book is likely very relevant to my current situation. And I would love to read it. That is, I would love to read it if I had any time, but I am currently engrossed in studying for a professional designation exam.
Yesterday was Mothers' Day in North America and, while I long ago abandoned any hope of making my own mother happy by choosing to raise my children approximately 2,200 miles from her home (or, roughly the distance between London and Damascus - Canada is a rather large country), I am still very much loved by the woman who is both my wife and the mother of my children. Putting up with me requires patience and understanding at the best of times, but the past 5 months have been especially challenging.
Anyway, I did okay yesterday. As the British would say, I "ticked all the boxes" - card from the kids, present that she had mentioned recently as something she wanted, card from me with a nice, long, written note explaining "how ardently I love and admire" her (she is a big Jane Austin fan). But, to use yet another British expression, "no prizes for guessing" what dominated my thoughts all weekend. When Ms. Marc asked why I was so grumpy, it felt so petty to say that I couldn't be bothered to put on a happy face for Mothers' Day because I was I had done an online sample exam and done crap at Ethics, which is usually my strong suit.
If this guy shows up at our door, I will be single
I mentioned the above-noted ebook to Ms. Marc and her response was to laugh and say: I only needs to be one sentence long - 'get them out of the way before you get married or have kids.'
I'm not in the most objective place right now, but I am inclined to agree with that statement - even if she did mean it facetiously. I would only add that marriage is not an insurmountable obstacle because adults can be reasoned with and understand that this is temporary. But children, especially young children, are a special challenge. My daughter is going through a particularly clingy phase with Daddy (not least because he is rarely home during her waking hours) and I am desperate for the day when I can go back to having my initial reaction be: "Don't cry Mary, Daddy's right here", as opposed to thinking
"Jeez, not again, this better be quick so I can get back to studying."
F. Scott Fitzgerald once replied to the suggestion that the rich are different by saying "Yes. They have more money." Similarly, parents are different because they have kids. I know that I am not the only parent to ever go though this, and I've only had to go through one exam as a parent, but I can report that it adds an extra layer of complexity and difficulty to an already insanely complex and difficult process. So, my advice as someone going through this now is: if at all possible, get these exams out of the way before you have children, because being a parent is already enough of a challenge.
Anyway, one way or another, this will all be over in 3 weeks.