Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Parenting Paradox

Webster’s defines a “paradox” as: someone or something with qualities or features that seem to conflict with one another, such as the paradox of fighting a war for peace.

It lists the synonyms of paradox as: dichotomy, incongruity, contradiction.

Do you see the biggest paradox missing from that list? I do. Parenting.

Parenting is, of course, a volunteer position. Not only is there no overtime or holiday pay or hazard pay or combat pay (all of which are needed, and deserved), there’s simply NO pay.  Yet, people for generations upon generations keep doing it. If they stopped, humanity would cease to exist.

I started working when I was in middle school. My assorted minimum wage jobs were all interesting - “sandwich artist” (working for Subway, thank you very much), mystery shopper, and watch and jewelry repair person.

But the most interesting job I’ve ever had is: mom. Where else could I get asked questions like: “Do kings and queens take baths together?” and “Mommy, if the tooth fairy’s job is taking teeth, where does she get the money she leaves people? Does she steal it?” (It should be noted that all these questions were asked in the course of one day, by different children.)

Being a mother is the most beautiful and most confounding thing I’ve ever done. Last weekend a few close friends and I escaped our husbands and our children and our lives and went to Palm Springs. Inexplicably, by the end of the trip, we missed the very people we were fleeing from. How does that happen?

It is my privilege and my joy to parent children who came to us through adoption. It is also my privilege and my joy to parent children who happen to have some medical and physical needs. All of the aspects of my children have made my life bigger, and brighter.

But, by the same token, these aspects that enhance our lives can sometimes be so very hard. I identify with Kahlil Gibran’s words in The Prophet: “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.” Simply put: it’s a paradox.

My book, Beautiful Paradox: Musings, Marvelings and Strategies of a Special Needs Parent is free for 48 hours on Amazon Kindle. Go get your copy and then please leave a review on Amazon. The reviews not only help with sales, but they also help people find the book. A book, whose message I believe, is oh-so important.

Also! I'm on a couple wonderful sites with guest posts this week. Come see me over there, too.


  1. I, too, have adopted three children with medical needs - including very visible differences. This school year alone, we are planning at least four major surgeries for my children. I also have five bio children, a couple of whom also have IEPs. I am very, very interested in your book, however I do not have a Kindle. Is there any other format available for purchase?

    1. Hi Kristin,

      Thanks for reaching out! I don't have a Kindle either but you don't need one to read the book. You just need Amazon's free Kindle reading app -

      If you aren't able to use the app for some reason, can you let me know and we'll figure something else out. Good luck with the surgeries! Jessica

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