My parents have always placed a huge emphasis on being fair. They have three children and they wanted to be sure that none of us ever felt like we were loved less than the other two, or worse, received less than the other two. They did an excellent job, even at Christmas our gifts were all equal to the last penny and if they weren’t, my parents would give us a nickel or whatever the difference was and point out that all was fair. They have carried this tradition on with our children. This past Christmas my oldest child’s gift was $2 more and you can bet your ass, my youngest child had $2 taped to her gift when she opened it.
I love that my parents worked so hard to be sure that we knew they loved us all equally, however I have decided that I want my children to be ready for the real world. I have had numerous conversations with my children about the word “fair”. To me, fair is a perception not a practice. I would rather focus on equality and have my children understand that we all have equal rights, but nothing in life is really fair (well beyond grandma and grandpa’s house).
When I worked and received complaints of things not being fair I used to say, “If life were fair I would make as much as my husband, been born a C cup and people wouldn’t be ugly”. This was my way of pointing out that fair didn’t exist in my management style. I was all about being equal, but complain to me because you didn’t get a day off when someone else did or because you had to work overtime (which you got paid for) and I was not having it.
I have been almost obsessive with banishing the word fair from our house. I have done this by pointing out every act of being unfair so they know it is happening. I realized I was successful when I heard my girls fighting in another room and the youngest yelled, “Not Fair!!!” My oldest quickly responded with, “If life was fair mommy would make as much as daddy, been born a C cup and people wouldn’t be ugly!”
I am not kidding, this actually happened. Apparently some of my work from home conversations had been overheard and were now being repeated. I admit, I was proud for a moment and then I realized that I could not have her saying this in public so I asked her to change the word ugly to unfortunate looking. That sounds better, doesn’t it?
I have even come up with my own mathematical equation to make it simpler to understand. Life + You = Not Fair. Simple, to the point and you can’t really challenge a math equation.
Happy Monday, take this week by the balls and make it yours!