No, Your Project is NOT Like Raising a Child

No, Your Project is NOT Like Raising a Child

Not Even Close...

Working on your project—your rusty old car, your film, your research paper, whatever—is not even in the same ballpark as raising a child. Please stop saying it. Many of us adults are parents, and you sound ridiculous. You sound like a first-timer at a ball game, shouting, “Home Run!” or “Touchdown!” over and over again with little to no knowledge about any other element of the game at all.

If you screw up your car/paper/film/whatever, it’s not going to be the end of the world. You can make a new one. It’s not going to go on a shooting rampage, or kill itself, or otherwise wreak havoc.

Your project doesn’t have emotions or interests to contend with. It is all about you; it reflects you. It’s all about your own interests, your own recognition, having something to show when you are finished with it. And that’s fine. But that’s not a child.

A child has his or her own personality, goals, interests; he or she is a completely separate entity from you. Your job is not to mold him or her into something you want to be perfect to display to the world as an accomplishment; your job is to prepare him or her for his or her own life and the world, exposing him or her to all of the things the child might find interesting and lead to a life’s passion or work.

Just the fact that I have to use all of these he’s and she’s rather than it’s proves that your project is not a child.

If you want to know what having a child is like, babysit a relative’s for a week. Hell, a weekend. See how much you worry, what a loss you’ll be at when you’re trying to decide what to do with the child or how to deal with his or her personality and what the child wants to do. See if you sleep. Ever.

Your project may have come out of your own head, but it sure didn’t grow in your body. You didn’t connect with it, not parting from it every moment of every day, for nearly a year. You can’t breastfeed it, and you certainly don’t have to pay a sitter to watch it while you run errands or work. You might have to budget in money for your project, but you certainly don’t have to worry about it catching a cold, going hungry, breaking an arm, needing shoe splints or braces.

Seriously? You want to compare your hobby—or even your work—to having a child?

Tell you what. I won’t pretend I know anything about night clubs or mixed drinks or any other cutesy hipster singleton item of little importance that you like to talk about so much, if you can stop pretending that what you’re doing is like raising a child. Deal?