There’s been a BBC video that’s been doing the rounds on the internet, and it totally cracked me up. Robert Kelly, who is a professor and expert in international relations, was doing an interview with the BBC. He was looking the part in his swanky suit and even had the intense look on as he was about to talk about South Korea, when bang! The kids entered the room.
He is seen trying to continue the interview as absolute chaos erupts behind him. He tries keeping it together, nudging the kids around, but nothing really works.
This video went viral on the internet because anyone who has had kids has been there and done that. We’ve tried to maintain our composure as we go about our professional lives — trying to pretend we aren’t parents while at work . But the lesson from Kelly’s BBC interview is this -– push them away as much as you can, they will turn up in the background at some point.
I once did an interview on the phone with my son hanging off my leg, repeatedly asking me to take him to the park to play. I have lost count of the number of times I had to cut short a conversation on the phone or a video call, to make sure my kids don’t kill each other.
While the internet was giving no-brainer solutions to poor Robert Kelly like ‘you should have locked the door dude’, anyone with kids will tell you that won’t have worked, infact it may have made the situation worse. Kids know that if they try hard enough and do so relentlessly, they can knock a door down -– if not by mere physical strength but by their constant nagging and repetitive one-liners . The last thing you want to deal with while trying to concentrate on giving an interview are kids behind a closed door, yelling at the top of their lungs, “Open the door!!”
The video featuring Robert Kelly went viral because of two reasons. One –- It was so real and funny. Hilarious really is an understatement. And two –- because any parent can relate to it. Regardless how perfect your child is, you can relate to it. Children don’t care if there is a camera or not, or if he whole world is watching –- or not. They are just going to be their unpredictable selves, like children usually are.
The incident with Robert Kelly raises an important point that employers need to acknowledge – that you can be a parent and a professional at the same time. Work is not measureable by the number of hours you put it, but by the output and quality of work. A 2014 study found that being a mother makes for a better employee. The study found that raising a child equips you with better multitasking skills and overall workplace skills.
Robert Kelly — you may have, perhaps unintentionally so, shown the world that you can truly be a professional and a father at the same time. Unapologetically so. Good on you!