Distant Love on Valentine’s Day

By Rob Wyse|14-02-2021 | 3 Min Read

I am a romantic.

Proof: I got married on Valentine’s Day to the love of my life, Denise.

Through years, tears, fears – and cheers – we have been together and enabled each other to do our life’s work.

And the number one job has been raising three children who are now three incredible adults. Denise has been the CEO of running our house and family – in addition to her work as an event planner and business operations lead. Her role as the CEO of our home was never discussed, she just did it. And in doing that, she enabled me to have a career in communications.

Through it all one thing has always been unwavering: love. Love of our children, each other, community, job, family, co-workers and more.

We are seeing front and center that it does take a village to raise a child.

In the current state of the pandemic infested world, I think about how lucky we were. How easy we had it. We raised kids with no pandemic. No homeschooling. Playing with the kid across the street was as easy as crossing the street.

Today presents a very different circumstance. We are seeing front and center that it does take a village to raise a child. Children are being raised in a world that is arm’s length from teachers, friends, librarians, coaches and live interaction.

In its place is a virtual world. And we need to cross through cyberspace to connect the whole village to our children.

Recently, I spoke to a colleague of mine who is an accomplished reporter at a leading national paper. Her children are elementary-school age – and she said, “Don’t get me started about homeschooling.” In her statement, she spoke to me for millions of mothers in the world. She was saying that this is too much, too hard, and it was not what she signed up for.

Across the pond, I spoke to colleagues at our company in the UK who are homeschooling between meetings, media pitches, client interactions, and managing their spousal relationships. These colleagues taking the lead at home are almost always women. They remain the backbone of our society. They shoulder the brunt of the responsibility during this pandemic.

Without the stability of physical educational institutions to house and educate our children, women are making a tradeoff between work and home.

The reality is that many can’t take it. They can’t balance home, homeschooling, and a career. Built into our society has been physical school which has been a safe haven for learning, playing, and distancing so that women who have been critical to our workforce were able to pursue their profession.

Without the stability of physical educational institutions to house and educate our children, women are making a tradeoff between work and home. Many are choosing home and dropping out of the workforce.

In the US, nearly three million women have dropped out of the workforce. The pressure on women is a reason to panic in the pandemic.

So, as I write this, it is Valentine’s Day. While it is a special day for all – especially meaningful to Denise and me -- this year is a reminder that we need love and support of each other as we all brave through these difficult times.  

At the heart of the stability of our world are mothers. They are the brave warriors in this time. And they need love and support. It takes a village to raise a child. And the world is nothing more than a patchwork quilt of villages that we have sewn together to keep humanity going.

On this Valentine’s Day more than any other, I wish that we are all able to touch who we can with love in a physically distant world.

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Rob Wyse is an expert in brand storytelling and president, North America of Berkeley Communications. For thirty years, he has guided senior leaders in creating compelling story arcs that connect brands to customers. At the heart of his storytelling has been the management of issues/policy to drive market opportunity. Issues include AI, climate change, the future of work, diversity, and healthcare.
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