Raising future generations is a culturally diverse, universally technological human project. This research brought the everyday work of raising children into the domain of sustainability scholarship, by first proposing a model of childrearing as a globally distributed socio-technical system, and then exploring the model with participants in two nodes – an elementary and middle school, and a children’s museum. In the process, the research objective shifted towards using methods that were less academic and more relevant to childrearing agents. The focus on participatory survey data was abandoned, in favor of autoethnographic documentation of a long-term engagement with a third node of the system, a child welfare setting. This approach yielded unexpected findings that fit the proposed model, identified characteristics of a Zone of Mutual Oblivion (ZMO) that exists between childrearing and sustainability, and clarified ways in which people prioritize their own needs and responsibilities, the developmental needs of children, the potential needs and capacities of future generations, and the functional integrity of ecological systems.