Baby, listen; parenting is the single most challenging job that most of us will ever experience.
Parenting: a role that requires the least amount of training and expertise with the highest level of responsibility, dedication, and love for the job.
The role of a parent encompasses so many skills that we never consider in their proper context. Think about this; after high school completion, to become a doctor, according to medicalaid.org, it takes a minimum of 10 years. Clio.com tells us that 7 years of training are necessary before even being allowed to take a test to determine proficiency and credential attainment for lawyers. A kindergarten through twelfth grade teacher must be certified in a particular content area or grade level range to have the right to stand before children and provide instruction. An athlete, who may or may not acquire a formal period of training before entering their sport of choice will practice for countless hours before they are ever considered good enough to have a real chance and be invited to prove themselves. But parenting, the job that has the greatest impact on the current state and future of this world, requires no years of education, credentials, experience, or job knowledge, yet most will try it and give it their very best. Everything that is done for the most important job on the planet is trial and error – certainly a different level of On-the-Job Training.
Parenting is the job that makes you liable for each decision you make before you are fully hired. From day one, and without a probationary period, the parent has full decision-making authority without an application, interview, reference check or background inquiry. This job: the most important one you will ever have, does not come with paid vacation. No major holidays where you are guaranteed to have some time away from the stress and decision-making fatigue that are bound to creep up. No promise of time off as a reward for your amazing contributions and sacrifices, nor is there a probationary period for either party to change their mind.
This job, more than any other, is filled with many challenges, disappointments, and maybe even some heartache. But remember, this job, if done well, comes with the most amazing retirement plan. You will cherish all the many glimpses and long glances from the years of major and minor accomplishments that you shared together. A reflection of the values that you worked so hard to instill and model will manifest before your eyes. All the times that you doctored, advocated for, cheered, encouraged, corrected, and unconditionally loved will fill you with an incomparable sense of pride and joy.
For all parents, we can only hope that you allow yourself grace. Remember that this responsibility and the many jobs within it are not ones that you formally trained for, but that you are absolutely made for.
Comments can be emailed to Sonya Thomas at SonyaCMG@gmail.com
Sonya J. Thomas
Cascade Media Group