I’ve heard parenting described as “the toughest job you’ll ever love” and “the most important job in the world.” As younger parents we sort through the variety of ideas, experiences and practices with which we were raised keeping some and discarding others. Watching some of the wonderful new Moms and Dads in my life right now, I am impressed by the intelligence and energy they bring to parenthood.
And I wonder, if they were to describe this sacred “work” with a job description, what would it say? Here’s a “want ad” I wrote for workshop participants a while ago.
Help Wanted: Passionate adult to commit to vital mission. Successful candidate will embrace the mission in 120-hour workweek with no financial compensation. Must be committed to creating better future for children and care enough to do the hard stuff. Preference given to those who apply as a team and are able to remember that “you’re not raising children – you’re raising future adults!”
I suppose, like any good job description, the qualities outlined would depend on the outcome an individual or couple wants for their children. And that’s related to values. Your values.
So what, in your mind, constitutes successful parenting? What do you want for your kids?
Of course to be safe and cared for and to know they are loved. Of course. But what else do you want for them? A top-notch education? Resilience? Secure employment? Good health? How about a great work ethic, common sense or the ability to set goals?
And what skills, qualities and experience do you need to have in order to help that happen?