Do you ever wonder if as a parent you are doing your job well? Notice I didn't say right or wrong, as there are so many varying opinions as to what is right or wrong as there are individual parents in this world.
But how do we define a job well done? What is a picture of success? Especially on a subject like parenting. One that is held in the highest of regard by some. One that is abused and exploited by others. It's kind of like the Army used to say 'the toughest job you'll ever love'.
What are the rewards of a job well done? What are the drawbacks of not constantly striving to be a success?
Rewards can be as small as a smile or a snuggle with your child. They can be as big as your imagination or that of your child can take you--truly the sky is the limit.
The drawbacks can be as small as maybe not getting the rest you need or eating a meal at the time and temperature you prefer.
Bigger drawbacks come in the form of emotions. Like saying goes, 'to be a parent is to forever know that your heart has the ability to walk outside your body.
Oh I could get nitpicky and list off other things, I suppose. But the thing is most people who are truly striving to be good parents don't generally see any of those things as major drawbacks. In the heat of the moment while arguing with a teenager about curfew or being so sleep deprived you wonder how you will be able to continue to walk the floors with this newborn--we might all momentarily question--but most of us don't see those things as bad things. Just part of it. As we realize there are many people who wish they were in our shoes and soon enough we will trade the 'tennis shoes' necessary for the active life of parenting small and growing children to the more comfortable shoes of a parent of grown children.
I've mentioned the good, the bad and the ugly that is experienced on the personal level. While personal success is important: What are some outward examples of success or a job well done?
We seem to be a results driven society. Raises at work are many times based on the successful accomplishment of goals. Good looks and charm will only get you so far. But with parenting sometimes its hard to see if you are truly doing a job 'well done'.
I read somewhere that taking care of children is like shoveling the snow before the storm is over. And yes the dog days of childhood may seem redundant and boring at times for adults; it seems to me that the happiest and healthiest children are those little 'creatures of habit.' So if as a parent I do the same thing everyday, over and over---where's the success?
I think that success is measured many ways. From potty-training and learning to tie shoes to teaching them to drive and balance a checkbook. I think we can call ourselves a success as parents when you can look at your child and know that you've taught them to not only survive but THRIVE in this world. We as parents can point them toward happiness--when they seek and find it; I think that's a job 'well done'
Just letting the thoughts roll out tonight,