Skimming the internet, I stopped on a parenting article which began with a fairly common statement: “Parenting is one of the toughest jobs around.”
Karen and I understand that many will defend this thought—vigorously.
But what causes moms and dads to say it? Parenting is a job we chose. It’s a job we asked for. It’s the job we sought. For many, it’s the job they love, knowing it’s THE greatest opportunity to leave a legacy.
Yet, so often parents seem to need to yell, “PARENTING IS HARD WORK!!!” But …
Isn’t it possible lamenting the “hard work” of being a mom or dad just puts us in the wrong frame of mind? Isn’t it the same bad habit—complaining—that we might coach our offspring to cease and desist?!
This sort of negative thinking quickly leads us to make negative proclamations (from Ch. 23 of ”Parenting the QBQ Way”):
“I can’t wait for summer to end so my kids will be in school and out of my hair!”
“You have three teen girls?! You must be going crazy!”
“Just dropped my preschooler off and I’m so glad to be away from him for a couple hours!”
“I hate these ‘terrible twos’—she’s driving me nuts with her tantrums!”
“You think your little boy is a handful now? Wait till he hits middle school!”
We’re not trying to deny what might be real, nor do we want to minimize true parental frustrations. But remarks like these have many negative consequences. They tear children down, diminish our joy in parenting, interfere with a dad’s or mom’s desire to learn new skills, and might just undermine other parents’ belief in their role and their children.
As we enter 2016, let’s work to not focus on the work of parenting. Not to deny the energy—both physical and emotional—expended when rearing kids, but to concentrate on the positive aspects of being a mom and dad can bring deep joy and purpose to our lives.
Wouldn’t that be more fun and meaningful for us—and the children?
Does this post change your view of parenting and, if so, in what way?
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