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The most challenging job in the world April 30, 2010

Posted by sunflower71 in my opinions.
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Until becoming a mother but also till not very long ago, I used to think that the most difficult job in the world must be that of the president of the US or that of the head of the World Bank or maybe the job of the General Secretary of the United Nations.  It’s not that they have easy tasks or that we can in any way down play what the people who sit behind these desks are doing but this post (http://frommumtomom.blogspot.com/2010/04/have-you-ever-smacked-your-child.html) by 1950’s Housewife (http://frommumtomom.blogspot.com/) and the comments her readers posted made me think a lot.

(I have recently discovered her wonderful blog and I can now say that I’m officially addicted to it….as can be observed.)

I now would like to say that I think that the most testing, the most exigent, tricky and tough job in the world is that of being a parent. 

On this job we learn by doing…. read that … from our mistakes… or let’s say that if we are half lucky we learn from the mistakes of our parents or of our friends.  As parents, the only models we have is our own childhood (mine took place in a completely different era) and our friends who had kids before us.  There are no courses, no traineeships, no on the job training.  It’s kind of there was a moment after becoming a biological parent when the penny dropped and I realised that I was not only the biological mother fo my children but also the only mother with all that entails…..

So I’m here going to try to make a list of the challenges of the job:

It is not only feeding the baby/toddler/child but also feeding them healthy food and instilling health eating patterns and a love of all things healthy exercise, etc.

It is not only keeping the baby/toddler/child clean but also teaching them where the germs are and how to combat their effect on us had we to ignore the  existence.

It’s not only clothing the baby/toddler/child but also painstakingly teaching them how to get dressed and in what to go where (pj for bed, uniforms for school – yes here from 3 TC is already wearing a uniform and no it’s not a private college she goes to).

It’s not only reading them a story but instilling in them a love for reading.

It’s not only asking them how their day was but also continuing by open ended questions when sensing something is not quite right.

It’s not only stopping fights between 3 year old TC and 4 year old TP but also reasoning with them on how to arrive to a compromise and finding ways how to preventing fights from happening.

It’s not only putting them to sleep at night but waking up 3, 4, 5 and even 6 times in 6 hours if they call out for you in their sleep.

It’s not only ensuring they have regular health check ups but also nursing them through an illness.

It’s not only taking them to their favourite play area after school but remembering to pack up some goodies (healthy ones..what else?)  for when they get hungry.

It’s not only teaching them the p’s and q’s but also how to say sorry and mean it.

It is about replying truthfully but simply to their questions without underestimating their understanding. It’s about being playful but fair, loving but strict, tender and consistent.

Without any shadow of doubt this list is not exhaustive and I’m sure that if anyone had to read the above they can add some other tasks to this 24 x7 job spec.

The list obviously ignores the fact that every mother is only a human being but in the eyes of her children she is perfect and has to act perfect every single minute of every day and night.  (Let’s face it, even as adults our expectations of our mothers remain pretty high.  Mine are and no matter how many times I remind my self, I fall into the trap of thinking that mum must be perfect and therefor not do or say whatever.)

And so, in conclusing to this long rambling, along I plod along this twisted but pretty flower-lined (pink flowers only please) path of motherhood, luckily supported by the best companion I could ever find, my princesses’ father, my man.



1. sunflower71 - April 30, 2010

Today I had problems linking word to websites so I had to use this cumbersome way of acknowledging my sources. So sorry.

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