Imagine this: Effective 9 months from today at 3PM you will be a brain surgeon. Ready go!
To be a brain surgeon, you would get a job description of the functions you would need to be responsible for. So, to learn how to do that your first steps would be to read about what it entails, study from others, take a few classes, and formulate some kind of expectation. Right?
In your first surgery, you would be unsure, asking a lot of questions of those around you and hesitant to make the wrong decision. In true Grey’s Anatomy style, in the gallery up above the operating room are others perched, judging your every move, commenting on your choices and offering unsolicited, non-constructive advice.
Does it sound like situation you have been in before?
No, never a brain surgeon? Now, just replace the job title from brain surgeon to mother, and it may sound a little more familiar. That is exactly what motherhood is. Effective on a certain date and a certain time, congratulations you are a mother. No go!
However, when you are a parent, there is no job description. You read a few books, take a class or two, and ask friends and family for advice. But really, you have no idea of what you are taking on, and parenting looks different in every household.
We are all unsure.
It is a new job with duties and responsibilities that we have never had to perform before. And as your job transitions to take on new functions, such as mother of two or mother of three, there are still responsibilities to be learned. Each child is different, and therefore, needs to parented differently, so you start off learning all over again.
Like any job, as the hours of parenthood turn to days and days turn to weeks and so on, we get a little more confident. But, we all have confidence in is the fact that we have no idea what we are doing. The child continues to grow and change, which means your parenting needs to develop and change as well. It is a little comforting to know that the mom next to you on the playground also has no idea what she is doing. It is not that one parent is an expert in the field and the other is entry level. We all start out equal.
Through parenting, we are doing the best we can.
We rationalize and convince ourselves one way or another as we make decisions. We are guided by the fact that the decisions we make are for the good for our children. That becomes acceptable as you transition from infant to baby, baby to toddler, toddler to kid. Now from kid to teenager, I can’t think about that. I am sure that is an entirely different set of job requirements.
Now in contrast to the brain surgeon, there is no direct deposit of your paycheck every two weeks. It is a different kind of incentive for this job. If you close your eyes, you can feel its rewards in your heart, you can wrap your arms around it in a hug, and you can relive the memories in your mind. And, even though there are no sick or vacation days, it is the best job that anyone can ask for.