How would you finish this sentence? Being a stay at home parent is…
I asked my Facebook friends and here are some of their responses:
LP: My dream job.
PH: A dream that isn’t in the card right now.
VB: A blessing.
NC: Exhausting. And irreplaceable.
JP: The hardest but most rewarding career you can choose!
EA: Not something I could do again if given the opportunity. Not do over, do again. Like some more. My hat is off to all of you who made it beyond preschool years and kept on going.
EB: Full of joy but often no fun.
BE: is living days without regrets.
JT: the MOST important, but HARDEST job in the world!!!
KA: an opportunity to help shape and influence a child’s world in a meaningful, purposeful way.
BP: Super hard and rarely appreciated.
HM: A blessing.
JA: like the army slogan says; “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”
LN: Worth every minute!
CJ: harder than I ever thought and more fulfilling than I ever imagined.
LP: One of the hardest, most challenging things I’ve ever done. But also THE most rewarding!
CS: a way I’ve been able to create consistency for my daughter. Even though it’s definitely work I sometimes feel like I’m not helping in my family. On those days I get to remind myself that the payback is coming in the form of growth, learning, and connection.
These responses carry a lot of meaning to me because I know a little about the individuals who said them and their circumstances. So when I read the response from the woman who is now a grandma, it adds meaning to her comment. Or the response from the woman whose husband passed away leaving her a widow when she was still in her 30s with three young kids, knowing that adds more meaning to her response.
But even though you may not have the advantage I have to know something about each individual, you do know something about the people in your life and their circumstances around their journey with parenting. So think of them as you read these responses. In fact, re-read a response and think of that person being a father. And now read that same response but this time think of that person being one who has never been able to have kids. And read that same response but this time as though it is from an individual who is divorced and raising kids on their own. And read that same response thinking that the person saying this is an individual whose spouse is deployed and has been for the last 16 months. How does that change the meaning of what they are saying?
I recently watched Glen Henry, a stay at home dad, talk about his experience in transitioning from a working dad to a stay at home dad. The transition to becoming a stay at home parent is a lot harder than it seems like it should be. If you want a good personal development program, I recommend to you the refining process of being a stay at home parent.
In this TED Talk, Glen Henry talks about his journey; the challenges, the rewards, the frustrations, and the loneliness that came when he became a stay at home parent.
“Be present is what I learned as a stay at home dad, and let your presence be a gift.” Glen Henry
To watch Glen Henry’s TED talk, click on the link below.