“Parenting is the most important job in the world,” people say, but no pressure, right? While knowing the importance of being a parent can make you feel great sometimes, like a justification of all of the hard choices you’ve made, it can also be intimidating, especially on those days where it feels like nothing you do goes quite the way you want it to. It doesn’t have to be that way, though – you’re a wonderful parent (yes, even on those days) and here are a few reasons why.
- You’re building thick skin
There are plenty of moments in your life with Baby that aren’t perfect, but the tantrums and the sickness and the time when she grabbed onto your hair and just wouldn’t let go are all just training for her terrible twos, the threenager year, the upheaval of starting school, straight through until she grows up and moves out. Baby may have spit up all down the back of your favorite sweater last week, but every little disaster gives you the chance to rise from the ashes, stronger every time. But the time your fifteen-year-old is rolling her eyes at you before storming off and slamming the door behind her, you won’t even think about wavering.
- You (and your partner) know Baby better than anyone
Even if you don’t spend all day every day with her, Baby is in strong competition with gravity for the strongest force in your life, which means that the attention you pay to her in all the time you do spend with her is enough to make you one of the best experts in the world on all things Baby.
- You always give your best effort
Even when you’re tired, even when you have no idea how to solve the problem, or even what the problem she is wailing about actually is, you put everything you’ve got into making sure Baby is okay. Even if she isn’t showing her appreciation for that yet, it’s already incredibly important to her.
- You make sure Baby always eats and sleeps – even when you can’t say the same about yourself
That’s literal selflessness – Baby certainly eats way more often than you get around to, and her hunger and tiredness come first, which is a parent’s first and most important job – and you’re doing a great job with it.
- You’re there for Baby the second, third, fifth, twenty-fifth time around
Baby is reaching that age where repetition becomes her favorite thing, and you’ll be right there with her straight through to the end of it. You read the same book twenty times, sing the same song back-to-back with itself, and pick the same toy up from the floor every minute and a half, and while it both doesn’t feel like exactly what you want to be doing with your time and doesn’t seem like a huge parenting moment, it means a lot to Baby. It teaches her about consistency, cause and effect, and being secure in her relationship with you, and, by extension, her relationships in general.
- You’re just getting started
You may not know everything there is to know about parenting yet, but you’re learning a little bit more every day. And the fact that you want to keep getting better means not only that you will, but that you already are pretty great.