Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Hardest Job...

Throughout our lives we have lots and lots of different jobs, even if we never applied for them.

When we are first born, our job is to eat, sleep, grow and learn. Oh yeah, and we poop a lot too.  I used to think that this was such an easy job, I mean seriously, your every need, wish and desire are fulfilled by someone else.  Then, after watching my own daughter, I realized just how hard the job truly is, I mean, a baby is completely helpless and dependent on everyone around him/her.  I personally hate feeling helpless and dependent on others, and what's worse is if you are not blessed with people in your life who are truly on top of things, you could end up going hungry and spending a lot of time in wet poopy diapers. Definitely NOT easy!

Our next job is to be a toddler/preschooler, still learning and growing but now with a mind of our own. We are starting to come into our own. We can talk, run, play, sing, go potty on our own, but we still lack a huge amount of control and that is exactly what we want. We get choices, but they are seldom choices that we actually like or want. I mean seriously, I offer my daughter choices all the time, and she seldom EVER wants to do what I actually offer her. I think this job might be one of the hardest. As I watch Toddler D, I can see just how smart and intelligent she is and also how FRUSTRATED she gets because she can't express herself and she is constantly being told no. I hate having to tell her no, but let's face it, kids need boundaries and most times I say no for safety reasons.  It is one of those jobs where she is just able to do enough and knows just enough to be truly dangerous to herself (and to the cat!). 

I can only speak from my own experience for the next sets of jobs here, but there are the school-age years and the pre-teen years. These jobs aren't nearly as difficult as the first two, in my opinion, but I am about 20 years removed from that time of my life. I know my main focus was on school and learning. More choices, beginning to explore true autonomy from parents and beginning to form a personality separate from your family.

The teenage years, now this job is as hard or easy as one makes it. For me it was a pretty easy job, but I was a pretty easy going teenager. I had my first paid job as a teenager and that was an interesting lesson in responsibility.

Next comes college and then the real world, it gets tricky here. There are lots of paths to be taken, but, in theory, if you did well at the first few jobs you held in your life, you should be able to manage at this job. 

Soon comes marriage and the job of being someone's partner. Depending on how long you waited to get married this can actually present quite a challenge. For me, I was used to be autonomous and not having to rely on anyone else. Learning to rely on someone else and share your life is not easy, but once you learn it is so wonderful to have someone else to lean on. 

Next comes parenthood. Holy buckets, this one ranks right up there with being a newborn and a toddler/preschooler. Except this time around you are the responsible one. Who knew that a toddler's temper tantrum could make a grown adult want to throw one in return. Who knew that hearing "mama" 5,762 times in one day could actually make you want to legally change your name to Billy Bob?  But you know what? While this has been one of the hardest jobs I have ever had, it has also been one of the most rewarding. Every day I get to watch my little girl grow and change into the incredible person she is becoming. I get hugs, and kisses and some days she even takes my blood pressure (right now she wants to be a doctor). Best of all a few hours after she has gone to sleep at night I get to sneak into her room at night and re-cover her with a blanket and watch her while she sleeps. Best feeling ever!


Ken said...

How insightful. This should be required reading.

Bright Angel said...

:) Love the perspective!

Sondra said...

Great post, Melissa. As you know, we don't have children...but have always seen parenting as the most important, most demanding and most rewarding job anyone can do. And, you sure do it well. Hugs to you and Darling D.

desertskyquilts said...

Your humorous approach to even this serious topic had me smiling. And reflecting on the job I have now, and whether it's normal to feel like having a temper tantrum now and then at my age, too =)