Parenting: The Most Important Job… Ever.

Parenting: The Most Important Job… Ever.

God gifts to parents the most precious, rewarding, and important job that has ever existed.
It is also the hardest job… ever.
There is a saying that if you ask God for patience… God will give you plenty of opportunities to practice. Patience is not like an app you download for your smart phone. Neither is humility, passion, acceptance, love, forgiveness, faith, hope, laughter, joy, nurturing, playfulness, or wonder.
All jobs present the challenge and the opportunity of learning new skills, of honing existing ones. Being a parent presents the opportunity to learn how to teach, how to set boundaries, how to focus on what’s really important, how to let go of the small stuff, how to worry and not show it, how to love unconditionally, how to protect, how to hold on tight, and how to know when to let go.
The compensation is at the same time non-existent and priceless – it is immeasurable, unquantifiable, intangible and so real that at times it feels like nothing else has ever mattered more.
All the mastersthe inventorsthe world changers… were little people once with open hearts and open minds with parents, and families, and villages that raised them up to greatness.
Here in the US, the job benefits include taking care of someone else when they are sick and using vacation time to go to school plays, sporting events, teacher conferences, and very expensive places full of life-size adaptations of animated characters both live and animatronic. They also include paying for someone else’s braces, glasses, clothes, toys, sporting supplies, and entertainment. At the end of it all we can choose to invest an atrocious amount of money into an education that will prepare SOMEONE ELSE to be successful and prosperous and hopefully at the end of their career – retire well.
The job duties include being vomited on (a lot), having constantly injured feet from stepping on toys in the dark, aching backs from carrying around said little persons, being screamed at (in public), being argued with and talked back to, being sighed at, eyes rolled at, and/or simply ignored.
If I knew all I know about parenting today… would I have chosen to do it all over again? To those considering having children – don’t let this post turn you off.
For all the challenges… for all the struggles and frustrations and worry and tears… for the sleepless nights and overwhelmed days… the return on investment of all our personal, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual resources is magnificent… tremendous… super colossal.
Every day is a treasure trove of gems – every smile, giggle, accomplishment, hug, finger painting and poignant, simple, silly prayer at the dinner table is worth more than any winning lottery ticket.
Above it all, whatever the investment, whatever early gray hairs may come, whatever the rewards… the job of parenting is balancing the most rewarding and the most  challenging job at the same time.
And I commit to doing it every single day. To being the best parent I can be. To struggle through, to learn, to grow, to do it better, to ask for help, to be firm, to be loving.
I commit to do this for myself, for my children.
I commit to do this for you.
I commit to do this for your children and your children’s children.
I commit to take this job as seriously as it requires I do because as a parent I hold in my hands, every single day, the most valuable resource of all… the future.

  • Courtney P.
    Posted at 10:55h, 14 April

    JJ – I have to forward this on to my parents as it only solidifies the fact that we (as children) would be foolish to ever take a parent’s love for granted.
    My mom always told me, through fights and hugs, that her and my father’s love is unconditional. She also said that this is a love greater than I could ever imagine and it won’t be till I have children on my own, that I will completely grasp it…and I can’t wait till that day comes.
    I love this post and as always, I definitely teared up.
    I truly admire the love you provide for your two little guys…this my JJMama!

  • Imelda
    Posted at 16:55h, 14 April

    JJ!!! You said it best! The other day Mason yelled at me in public for not buying him new Star Wars shoes. He hit me, told me he wanted a new mom and ran off telling he he wouldn’t come home with me. Broke my heart!!! 🙁 He later apologized after his big sister have him a talking to. The next day he made me the most beautiful picture of a flower and wrote ‘I love mi mom xoxoxoxoxo’ 🙂 So many ups and downs but it’s all worth it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Katie
    Posted at 17:14h, 14 April

    AMEN JJ Mama!! Beautiful, beautiful post.
    It amazes me how so very physical my connection is to my kiddo, absolutely chemically ingrained in me. I had no idea I could love so much and so hard before having a shortie.
    1000% worth it. A million times over.

  • Sara
    Posted at 18:39h, 14 April

    There is a quote in the movie “Lost In Translation” about having kids: Your life, as you know it… is gone. Never to return. But they learn how to walk, and they learn how to talk… and you want to be with them. And they turn out to be the most delightful people you will ever meet in your life.
    This is such truth. Before I had kids, I wasn’t even sure if I really liked them, much less would I be good with some of my own.
    But amazingly enough, I discovered that what you have said, JJ, is absolutely true. “Every day is a treasure trove of gems – every smile, giggle, accomplishment, hug, finger painting and poignant, simple, silly prayer at the dinner table is worth more than any winning lottery ticket.”
    I would not trade this job for anything. This job of parenting that that focuses my attention like a laser on what is important and what is not. I am grateful for every moment of it. Even the moments I think I must have been crazy to enter into it.
    Most of all I am grateful to have such wonderful parents – those with integrity, and the truest of intentions -in my village to raise my children with me.
    Much, much love. 🙂