Have you ever wondered if parenting is worth it? I have.
Parenting can be exhausting and overwhelming, but at the same time very rewarding.
Today we talk about what makes this feat worth the effort.
Also what can we do to shift our perspective and enjoy this precious gift of life : our children.
1. It takes a village to raise a child and we don’t have our tribe with us
For the longest time in human history, kids were raised by entire tribe and not only by the parents.
Different members of the tribe shared the responsibility of feeding, cleaning and putting them to sleep. There was ample support to console crying child in the middle of the night.
According to this study, every tribe in the Paleolithic period had at least two other female caregivers per child, apart from the mother.
Our societies have grown more individualistic. With this, the responsibility of raising kids has fallen on the shoulder of two individuals and in many cases, just one.
We are putting the work of an entire tribe on one or two individuals.
That is bound to be overwhelming and stressful beyond our wildest imaginations.
2. We were not trained for childcare
Our prehistoric ancestors trained their young boys and girls in child care. They looked after younger kids of their tribe throughout their life.
In current times, we have lost on all that training.
Becoming parents is our first experience of child care.
Something as fundamental as holding a child to cleaning their poop is all alien to us.
We have no idea how its done until the moment we have to do it all by ourselves.
No doubt, we are almost caught off guard when we become parents.
3. Policies that go against parenting needs
In our culture all this support comes at great financial cost.
Parenting gets more difficult with rising prices of daycare, education, and not-so -friendly work culture.
Few workplaces allow for paid time off to take care for a sick child.
The most basic needs for parents are so out of reach for many of us.
The moment when we need the most support of our society is the time we find ourselves the most isolated.
4. High expectations from self
Most of us blame all our faults on our parents. We don’t intend to take any parenting lessons from them for raising our kids.
Instead, we turn to well-researched blogs and all the studies that are out there for parenting. We devour different parenting styles and try to find the best one.
We refer to our Instagram feeds for what it must “ideally” feel like to be a parent. We are on our toes at all times to not make a single mistake else we may commit a blunder in raising the perfect child.
Such high expectations make the task at hand all the more difficult
5. High expectations from the child
We also have high expectations from our kids.
They should be empathetic, independent, thoughtful.
They should reach each milestone in time.
They should perform well above their peers in all domains of physical and mental growth.
And the list goes on.
We often think of ourselves as the carpenter who can chisel out the best piece of furniture from dead wood.
And that if we are not able to do so then it is only and only our fault.
5. Fear of missing out
Parents see their non-parent friends, who are free to make choices without having to think about a helpless tiny individual.
Parents often regret missing those choices that were so easy to make when they had not embarked on this journey.
This could range from something as simple as having a coffee at the time of choice to going clubbing. How they wish they could go back and be the free individuals that they once were.
This victim complex makes them blame their kids for all that they are missing. This brings them to blog posts like this one wondering if parenting is worth it.
What makes parenting worth it?
While parenting may be the hardest job there is, it is well worth our time, energy, and effort. We as species are wired to reproduce and care for the tiny being that comes out of us. For better or for worse, our kids reflect their parents.
To be or not to be a parent is not a clear pros and cons list that you can weigh against each other.
You as ‘non-parent’ are a different individual than ‘You – The Parent’. One cannot decide for the other.
We can choose to blame our parenthood on people and circumstances.
Or we can shame ourselves for not doing this job to perfection.
Or we can claim the responsibility of raising this tiny individual to the best version it is capable of.
Being a parent could be the reason for us to be the best version of ourselves, which in itself is a constant pursuit.
It is only then that we may be at peace with all the goods and not-so-good that this journey has to offer.