The hardest job

People always say that parenting is the hardest job they've ever done.

I agree it ain't easy.  You are responsible for the life of another human being.  The little ones can't communicate exactly what they want, which can be frustrating.  Sometimes they get sick, and that can be really scary.  Your own needs get swept aside sometimes (like sleep), which can be, um, tiring.  But, overall - being a parent isn't the hardest job I've ever done.  It just isn't.  Sorry folks.

The hardest job I've had was my last one - as a regional director of a non-profit.  Managing a board of individuals - all of whom were major donors to the organization, all with huge personalities and varying visions of our goals - keeping them happy and trying to stay on their good side every day.  I loved the job - but, I was up all night thinking about every word I had written and every conversation I'd had.  The reward in that job was in making those people happy and knowing that the big picture was the work we were doing as an organization.  Oh ya - and getting paid for it.

Losing Max has been BY FAR the hardest thing I have ever gone through - BY FAR.  But, the job of taking care of him.....and I feel like a traitor to parents around the world by saying just wasn't THAT hard.  Neither is taking care of Mo.  I mean, YES, there are days where I cannot wait for baby bed time so that I can spend a few minutes reading or writing a message to a friend.  But, the actual parenting part - I don't know - it IS hard - just not the hardest thing I've ever done.  I've never had more than one child at a time - so I think that will change things DRAMATICALLY if we are ever so lucky as to have another child (or two).  I know I will look back on this post and laugh out loud at myself.  I also work full time from home and have part time help.  Again, it IS hard. I know this.  It just isn't the hardest.

And, the difference between the job of parenting and any other job is the reward - you put in ALL of this effort - endless sleepless nights, nursing and pumping (and pumping, and pumping, and pumping), and teaching new behaviors, and putting up with temper tantrums......and the whole time, you are with the most important person you've ever known in your life.  You are "working" with the people you love most on the earth - even if they are sometimes entitled complainers.

Believe me, I've worked with many entitled complainers (see description of my last job)- but I never wanted to smother any of them in kisses or squeeze their thighs until they giggled their faces off.  If they told me "good job", I considered it a GREAT success to feel proud of.  I consider it a much GREATER success, and I feel MUCH prouder when Mo actually eats the meatball that I put in front of him at dinner time.

I promise to revisit this post when I have more children, because I know those of you with more than one are saying "She doesn't know sh#t!".  But, see - I do!  I do know sh#t.  Because the HARDEST part of being a parent is knowing that you could lose your child - and that is something I've already done.  Everything else is a challenge, for sure, but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing in the world and I would pretty much give up anything I have in this world to be able to be parenting both of my children right now - even if it was actually the very hardest job in the world.

1 comment

Hannah P (UK) said...

That pic of little Maxie with his helmet on just made my heart melt. Beautiful, as are both of your children.

When I look at the picture of Maxie in that photo it makes me feel so angry that he was taken from you. He was only a tiny little boy, so very much loved by his family - how can life be so cruel?

I am sorry to say that I know several people who have had their precious children taken from them by SIDS. Their sorrow must be hard to bear.