There are all sorts of jobs in the world that claim to be ‘tough’. A few may come to mind. You name it – too many to name them all.
From all the dads and mums I have spoken to in gyms over the last 20+ years, I would have to say that being a father or a mother is the toughest. I know how difficult it is so far because I have been lucky enough to be a father now for the last five years.
The main reason why a father’s role, no less than a mother’s, is the toughest job in the world is that it never ends. I am still learning my role as a dad and I love every bit of it. I tell people that it is the best role I have ever played in my life to date.
I have been fortunate enough to spend a bit more time with my two children this past year and I have decided it is the toughest job there is simply because it never ends. You’re faced with challenges – daily, weekly, monthly, year after year. Its 24-7, 365 days of the year! Being a parent is very demanding indeed.
A full-time job, with no let up, no time off even for illness and recuperation (or to nurse that occasional hang-over). Nope, not now and I have concluded, not any time soon.
They are not like your neighbour’s cat who you let in to your home for a feed and cuddle and when you’re tired of it, you let out of the house. No, it does not work that way. Indeed, in High School and University years, I anticipate that they will ‘come and go’ more so than their toddler years, but I think their absence in those years will not lessen the burden of a parent’s responsibility.
No, in fact, I believe that as children get older, our tasks as parents, gets even more complex. It intensifies. I expect it to.
I am very grateful for my children and I give to them with all my heart like I trust all parents out there do, too. Giving and gratitude go hand-in-hand. They go together like humour and laughter.
It seems in all my discussions with parents over the years, that in spite of all the many years of experience they have had, the job of a father (or mother) never seems to get easier.
I think that is true.
As a young father, I can understand (along with my amazing wife), our responsibility at this point in our life – to be the main provider of shelter, food, clothing and lots of love and care in the comfort of home. However, as fathers or mothers, I don’t think we ever stop caring, even when they are all grown up and we are no longer the main providers.
I know, as the biological father of my children, it will be my joyful pleasure to continue to care for them, even after they may no longer seem to need me, when they are older. I know it will be the same for my wife, the biological mother of my children.
I’m sure it will be the same for every father or mother reading this blog. I trust it would be the same for future fathers and mothers too. Investing love and time in your child(ren) is the most important investment you will ever make in your life.
One point is clear: Once a parent, always a parent.
Be the best parent you can be.
Until next time,