Since I have become a parent, I have learned that parenthood is only truly learned through on the job training. Caring for someone else’s children and taking classes in child development and child care are both helpful, but in the end the children go home or the class ends and you can move on to another class. When you become a parent, your children do NOT leave at the end of the day, and although you may change what you are learning, this is a class that lasts a lifetime (or several lifetimes, depending on the number of children you have!).
It is overwhelming to realize the responsibility that is placed on your shoulders when that sweet baby is placed in your arms. This child will be dependant on you for everything! But you also gain an incredible love for that innocent baby staring up at you. You two will learn together, step by step, through the entire process of growing-up.
As a child, I assumed that my parents were perfect and all knowing. I assumed that if they said it - it was right! As a mom, I realize, I am not perfect… and that is OK! I am a parent in training and will be until my children are grown! Step by step, we will learn how to care for our children at each stage of their lives. I may be pretty proficient at parenting newborns (I have done that five times now) but the Teenage years are something I know nothing about, but luckily I have five rounds of training looming before me.
As the saying goes, “The problem with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are usually unemployed.” (Author unknown). I disagree with author in only one area…that this is a problem! Maybe it is just me, and the fact that I love to learn, but I rejoice in the fact that parenting is a learning process! I love that I don’t have to know everything about being a parent the moment my baby is placed in my arms. I know that if I study hard and do my best, that I will be enough. I can graduate from parenthood, and move on to enjoying the next big adventure, grandparenthood!