Is there anyone else out there who feels like being a parent can be a thankless job?
So much value is put on achieving, on being seen as successful, on advancing in one’s career, and on making money. Never mind the problem of maternity and paternity leave! Compared to our European neighbors, the U.S. does a disappointing job of protecting those precious early moments of life with our kids, and of making it financially viable to treasure those times at home.
Childcare doesn’t pay financially speaking. But does it pay in other ways?
I would say that it most definitely does.
Parents and caregivers: the job often feels thankless, but the hard work you put into looking after, educating, and supporting your kids produces invaluable dividends. The value gained may not be monetary, but it’s there and it matters.
Here’s why parenting and childcare are important:
Establishing a secure bond with caregivers is essential to a child’s emotional well-being and informs the way he or she sees the world and him/herself.
The early days, months and years of a child’s life are very important to their development. Kids who have the opportunity to bond securely with their caregivers from early on have the foundation needed to enjoy emotional security as they move through life. They know they have someone who will navigate the world with them, who will comfort, who will support, and who will guide them.
But why does that emotional security matter, and why is it so important to establish it early on in a child’s life?
Kids brains are developing at an incredible rate, especially in the first few months and years of life. The bonding experiences they have in those early times – or the lack thereof – will impact how they see and experience the world as they grow up into adults. That is not to say that we can’t unlearn negative perspectives that may come as a result of bad experiences, but why not start out on the right foot to begin with?
Wait a minute… So we’re saying that parents and primary caregivers can have an incredible effect on the way kids will experience the world around them, and on the way they will see themselves as they mature?
Yes, and yes.
Wow! Is parenting and caregiving starting to look more valuable now?
I’d say so.
So, take courage moms, dads, and caregivers. You may be feeling swamped. You may be feeling discouraged. You may be wondering whether your constant effort in caring for your kids is making a difference.
After all, didn’t you tell your daughter to pick up her toys ten times a day, every day for the last three years? And aren’t those toys still constantly strewn around?
Yet, perhaps the toys on the floor don’t matter that much in the scheme of things.
So what does matter and how can I be my child’s rock?
Your relationship with your child is something he will never forget. Your love, your dedication, and your sacrifice will stay with your child throughout his life.
The times you fed your children, clothed them, rocked them, sang to them, taught them valuable life lessons, held them as they cried, or told them “no” for their own good, will bolster them up as they move on to face a world of challenges as adolescents and adults.
Your child will know how to love herself and how to love others because you loved her first. She will know that she is valuable because – even when your exhaustion, frustration, and difficulty in continuing to care knocked you down over and over – you were there. And you continued to love her.
You’re not alone.
Parents the world over are dealing with burn-out, frustration and childhood tantrums; potty training troubles, night terrors, learning difficulties at school, illnesses, and behavioral challenges with their kids.
What you’re doing as a parent matters, even when it doesn’t feel like it, and even when you’re not seeing the results you’d like to see.
You are your child’s emotional foundation.
When your child is little, you are not only her rock, but you are her world. And you can change her world for the better, just be being you and by loving her.
If that’s not success, then I don’t know what is.
*Please note that none of the photographs in this post were taken by me, but were found on Pexels.com.