Let’s talk about parenting older kids too
When you start a new job, you’re often faced with an overwhelming sense of uncertainty.
You worry about whether or not you’ll thrive in your new role. You wonder if your personality will mesh with those of your new coworkers, and if you’ll be able to conquer the challenging learning curve that comes with adapting to a new work environment.
You navigate your way through the first few months in a daze. Everything feels foreign and you’re not sure if you’ll ever get the hang of it. Then suddenly, your comfort level catches you off guard. You realize that you’ve settled in and that foreign feeling has dissipated.
Those fearful moments of your first few months seem like a distant memory, and while there may still be challenges faced along the way, they ebb and flow as you sail through your career.
In many ways, becoming a parent for the first time is like starting a new job.
No matter how much you research to prepare for your new role, you can’t truly know what you’re facing until you dive in head first. Like starting a new job, it can be easy to get caught up in the transitional period - forgetting about the long term.
Most parenting articles focus on the most talked about phases of early parenthood: the sleepless nights, the feeding challenges, the temper tantrums and the momentous milestones - everything that happens in the first few years.
The emphasis seems to be on the sacrifice, the overwhelm, and the anxiety faced by new parents, but there isn’t much talk about what happens afterwards - when the dust settles and parents find their groove.
Why don’t we talk more about what happens after the beginning - when the training is over and the real work begins?
I suppose there’s a sense of comfort in navigating through uncharted waters alongside others who are in the same boat, but parenting doesn’t end when children enter school, and parenting doesn’t end when kids graduate and start their first jobs.
As parents, it’s important to help each other through those onerous first years, but once we’re over the toddler hump, the job of parent has only just begun. Parents eventually grow into the job, but just because the work gets easier, doesn’t mean that the early years deserve more emphasis. Let’s talk about parenting older kids too.