Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a work-from-home parent, one who works outside of the home, or any combination of these, this much is true: being a parent is a job of its own. And our parenting job description is hard work to fulfill and can be mentally and physically exhausting. While much of the parenting exhaustion is inevitable, some is also self-inflicted.
Sometimes we might create our own “parenting job descriptions” that aren’t always realistic. These might be things we think we should be doing – or see others doing and believe we should add to our plates – that may not be important to us. But don’t worry. It’s never too late to edit that parenting job description to focus on what matters in your parenting role. In other words, it’s never too late to make our lives as parents more authentic and much less stressful!
Take a Moment to Reflect on Your Parenting Job Description
Before jumping in and modifying your parenting job description, taking a step back and considering where you’re at and, more importantly, where you want to be in your journey as a parent is essential. After all, being “mom” or “dad” is the most crucial title you’ll ever hold. It’s a job worthy of being met with complete authenticity and as much contentment as humanly possible. While it won’t always be easy, it will always be worth it. You are worth it.
Start by asking yourself:
- What does my day-to-day as a parent look like?
- What parts of the daily grind bring me joy, and what features bring me (or my children) added stress or anxiety?
- What parts truly serve my family as a whole?
Then, take a moment to think of the big picture (don’t overthink it) and ask:
- What are my broad, long-term goals as a parent?
- What path do I want to pave for my children (and myself) down the road?
- What’s truly important in the grand scheme regarding my parenting job description?
While some of these questions might feel loaded, the goal here is to pause and simplify. Take an honest look at your parenting experience for what it is versus what you want it to be. Open yourself up to the opportunity to reset and reframe your expectations for yourself.
Restructure Your Priorities
So, how can we edit our job descriptions as parents, you ask? Start by acknowledging what is and isn’t a priority to you. Then determine if what you’re prioritizing is aligned with what matters. This will take some thought and honesty, but the more effort you put into restructuring your priorities, the more at peace you’ll begin to feel in your parenting journey. To help you get started, consider the following:
- Do you prioritize getting your kiddo uber-involved in socialization and extracurricular activities, even at the expense of sacrificing the chance to fulfill your own needs for “you” time?
- Do you prioritize keeping a perfectly spotless home one would never know tiny humans reside in? Or do you prioritize truly living in your imperfectly messy home, embracing the piles of laundry and emptied toy bins that won’t last longer than the tininess of the mess-making culprits?
- Do you prioritize creating magical moments (think birthday traditions and holiday rituals) for your family to enjoy, or are you constantly stressing over whether you’ve captured every bit of the fun for picture-perfect posting?
If your answer to any of the above doesn’t sit comfortably, it might be time to consider striking a better balance for your little one’s sake and your own. After all, a healthy, happy parent models well-being for their young children much more than one who places their needs on the back burner. Be confident to make changes for your family as you see fit. There’s no one-size-fits-all here when it comes to your parenting job description.
Honor Your Strengths and Skill Sets
One of the beautiful things about being a parent is that you can determine how to navigate your journey in all aspects; the options are endless. You have the power within your strengths and skill set in your role as mom or dad. Remember, you have something special for your child(ren).
For example, you might thrive at engaging in pretend play alongside your littles or be the best playdate or baby class scheduler on the planet. Perhaps you’re a natural caretaker and comforter, or maybe you’re wise at your core, with no shortage of life lessons to spare. You might know how to make your tiny humans feel special in a hundred tiny ways every week, or you might be the world’s best annual family vacation coordinator. As with any role, you may not be able to do it all in your parenting, but you can (and should!) capitalize on what you do best.
Once you begin to hone in on what you have to offer in your parenting role and let go of (or at least ease up on) the rest, you’ll also begin to focus more and more on what matters. Your ideal parenting job description won’t look exactly like anyone else’s, and that’s okay. That’s a beautiful thing.
Rewrite Your Parenting Job Description
Your parenting job description is uniquely yours. Nobody can take it from you, and there’s no competition. Sure, you can draw inspiration from other kid-raising experts, but at the end of the day, nobody else can write out your parenting job description for yourself. Reflect on what breathes life into your family’s days. Make the conscious decision to prioritize what’s truly deserving of your energy. Focus on authenticity. Honor the fantastic things that make you the parent you are. Let go of the pressure to live up to any bar but the one you set for yourself. Embrace the ebbs and flows of the journey that is parenting.
Go ahead, rewrite your parenting job description, and go easy on yourself. The pen is in your hand, and you have nobody to report to but yourself.