Great Conversation Starter: What is the job of a parent?

My initial answer to this question is whatever they do outside the home to earn money. I have always had a problem with motherhood being described as the toughest “job”. I’ve had many jobs and I’ve gotten paid for all of them. I’ve loved some jobs, but not in the way I love my kids. By this definition from google, a job is:

  1. 1.
    a paid position of regular employment.
    “jobs are created in the private sector, not in Washington”
    NOTE the word “Paid”
  2. 2.
    a task or piece of work, esp. one that is paid.
    “she wants to be left alone to get on with the job”
    NOTE “esp. one that is paid”

    “Job”, at the same time, exaggerates the macro role of motherhood and minimizes the importance of its micro role. Don’t get me wrong. I think it is really hard, at many times, teetering on the impossible. To define it as a job feels like a desperate 21st century attempt to justify a societal position which needs no justification. Moms rule. We always have. Enough said. Jobs are so much easier than this.

    Anyway, in this instance, I have to overlook the “job of parenting” because this post is so great. Lisa Heffernan on her blog Grown and Flown, looks back at raising her children and wonders why she made it so difficult on herself. It is worth a read if you struggle at all with your role as parent.
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