15 Years of Parenting

I heard this comment today and it made me laugh.

"After fifteen years of parenting, I think I am pretty good at it."

In most cases this is true. Fifteen years at a given skill you would be an expert. If I was building houses for fifteen years I would be a master carpenter. If I was developing computer programs for fifteen years I would be an expert programmer. If I was in any career for fifteen years I should be pretty good at it.

But parenting is completely different. Of course that is because things evolve as the child gets older. Its funny because looking back the first year is probably the easiest. Oh sure it is an adjustment but its a routine that we all go through. Feed, change diapers, help them nap, repeat.

The next few years are not that hard since its mostly chasing around a toddler and making sure they are safe, the feeding, napping, diaper routine is the same until they are potty trained.

By the time the child is ready for school is when things get more difficult. You already have four or five years experience but the experience you just had is not at all what will prepare you for whats next.

Of course if you have a second child then you are managing two different tasks at the same time. Multitasking for your job is not even remotely close to multitasking as a parent. One child needs to eat, the other wants to ride their bike while dragging the dog behind her. You run outside with one child in your arms trying to rescue the dog who is now in a controlled slide across the driveway all paws out and trying to stop.

The next few years are even worse, the emotions kick in and the drama starts. God forbid you say something wrong and there is an emotional breakdown. Ultimately at some point you will hear the words, "I hate you." And we all thought after nine or ten years we would be great at something.

At fifteen you are pretty much an amateur. Which goes against everything else that you consider in life. After fifteen years of parenting according to your child, you still do not know anymore than the day that they were born.

Funny that it happens that way.


  1. Even after 34 years you still are an amateur. IMO, anyway. Being a parent is truly the hardest job in the world.

    Great post!


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