In our last two articles for Bedfordshire Parents Week we talked about ‘making one change’ (the theme of this years Parents Week) but what about the things we already have right now? What wouldn’t we change? We put this question to our staff who said that they wouldn’t change most of their experiences being a parent. Although being a parent was a difficult job they had learned a lot along the way!
That raised an interesting question: If parenting was an actual job position (a paid one… we can all dream right?!) just what would a parenting job application look like?? Here’s the Parent CV, full of skills you may not have known you already have! –
We parents come from all walks of life. Being a parent is one of those non-exclusive clubs, like being a Tesco Clubcard member; most people can join. However there are certain trials and tests that all parents must endure during their time at Club Parent. Having children requires lots of skills, luckily for us there are many years from birth to adulthood to pick them up!…
Life Coach & Counsellor (Birth – Present)
From birth until they leave home (and sometimes beyond that), you are always your child’s life coach. By now you are a good judge at knowing when to be a shoulder to cry on and when to deal out a bit of tough love! When things go wrong you are the first to hear about it and the first port of call for advice. From bullies in the playground to heartbreak hotel you have answers for everything, dug straight out from your own life experiences.
Motivational Speaker (Birth – They fly the nest)
“Get up, you are going to be late!”, “There’s no need to be nervous.”, “Well done, I’m so proud of you!”… Do any of these sound familiar? That’s because you are a fantastic motivational speaker, if you think about it then you must be – you encouraged your child in taking their first steps, spurred them on at their first sports day, got a teenager to wake up and get to school on time! I could go on but the main point here is that whether you know it or not you are able to motivate and encourage people to take positive action.
Nurse (Birth – Present. We’ll never stop fussing!)
It’s a shame that children grow up out of being entertained by some play dough and a strip of bubble wrap. All of a sudden they are riding bikes, climbing trees and yelling “Look at me! Look what I can do!”, it’s inevitable that there’s going to be tears at some point. Fortunately for them you are always on call with waterproof plasters in sizes for all occasions! And lets not forget all the nasty colds and viruses children pick up from their friends. As a parent you are definitely well practised at taking temperatures! You thought that schools would be a place to avoid bumps and scrapes but children seem to always catch the flu; and then there’s one word that brings this all home (quite literally)… Nits!
Teacher (Birth – They know more than we do!)
You may not realise it but you have had to teach your children a lot. And when I say a lot, I really mean A LOT! Think about it, you’ve helped them to learn to walk, to eat (get most of the food in their mouth and not on their face.. aren’t babies adorable!), brush their teeth, learn to read and later learn to drive (something to look forward to for all you young parents!). All parents are natural teachers, it’s an ability that everyone shares. Right now you are a full time teacher but one day you will be able to retire – you can be certain that we will all be asking the younger generation how to use the next iGadgets in 2040; the student becomes the teacher.
Referee (Birth – They learn how to share!)
Every parent at some point gets fed up of hearing the words: “He took my…” or “She won’t let me borrow…”. Unlike a football referee, your sport is family conflict and specialist area: sibling rivalry! You are a talented negotiator, skilled in the rules of fairness, sharing and conflict resolution. You know how to reward those who stick to the rules and send others to their rooms (a red card) who don’t. Not only do you get to enforce the rules, you also get to write them. Isn’t parenting fun?
Chef (Birth – Hopefully not every family event!)
3 meals a day, 365 days a year… I’m not even going to try and calculate how many meals you may have to prepare, it’s a big number for sure! Throw the Mum & Dad titles out the window and only respond to Head Chef from now on!
Parenting PHD: For everyday of your child’s life you have been a parent (and all of the above) to them. It only takes 5 years to get a doctorate, whereas most parents know that it will take at least 18 years of hard work at the parenting university. You’ve definitely earned a Parenting PHD and the right to say to your children – “Just wait until you have kids of your own, then you’ll understand!”
Now that you are aware of your many useful skills, you can use them to help other parents just like you in Bedfordshire! As we all know, parenting isn’t always easy and sometimes added pressures such as lone parenting, post-natal illness, bereavement and sickness (to name a few) can leave us feeling trapped and isolated. Home-Start volunteers use their parenting experience to support other parents by being somebody to talk to, providing practical help with the children such as reading bed time stories and much more!
Volunteering can be a really rewarding experience; for a small amount of spare time you can make a BIG difference to the lives of a family who are struggling to cope. Visit our Volunteering In Bedfordshire page for more information on the benefits of becoming a volunteer.
Bedfordshire Parents Week is running from Saturday 19th – Saturday 26th October.