The Lesser Known Parenting Jobs
We all know there are many jobs you take on as a parent. There is the usual nurse, cook, chauffeur or diaper changer to name a few. Though in the short five years of navigating my many positions, I found a few I didn’t see coming:
One of my most revered jobs involves rushing to whichever screaming child has discovered a hair (or fuzz- we treat all natural and synthetic follicles equal here) and promptly removing it from their fingers, face, or if it’s a good day, their tongue. Most of the time I pinch at whatever body part they are pointing to until I deem it’s been long enough and hope somehow the hair is gone-or they forgot about it.
Food Safety Specialist
“My (fill in the blank) just dropped on the floor, can I still eat it?” is a question this food specialist gets asked at least five times a day. Honestly, I’m not sure I deserve to hold this power, especially when lack of sleep and level of distraction highly factor into my responses as opposed to the actual condition of the floor.
Instiller of Fear
Before becoming a parent you know you must protect your children, ease their worries, and calm their fears. I didn’t realize I also was required to create fear until my children started picking up a spider in our kitchen, shrieking as it nibbled on them, then returning once again to attempt to cuddle the sweet spider.
Holder of what you ask? Anything. Everything. Finished drinking? Walk by counter, hand that cup to mom. Have a piece of trash? Side step that wastebasket and put it in a parent’s hand. Lost toy we rejoice to find? I don’t think it wants to go back in the bucket so we don’t lose it- clearly mom wants to hold it. Bits of paper, fuzz, pieces of granola bar- all things we get to hold in this job.
I remember sitting at the table with my tetrazzini, the dreaded three more bites hanging over my head, as I pushed the food around trying to hide it under my napkin. Now, I’m the adult- throwing (sometimes) arbitrary numbers at my children to eat until they can move on from the dinner table. Why 3 bites and not 4? Why 5 and the next day 2? I don’t know either kids. I don’t know either.
Maybe you wonder why children seem to draw the same stick figures for people and the same houses? I no longer wonder. One day they will grow up and be asked by their own child, “How do you draw a house?” or “How do you draw a person?” And as they rub their head and quickly grab the marker, they too will mark out that same circle with a stick and that beautiful triangle roof and square and call it a day while their child adds twenty legs off of the head. And time marches on.
Sometimes we all get jobs we didn’t expect. Whether you are holding fuzz or evaluating germ infiltration, if we take embrace these jobs with a humble heart the reward is anything but small. Proverbs 22:4 says “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life” No, probably not in a check in the mail but more importantly we have another chance to reap riches as we humbly serve the people around us, another chance to wonder at the honor to serve our God, and another chance to live a life that follows after Jesus (John 13:1-17).