Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Parenting Career

I was recently dismissed as uninteresting because I was “not a career woman”. I’m no longer surprised and I think, in my particular case, it happens more often because I have a gentle interpersonal approach. So, I couldn’t be intensely interesting; Im just another stay-at-home mom.

For what it’s worth in the metrics, I graduated at the top of my nursing class. I have handled over twenty patients at a time as a full-time, night nurse. I can calmly, kindly, and quickly handle life and death decisions. For my special needs son, I not only coordinate a team of about a dozen professionals, I have managed his rapidly varying educational needs over the last 15 years. And, about 18 months ago, when he started to need me less intensively, I started working at a cutting-edge learning center and teaching literature online

I have treated parenting as a career. There is no doubt that it is time limited in that the career of parenting ends when the child becomes independent (even though some aspects of the roll remain). It is also true that parenting can be done flippantly or poorly in any number of ways. Although, that is true of any career. Why else would parenting be dismissed? Perhaps because it is so common? So is business. Whatever the reasons, parenting can be treated as a career and it can be an intensely rewarding one.

An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.
- Oxford online dictionary

I think we can check off that parenting is "undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life". What about opportunities for progress”? If a person approaches parenting with an eager mind and a focus on nurturing improvement, there are just as many opportunities to grow as in any other career. I didn’t know how to coordinate teams or evaluate schools or develop curricula when I became a new mom. I learned how to advocate for positions in meetings where I was one voice and an unpopular one at that. I learned from constant trial and error. There is no way to approach a complete list of all the things I have learned in this career. And, even better, I learned to often enjoy the process.  I have known many women who have treated parenting as a career. I admire them and their accomplishments too.

Yes, I definitely chose parenting and I chose it as a career. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote December 20th, 2009, the day I started this blog. It is still true today, on my son's sixteenth birthday. 

I have a passion for parenting. As my career choice, I find improving this skill and relishing the process with a twinkle in my eye is supremely rewarding...
Cameron is my six year old son. High Functioning Autism puts no dent in his vim and vigor. He is solid, exuberant thinking-in-motion. I adore parenting him, even when his "spirit" is making the air sizzle.