Here’s a thing. Raising children is the most important job on earth. Raising good people that will later strive to improve the state of humanity is sacred work. Not everyone has to do it, but some people have to do it. How about we treat parenting like any other professional career? You’re a Doctor, Lawyer, Politician? Oh good. I’m a Mother. Well done us.
What if ‘Mothering’, ‘Motherhood’, ‘Fathering’ & ‘Fatherhood’ were actual viable careers?
What if a person could work hard at university, get a qualification in Parenting, and be able to earn a wage from doing their job as a parent? What if the more study they did the higher the wage they could earn? What if they could get $100,000+ a year if they got a PhD in Parenting? Or $10,000 a year for completing a basic certificate?
How would this work? What would change in our society if we had this choice? Would we stop saying I’m ‘just a Mum’ or ‘just a Dad’? Would the work of an at home parent carry more status than it does now? Would this help us in our communities?
Would a wage mean that a lot more parents could be at home to care for their child for the baby’s whole first year? Or even longer? Read here about how important the first 12 months are and how what happens to a person in this time has a huge effect on them for the rest of their life.
In New Zealand apparently we’re celebrating because parental leave just got extended to 18 weeks. Thanks, but well, yeah nah. 18 weeks goes pretty fast with a new baby. It takes Mum weeks to physically recover from the birth and establish feeding (6 months is recommended for exclusive breastfeeding) and its so so hard to leave a baby of 4 months with a new carer for extended periods of time, like really hard. Lots of people wanted the leave period to be 26 weeks, but the current government are looking at this debate in terms of women getting back into the ‘workforce’ quickly, so households have more money, thus improving ‘outcomes’. Read about this here.
When you become a parent a door opens to another world. Its like being on a new planet. You have to learn so much. You have to deal with physical and emotional challenges like never before. You need help. But you’ve been taught you shouldn’t need help. You need money. Babies need things like nappies. You need to buy them those things. But there’s less money than before. You need patience. But you’re tired, so tired. Who is patient when they’re so far beyond tired simply being ‘tired’ sounds like a luxury? Everyone else is out at work and anyone without a child cannot comprehend that looking after said child is so much more than a full time job. And this doesn’t stop at 18 weeks. You’re still really really tired!
But what if you could earn a working wage by qualifying as a Professional Parent? What would this look like? You’d be able to take care of your child whilst enjoying the status of being fully employed. Excellent news!
What would you study? First up you’d need to learn how to feed a baby, clean a baby, make sure baby gets sleep, and you’d probably have to learn how to manage a house at the same time. Time management? Things slow down and speed up at the same time with a baby. Time becomes something you manage closely, snatching tiny blocks of sleep where you can. Sleep deprivation torture training?
There’s a semester of basic training right there.
And the thing is, every time you think you’ve got it sorted, baby grows up a bit and changes. Next thing they’re crawling and your house is suddenly unsafe. Then they’re learning how to eat food other than milk and you have to make that for them (how? Are we supposed to know this?) They’re walking, talking, sleeping in a big bed, saying NO to you (patience…) They grow and change EVERY DAY for years and years. It’s wonderful! It’s so challenging!
I have a Masters degree and the workload for that was a walk in the park compared to my parenting joblist. Just putting it out there folks. Parenting is great, but its damm hard work and it needs a comprehensive skill set from qualified professionals – Mum and Dad.
If you’d like to help me set up a school so I can start a professional parents foundation that pays people actual salaries please buy the Eardrops stories here.
And here’s a brilliant infographic from mom.salary.com Sorry about the spelling mistakes Mums. (Just jokes America.)
Gotta go. My children are home from school and I need to get to the evening shift of my other ‘job’.
Professional Mum Liz xx