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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! …okay, that’s out of my system. The following is my opinion of whether a person should become a parent. I don’t have a degree in child development, nor do I work with children or parents in any capacity, other than being a parent and the routine contact with other parents. Not being qualified to talk about a topic, including parenting, has never stopped me before, so why would today be any different?

The Smith's and the Waskey's: Parents Extraordinaire

Parenting:  Understanding who is in charge…(hint: it’s the one in front)

Being a parent is the most important, full-time job in the world. It has been around since…well, forever. There are people who are amazing parents and there are people who should never be allowed near children. Most of us fall in the grey area in the middle.

There are definitely people who should never become parents. It not a majority, but it is a significant number. It is unfortunate that there is not a test for parenting. The greatest crime in the history of the world is a parent that inflicts physic and/or emotional abuse on their son or daughter or neglects her or him. 

You? A Parent?

As for the rest of the world, they are the people who should be or are parents. The question is whether or not YOU should be a parent. Here are my thoughts:

You Don’t Like Children?

You may not think that you should become a parent. It’s possible you are correct, but I know a lot of people who were absolutely convinced they didn’t want children, only to have their first child born and hit them a powerful dose of parent dust. Even if you don’t like children, perhaps you just don’t like other children. You never know until you have your own child.

You Will Get the Child You Deserve

I’ve seen this time and time again. A parent is fastidious and super-organized. She has a child that is messy and disorganized. A parent is an introvert. He has a son who is loud and bossy. It is part of the grand scheme. A child is, by design, your teacher and you will learn how to love the behaviors you hate, or you will die.

We spend our young adult lives figuring out who we are, what we like, and what we don’t like, only to have some pint-sized monomaniac systematically shred every value we thought we had. Being a good parent makes you a better person, even if you thought you already were.

Being a Parent is the Reason For Life

There are very few people who are known for their personal contributions to the world. Queen Elizabeth II, William Shakespeare, Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, J. K. Rowling, are some examples. The rest of us will not be known for our great work but will be known by our children. If we are lucky we might have a descendent that accomplishes something outside of being a parent, but being a parent is the only accomplishment that a person can claim is unique to them.

You Will Fail, Fall Short, But Still Succeed

A good parent fails on a daily basis. I don’t know why, but that is a reality. A good parent can’t let these failures to change her or his enthusiasm for parenting. He or she will discover how insignificant these failures are after the child becomes an adult. I don’t know why. It’s a mystery.

Should You Be a Parent?

Becoming a parent changes your life. If a parent attempts to fight against the change a child makes in her or his life, they will be unhappy. A person who lives all his or her life without becoming a parent has either failed at life or found a substitute for parenting in their life. They may have had great adventures, become a teacher or a mentor, explored their creativity, dedicated themselves to an enterprise or organization, or followed some other path that defined his or her life.

But as a parent, your life becomes defined by the simple act of connecting your life to another with the intent of serving her or his needs until such time that they can do it on their own. After that, you get to watch and be amazed.

You should be a parent if you have the capacity to discover how important, and insignificant you are in the universe.

[COUNT TO 500: 491st Article in PAULx]

Some Links To Consider

Are You Ready to be a Parent?

12 Things You Should Know About Becoming a Parent

Five Reasons We Become Parents

10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Becoming a Parent

Should I Be a Parent Quiz

In Defense of Parenting:  They Can Be Amazing (If That’s What You Want)