Usually a Teaching Tuesday is a lesson for your children.  Today’s is for you Parents.  Yours is a 24 hours, 7 days a week job for at least 18 years.  It’s a tough job, yet it is the most important job you will ever have,  your performance will affect generations to come, good or bad and it is the most rewarding job you will ever have.  

      Parenting can be thought of as a long journey or a marathon. As the participant, you need to pace yourself, you need to care for  yourself just as a trained athlete would care for themself.  You need to make sure you are well rested, well nourished and well trained. You are the vehicle that gets your child through childhood.  You need to educate yourself, so that you can best prepare those in your care for the challenges of adult world.  The best resource that has stood the test of time are the scriptures of the Bible.  The stories and proverbs are timeless.  A strong faith, wisdom and common sense are at the top of your list of what you need.  A thorough understanding of The Golden Rule will also serve you well in teaching them that to treat others the way they wish to be treated is one of the most important lessons you will teach.  Most else stems from these lessons.

     Also near the top is to take time to enjoy the journey and take a break regularly.  A date night for Mom and Dad to go out together and enjoy one another’s company is good for you and for your children. You need time as a couple to remember why you came together and it gives each one of you a break from your duties for a night.  For your children it shows them that the relationship Mom and Dad have together is  important and important enough for the two of you to get someone to watch the kids and that the kids need respect that.  As parents you come back to your job having had a little break from the routine tasks and the night off gives you something to look forward to.  If you are a single parent, a night to enjoy your friends shows your kids that you deserve to have some fun too.  It may be hard for you to leave your kids since you are their sole support, but take the break YOU DO NEED a BREAK to sustain the marathon of parenting.  

     Also important as a parent is your friendships and doing something you enjoy.  If you are a Mom or Dad who plays a musical instrument, enjoys a hobby or sport, do it.  To be around other like minded women or men is good for you to give your mind a break from the daily responsibilities.  As long as these activities are healthy and good for you, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take time to enjoy something you do, within reason.  I am not talking about numerous nights out I am talking about a routine activity that you enjoy.  There maybe times when this is not possible here and there but when you can make sure both parents are happy with the arrangement and make sure that each one of you gets that break, supporting one another to ‘make things happen.’ Enlist the help of family members or a sitter to accommodate when needed or even switching off with other parents.  Like with a date night, a parent will come back refreshed and ready to get back in the trenches, it is good for your children to see that you as a person who deserves a little fun too, you are not just their transportation and bank, lol.

     Just like an athlete works toward a monumental sporting event, you are preparing for the most important task on earth, ushering in a young person into adulthood who is well adjusted, with a good work ethic, with common sense,  the skills needed to support themselves and good sense of how to get along in the world.  Do what you need to do to make sure you are as ready as you can be to take on what comes your way as a parent for as many Great Days as possible with your Family.

Author, Teacher Wife & Mom, Mary Yana Burau