Family, Parenting

Inherent Versus Assigned Worth: Moving Beyond Social Constructs To Appreciate The Role Of Parents

Before having a child, I always wondered how parents did it all.  They were always so busy, constantly on the go, always with something to do.  I hoped to be able to keep the pace once I had children of my own, and looked forward to have such a full and rich life.

Since I’ve become a mother, I haven’t stopped—as all Moms know, it’s a non stop, round the clock job taking care of a child from the very first day they bless your life.  And yet, I keep catching myself thinking: “Gosh. Another day doing nothing.”

Every time I catch myself thinking that—and it’s more often than I ever thought would happen—I wonder where it comes from.  And I think I have an idea.

The idea of worth is tied these days in North America with the concept of salary.   However, unless one is planning om sending one’s children to the salt mines at an early age, raising children not only doesn’t bring in any money, but it costs apparently a whopping US$250,000 over the course of 18 years.  It’s also interesting how money, a relatively recent social construct, is deemed as a way to assess the worth of a timeless, universal, and essential role as parenting.

The idea of worth is also ties to the concept of glamour and prestige.  However fun and magical it is to spend time raising a beautiful baby, there is nothing glamorous about it and there is certainly no prestige associated to parenting.

Which is unfortunate because parenting ensures the perpetuation of the human race and, if done right, its constant improvement, one generation at a time.  Parenting should be the most worthwhile, glamourous, and prestigious thing that exists.  But whatever is said in the open about parenting, the message that the current way society is set up gives us is that parenting is just something you do that isn’t worth anything close to it’s inherent value.

It’s time we change that, dear friends, so that no parent ever again has time question their worth just because they are not making money off of it.  Because there is something infinitely precious about parenting, and even more so for thoughtful and dedicated parenting that needs to be wholeheartedly supported.

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