What’s My Job as a Parent?

What's my job as a parent

From as far back as I can remember, I had an interest in becoming a parent someday. Maybe it came from my desire to be just like my mother. Maybe it was innate. Or maybe this interest was a result of playing with dolls. After all, I was pretty good at caring for my dolls: I named them, dressed them, fed and burped them, and of course, gave them the coolest hairstyles. I, without a doubt, knew how to care for a baby doll. I was the ultimate doll-parent.

So when I became pregnant, there was no question…I knew my job as a parent. With all of that doll-parenting practice and some babysitting under my belt, I was ready…or at least I thought I was.

Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby

Out comes baby #1. I remember the day like it was yesterday. As I looked into his eyes, I was instantly overtaken with emotion. This was no baby doll. This was the real deal. A life. A human being. And it was my responsibility to take care of him. If I had owned all the dolls in the world as a little girl, it couldn’t have prepared me for my true job as a parent.

Real life experiences, test and trials, God’s guidance, and wisdom from experienced parents helped me discover that my true job as a parent is to nurture, inspire, and connect.

Nurture

Nurture: to provide nourishment. Boy that sounds easy! And for the first few weeks it was. Breast milk worked like a charm. My baby quickly doubled in weight. Somebody should’ve given me a trophy labeled “Mother Nurture.”

However, it only took a short time to realize that nurturing is more complex than helping my baby pack on pounds. It involves spiritual, emotional, and educational nurturing as well. It involves training my children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), diligently teaching them God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9), and bringing them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

Inspire

Inspire: to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. No problem! Piece of Cake! I had been reading to my baby since he was in the womb – stories of great leaders: Ghandi, King, Mother Theresa, Mandela. There was no question, my baby was being inspired by greats.

But wait. Not so fast, Mama. Those people are in history books. I, on the other hand, am physically present. My children are watching my every move. A good chunk of their inspiration comes from me – my effort to live life purposefully and, in all things, show myself to be a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7).

Connect

Ok, I got this! Remember that umbilical cord? My baby and I had been connected from the beginning, sharing the same nutrients and pumping the same blood. And even when the cord was long gone, he was latched to my hip. I wore him like a designer handbag. We were 100% connected.

Then again, were we really connected? Real Connection is about building relationships and reaching the heart. And, as a parent, it’s my job to connect with my children by being patient, forgiving, and understanding their faults (Ephesians 4:2). In other words, I should love my children as myself (Galatians 5:14), not just in words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).

The Constant

My job as a parent is continually evolving. Variables come daily and sometimes I miss the mark. Nevertheless, there is one constant: my heartfelt desire to do my job – nurture, inspire, and connect with all of my children.

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Comments

  1. This is very inspiring Angel. We live in such a busy world and time that if we do not parent deliberately our children will live their lives guessing and confused.
    God help us, every parent to intentionally do our jobs as parents.

    • Angel Thompson Angel Thompson says:

      “God help us.” Amen to that! The only way to successfully nurture, inspire, and connect is through Him. Thanks, Ugochi.

  2. I love your new layout and as always your words are so inspirational. Please keep on writing and I will keep on reading!
    I love what you said about being forgiving and patient. With 3 littles 4 and under, sometimes I am not as patient as I want to be. I have made a conscience effort to give more Grace. God gives us new mercies everyday and mistakes are a part of life. There may be consequences, but it’s not my job to keep harping on those mistakes. So I appreciate the reminder! 🙂

    • Angel Thompson Angel Thompson says:

      “God gives us new mercies everyday and mistakes are a part of life.” This is important to remember. If we think about God’s mercy toward us (parents), it’s easier to be merciful to our children. Thanks for sharing, Kimberly.

  3. Chilibeanz pootybutt says:

    I am so thankful for your words!
    In this life I will forever cherish the connection I have with my 6 son’s!
    I have learned patience. Love. How to operate with a peaceful heart. I have learned to walk in forgiveness. I have learned so much from my my son’s. I would not change a thing even if I could.

    • Angel Thompson Angel Thompson says:

      It’s amazing what we learn from our children! I like that you can say, “I would not change a thing even if I could.” That’s peace. I hope I can make the same statement when my children are grown.

  4. Tamara Huff says:

    I don’t know who you are but I know you were sent to me by God. I am preparing for marriage and with this marriage God has blessed me with four beautiful children and on top of all of this God said I would have at least one my own. Can you say scared to death I know nothing about kids and now God wants to bless me with four and more I am in way over my head. To tell you the truth I was ready to run far far away. Until I read what you wrote which gave me peace and you inspired me that as long as include The Triune God nothing is impossible and even in my mistakes God will help do it better the next time. Thank you so much for sharing your story I don’t know where I would be without the family of God globally encouraging, edifying, and building us up when we are down ready to throw in the towel. I am thankful for your transparency and grateful for your obedience to God. I pray God’s riches blessings on you and your family.

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Tamara

    • Angel Thompson Angel Thompson says:

      Oh my! I am so touched by your comment, Tamara. With God’s guidance you can certainly do this! Congratulations on a new chapter in your life. I pray God’s riches blessings on you and your family, also!

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