Parents are perhaps the most essential of Caregivers. Responsible for raising moral and focused children who can care for others and who will live with enthusiasm, they see this role as primary. Something in our collective consciousness innately understands the essential and unquestioning caregiving required of mothers, and increasingly of fathers too. When Michelle Obama accidentally described herself as “a busy single mother” in a television interview during her husband’s second term, the president could only laugh because it is the job she takes most seriously.
Madonna and her adoption drama captivated world interest, as does Angelina Jolie’s family of six children. And in popular culture, parenting has become a topic of great interest whether in comic or tragic ways. On the lighter side, there seems to be no end of humorous books, movies and TV shows on the topic, from The Three Martini Playdate by Christie Mellor to I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. Claire Dunphy is the epitome of a modern mother on the sitcom Modern Family, embodying the overwhelmed Parent in an overwhelming world.
Nobody said parenting was easy. But in these times of too much testing, texting, and worrying about everything from childhood obesity to attention deficits, most are at least willing to try to find it funny.
Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Leigh Anne Tuohy
Parents are reliable, compassionate, stern but yielding and very organized, with an unsurpassed ability to listen without imposing their own point of view too quickly.
They can be hyper-focused on their children sometimes, at the expense of spouses, friends and community or at the expense of the children themselves. And they can be so overbearing that their children have trouble becoming well-adjusted and autonomous adults.
Learning, nurturing, loving, and seeing the light of recognition in a child’s eyes
- Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff
- Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
- How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
“The pressures of being a parent are equal to any pressures on earth.” -John Lennon