Have you ever wondered if you’re actually getting this parenting thing right? Do you ever ask yourself if you’re any good at parenting? I ask myself all the time and for the most part I’m pretty critical of myself. Probably a lot more critical than other people are of me. Yet I’ve only been a parent for 4 and a half years and I might actually be a parenting Master!
Yesterday, I saw a video of a guy talking about the art of making tempura in which he said that he’s spent 27 years working on perfecting the art of cooking this dish. That’s 27 years and he’s still not content with his skill level. So this got me thinking about the what things in my life I’m as dedicated to and what I will still be doing in 27 years. I don’t have any hugely important or dedicated hobbies, at the age of 33 the only thing I’ve been doing for 27 years is making poor dietary choices. Yet i plan on still being a parent in 27 years.
There is a common theory that in order to truly master something you need to dedicate 10,000 hours to practising it. The theory suggests that regardless of natural talent, if you dedicate 10,000 hours or more to anything you will be a professional. Sports stars, musicians, artists of all forms often use this as driving mechanism to stick to strict training regimes.
So I kept thinking, what has taken up the most time in my life? I have played a lot of computer games but I’m nowhere near professional level so I mustn’t have played enough hours. I have spent a lot of time watching TV’s and movies and can tell you how all my favourite shows should have ended but you won’t see my name on any credits coming up anytime soon. I have definitely spent more than 10,000 hours self doubting, but I’m not even any good at that.
What about parenting? Well 10,000 hours only really equates to 416 days. That’s if I consider myself a 24/7 parent. But lets assume that as I work for 35 hours and sleep for 49 hours a week (I wish) that only leaves 84 hours a week, that’s still only 833 days. Can I have really become a master of parenting in under 3 years? Well the short answer is simply Yes… and No.
Yes, I’m a Master Parent.
I see my success as a parent as simply the fact that my son is a generally functional human (unless he has his Kindle in hand). He’s still got all his limbs and I rarely lose him. Not the greatest of success criteria but I’m not here to brag about my parenting skills. I’m simple trying to say that he’s alright, I’m doing OK. I’m not the awful parent that I tell myself I am all the time. But I my work is far from done.
Twice now we’ve navigated the nappy stage, the sleepless early months stage, the weaning stage, the crawling to walking stage and the don’t kill the cat stage. Nailed it! Might have taken longer a longer or shorter time than other people but we did it, WIN!
No, I’m just an Novice Parent
Well… I still occasionally shout at my kids when i could have handled it a better way. I still fear holding new born babies of friends and family for fear of dropping them. I still can not get my kids to eat vegetables… even potatoes seem to be on the no list just now. There are a lot of lessons ahead for me. To be honest I’m not sure that there is anybody out there who thinks they’ve fully nailed it.
I’m gonna say that having clocked my 10,000 but I hope to rack up another 500,000 so bets get my learning cap on because there is a long way to go.
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