If only one had to be licensed in order to become a parent.............

Parenting is the most important job in the world

Children are such a gift. It is a shame that there are the select few that do not understand that they are gifted with a tremendous responsibility when they welcome a child into their lives. A parent is laying down the foundation for another human being's life. How they treat others, what they will accomplish, what their personality ends up to be. So much goes into parenting, and very few truly grasp that fact.

Babies come into the world small, cute and helpless. People think that they can handle carrying this little being around, feeding it on demand and keeping it clean. It seems easy, and some babies are not difficult, while others are. As time goes on, it becomes far more challenging although many parents continue on with their lives and get annoyed when the little ones interrupt and change their plans. I find this so distressful. Having or adopting a child is a decision that should not taken lightly. It is a lifelong responsiblity. You never stop being a parent, even when your child is an adult.

When adults adopt, they are given rigorous background checks (or are supposed to go through them) and are scrutinized for every decision they have made throughout their lives. It is amazing. These people who are opening up their home and asking to be parents, no matter what the cost, usually not caring about the sex, nationality or age of the child. They just want to be parents. They are the ones who have to jump through hoops. If only the background check would happen to many others who conceive naturally. Perhaps we might find out before the children are abandoned, ignored, neglected or heaven forbid, killed.

It is so disheartening to tune into the news and hear each day endless stories of parents neglecting and hurting their children. So many watched and read about Casey Anthony and her beautiful little girl Caylee. We looked at the precious face and thought with horror, even if she wasn't guilty, why wasn't she more visibly sad or shaken by the loss of this adorable little angel? How could one not report your child missing, how could one even function if your baby was no where to be found? Ever since the horrific case in Brooklyn last week where the little boy, walking unattended was kidnapped and killed, I will not let me little 9 year old out of sight. The thought of losing any of my children is too much for me to bear.

Today I turn on my computer to see an internet story about a mother attempting to sell her newborn for $500. In this day when there are so many safe places to drop off a child that one does not feel capable of raising, no questions asked, we are still facing infant deaths and this type of story. I don't understand. If you do not want a child, do not have one. Having one then trying to get rid of it later is simply inexcusable unless it is turned over to the proper authorities. Truly no excuse.

This is a full time job. Raising a child appropriately is important. You do not have to have alot of money to raise decent human beings. However, you have to give your time and you have to be responsible. There are sacrifices to be made. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. There are many things we as parents have to give up in order to take care of our children correctly. Going out and partying is a thing of the past once you have a child. If you still want to do this, perhaps you need to wait a bit longer before becoming a parent. This is not to say you will never go out again, but it should no longer be the focal point of your life once you become a parent. We all need ME time, but parents should expect to have less of that while the children are small. You will get it back, just not now.

There are some people who should not be parents. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a huge undertaking, not everyone is equipped to handle it. I have alot of respect for those who make the proper decision not to parent because they know how much they can do and realize this will not enhance their lives. It is best for all concerned to know ahead of time. Human lives are involved in this decision. If someone is faced with a decision they did not expect, there are options, if one does not want to take them, then they need to find support and become educated in how to handle being a parent. It is about acountability. To yourself, your child and those around you.

If only there was some sort of test one had to go through to determine if you were ready to be a parent. However, since it would never be a fair and appropriate evaluation anyway, we are stuck with those who will continue to ignore the signs and forget that this is a living being in their care, not a toy. Laws do not always protect our children, it seems that they protect those with enough money to fight the system. Our social services are overloaded, understaffed and under trained. People have children as a means to stay on public assistance or because they think it will be easy. Children are not easy. They make you work, it is exhausting, it is a lonely life at times. However, parenting when done properly is the most satisfying occupation one could ever hope for. What greater reward could we get than a hug from a sweet faced little child who whispers the wonderful words "I love you Mommy" or from the college graduate who throws his/her arms around you and states "Thank you Mom and Dad, I could not have done this without you." There is nothing better.

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