At the outset let's establish one thing, parenting is the toughest job on earth. The only people who think otherwise are those who've never done it. The myth of the 'little lady' sitting at home all day doing nothing, drinking tea and chatting with her mates while the man is out there doing real work and bringing home the bacon is an absurdity that requires some comment.
Although there are men who are now house parents, they are a tiny minority, so the following unapologetically addresses women and children in the home. The multitude of jobs required to keep a home in good order is enormous and as a job it is largely unregarded, unpaid, taken for granted and relentless. Add to this childcare and all the same applies. Day after day the toilet gets magically cleaned, clothes get washed and dried, shopping is planned and bought, meals get made, general mess tidied, dust vanishes, carpets become mysteriously free of crumbs and fluff and what have you, dishes get washed, dried and put away, babies get fed, changed, entertained and comforted. A trip to the shops or friends requires a great bag of stuff to be prepared for every trip. The list is quite simply endless, on top of which, unlike most paid work, the ability to think on your feet is an absolute requirement.
On top of all this there the constant process of
socialisation. We are each born into a particular time, place and
culture and children are constantly subject to the vast array of
influences that describe for them their place in the world. This process
of socialisation and enculturalization begins, naturally, in the home
and is largely an invisible process, as much for parents (indeed
everyone) as for children, because it's something that we carry in our
subconscious mind. Our subconscious self is really just a vast
storehouse of information that we constantly access as we navigate our
way in the world of the senses, the physical world.
© 2011 Keith Lindsay-Cameron.