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At 8 years and a half (That's my daughter's age), I find my job as a mother beginning to transform into that of a Manager, from being a Team Leader for past few years. Let me explain this. It is possible for a mother to be promoted in her job as a Mom, like they do in corporate jobs. Yes it is true.
Here's how, let's track from the genesis. At birth, our babies are a full time involvement, minute by minute, we are hands on with them. If they are awake we are too. In-fact we are up and at their service round the clock. In corporate-speak this is an Individual Contributor role. The most grass root level work in our journey as parents. Hang in there, those smelly diapers, and messy baby food are all just a passing phase.
Then comes the Team Lead role, at about age 5 through to age 8 (of your kid I mean), we tell them to do things, but most of the time we end up doing most of their work. This is the stage where we are training our kids to do things they must be doing as they grow up, and they can easily resist doing them. And they are oh so cute we can't do much about it. These oh so cuties will fight us, throw tantrums at us and do nothing that we want them to do. Oh well they don't care, the universe seems to circle around them!
At about age 8 (The child’s), we turn into a Managers. We begin to delegate tasks and expect them to be done as per the instructions. We are not always involved in performance of the task, we mostly come in the picture, if there is a problem or a need for guidance. And, trust me, there are way too many of those problems and needs for guidance. This stage is the most peaceful of all parenting stages so far. We can boss around a bit and even receive adherence. For the first time we as parents feel, we also have some power!
At about age 10 (the child’s), we become Senior Managers, having done the Manager's job for 2 years, it’s time for a slight career advancement, without much change in the role, but most certainly better experience. Now is the time when the kid for the very first time realises that, the parents are the boss in the establishment and kids are not the ones letting them live in the house, but it is the other way round. Some of them go through an ego crash phase, but that is okay, as long as they keep getting their favourite bar of chocolate and their favourite toys and games.
At age 13 (child's age remember!) we become Directors, no arguments about that. Now is the time to set their backside on fire and watch them run right up to the finish line, from a safe distance. Oh they don't like anything about the establishment, not even their favourite bars of chocolate bring about the truce at times. But we as parents don't budge. We are quite clear in our perspective.
We then turn into the Senior Directors at age 16 (child's age again, now for sure we cannot hope to be sweet 16 ourselves anymore!). We become someone to be feared and respected and someone whose orders can't be ignored, or else there will be consequences. Yes, 16 year old's know very well the consequences and they break house rules only to test water. They are old enough to play a few grown-up games with their parents, but not old enough to totally ignore them. This is the time when, minor world wars are fought in the homes, leading to the teenager's gradual realisation that their parents are also quite cool in certain very restricted manners. These kids are still quite dependent on parents, and they can't do much about anything as yet.
And then we become Vice Presidents at age 18 (our Kid's, though not much of a kid), this is where our roles change to only ensuring smooth performance and focus towards goals. We do not do any work for them, we just watch them and ask for regular updates on what's going on. We make some mighty big investments in their education. And they make some mighty big real plans for their lives. This is the stage where our kids basically become quite independent and even self-assured. But they do need constant guidance.
We become Senior Vice Presidents at age 20 (Kid's, who is not a kid any more). This is just a transition phase. We have done most of our work and we need a brief period of monitoring, before we let go of our responsibility and move on. At this stage parents appear friendly to the kids (who are not kids anymore). They even appear intelligent to them and quite up to the mark.
The final stage is becoming Presidents at around the ages of 21 to 24, depending on the career your kid chose. Having a work experience of 21 years, we are now free of all mundane roles. Our children are part of the mainstream now, so all we need to do is give them wisdom from time to time. Rest is up-to them. This is the stage when we just look on at the good work done and watch our little ones (they will remain little for us for sure) fly out of our nests and become people.
After this we need not retire, we have our unfinished tasks and dreams we have been battling with all these years while we were also actively parenting. We can pour in our hearts and a lot more of our time to these pursuits and live our lives to the fullest. Being a parent no doubt is the most rewarding of all the tasks we will ever do. We also have that person in us to tend to and there is a significant other, our spouses, who walked every step with us and made the journey enjoyable. And then there are some wonderful friends we made over the years, we need to get to see them more often too.
Our lives will keep getting tangled with our children's, over and over even after those 21 years. But those will be a different experience altogether. Those birds who flew off our nests, are no more the carefree kids, we once had all to ourselves.