I think we’re all in agreement when we say that parents have their work cut out for them. And that’s putting it lightly. When you decide to take the plunge and have children, you basically get yourself a subscription to Planet Parenthood for at least the next 18 years… and older parents would know that their duties go well into the years past, even after the children left the nest.
So when we saw an infographic that broke down the duty of parenting into a number of stages, we couldn’t help but laugh out loud, literally. They were so eerily spot on that we wanted to share them with you because of how relatable they are.
Every parent in their life is bound to go through these stages…
1. The Zombie Stage
Ah, how amazing is it that your tiny little bundle of joy has been born with relentless vocal chords meant to keep you awake for at least 2 years of your life. When your baby comes in, your sleep goes bye-bye. Most parents of older kids would recognize this phase and shudder when the memories hit. The constant attention required. The never ending diaper changes. Thinking you’ve finally put the baby to bed. Sitting down with your well earned glass of wine to realize, NOPE, the baby is yelling and no way is your bundle of joy about to have some shuteye anytime soon. Trying to get the baby to stop crying. Quitting and crying with the baby yourself. Then finally, in the wee hours of the night, getting the baby tired enough to get ‘em to sleep. Finally settling in yourself… only to have your alarm clock go off on you, telling you it’s time to go off to work!
Yup, those were the zombie years and most parents would much rather never revisit them ever again.
2. The Finger-paint Artist Stage
At one point in their lives, parents would have found themselves either as an contemporary avant-garde finger-paint artist… or at the other end as their child’s free form canvas. This stage is as much about performance art as it is about modern art itself you see. Da Vinci, Van Gogh, Banksy, they’ve got nothing on your toddler that is unleashing his innermost feelings through paint and paper and finger and dragging you along with it.
This stage can be rather therapeutic, you’d do good to enjoy it while it happens.
3. The Chauffer Stage
And then school begins! Your child is finally old enough to start an education and you couldn’t be happier. But it’s not just going to school, you see. They also want piano lessons, and ballet lessons, and softball and football, and music and karate and what have you. At this stage of your parenting, you’re going to find yourself being your child’s chauffer more than an actual guardian. You’ll be behind the wheel a lot, driving them from one place to the other. Maybe you’ll even become the designated driver parent, carpooling for a lot of other parents.
4. The Bad Cop Stage
Now your child is growing up and you find yourself setting rules that they may not like. This stage is not fun for either party—not the child, nor the parent. There are a lot of tantrums and bad moods involved in this stage and often you’ll feel like your relationship is being tarnished. Just remember that by being assertive and setting some rules, you’re not turning into the bad guy. You’re in fact doing what is right for them and their future. Your child may not like you too much around this time but don’t stress. In a couple of years, they will come to realize how right you were.
5. The 007 Monitoring Stage
Finally; the stage where parents start realizing the importance of incorporating technology into their routine. This is where parents understand just how essential mobile monitoring is in everyday parenting and begin to take practical steps into monitoring their children on social media, instant messengers and dating apps.
At the end of the day, every parent has a lot to be proud of. Like we always say, childrearing is not easy work but it is immensely satisfying—once you’ve gone through all these stages, you’ll remember it fondly.
What stage of parenting are you at?