‘Parenting Is the Hardest Job in the World’

The lament of a privileged White mother.

Jeremy Helligar

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Photo: Gustav Borgen

Parenting is hard work. There’s no doubt in my mind about this. Is it the hardest job in the world? I don’t know. The scope of my on-the-job experience doesn’t encompass a lot of things, like waiting tables, flying airplanes, going to war, or, yes, parenting. But I don’t have to spend all night praying over a sick child to know that parenting is hardly menial labor with little-to-no payoff for everyone who punches that clock every day of their life for the rest of their life.

It certainly isn’t for married parents who earn a combined income that’s well into the six digits and can pay for two homes, two cars, full-time daycare, yoga and pilates classes, veganism and organic food, expensive date nights, and long-weekend trips to London.

I mean, I imagine parenting must still be hard for them, but it’s not exactly a life of drudgery, despair, and hopelessness. I will never ever see them as victims of circumstance or a system that’s rigged for them to fail.

But to hear certain (typically White) mothers who choose their second “profession” complain about it, you’d think they were toiling on a plantation with a baby on their back. Or you would think that parenthood is a completely selfless act that has nothing to do with one’s own…

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Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj