Sometimes it feels like people will make a dollar off anything and everything. Newly trending – parenting services. According to a recent article, if you haven’t got the time or expertise, don’t fear because you can hire someone to do it all for you. Not a fan of bathroom duty? They’ll toilet train your child. Haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while? They’ll take over night duty while you rest up.
Oh, you’re still pregnant? No worries – there are services for that too. They’ll come to your home, hook you up with a newborn baby doll, and get you practicing everything from correct holding techniques to nappy-changing. And when the time has just flown past to reach toddler-stage, you may as well get started on the dining etiquette for kids aged three, soccer training for 18-month year olds, or even life coaching from the age of two. May as well get a head start on things!
Now, although it may sound like it, I actually don’t want to poke fun at the fears or uncertainties of first-time parenthood – I assume these are quite normal and natural. But the thing is, human beings have been parenting for as long as human beings have roamed the earth. That’s a long time. For most of that time there were no books on the subject, no Google, and definitely no hire-a-parent services. And they coped.
The basics of parenting are instinctive; they don’t need to be learnt. Not that there is anything wrong with learning, especially considering the wealth of information and technology that allows us to better guard the health and wellbeing of our kids. And more than the lessons like how to use a spoon and how to tie your shoelaces, what’s really important are the values that you want your child to live by – which has to be learnt first from parents. As for the how-to on this, it’s called leading by your example (sorry, you can’t hire anyone for this one).
Nowadays our culture does like to appear non-frazzled, to be perfectly in control in certain situations, and to get someone else to do the “dirty work” – so it’s no wonder that parenting can both look super hard and fall into the category of “someone else’s job”. But we have to realise that while it is a bit messy and at times chaotic, that’s all part of the beauty of it. And it’s so special– there are so many moments that you just can’t experience in any other way.
It is understandable though, that a market even exists for such a service. For one, we do like to take our cues from someone, and maybe these days parents aren’t as involved in the lives of their grown-up children to be around to help out with a newborn. Also, with more women balancing a career and children, they have less time to be at home but more money to spend.
Still, the fact of the matter is that parenting is such a unique experience. I wouldn’t want to leave it to anyone else! What do you think? Is this form of “outsourcing parenting” taking things too far, or is it a legitimate service?