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Did you ever stop and think about how you were chosen?  Someone much younger and much smaller than you chose you to usher them into the greatest experience a soul could ever seek: life.

Many of you reading this may think it’s strange but I am going to write it regardless.  Spiritualists, philosophers and good ole’ wise grannies have shared their belief that our children choose us. Your child chose you with all your flaws, insecurities and shortcomings.  It is both a blessing and an overwhelmingly scary concept to digest.  I, too, am a mother and sometimes I have to stop myself from thinking about the awesome responsibility that my children entrust me with.  If I were to allow myself to really soak in just how incredible being a mother is, I probably wouldn’t get very much mothering done.

Take a second to think of it this way.  If you were up for a job and there were 7 billion other applicants, what chance to you think you’d have of landing that job?  I would probably say, I’d have a better chance of finding a purple penny in the ocean.  Yet, when you become a parent, you beat out the 7 billion people on this planet to have the job of parenting your child. Wow. That is a breathtaking reality and one of the countless reasons parents can become so easily overwhelmed.

Some of us have been doing this work for just a few months and others for several decades.  You have to develop a strong constitution and some serious stamina for this work because there are no days off, no pay, no health insurance plan and no retirement.  Every plan parents make for themselves are contingent on their children’s ability to do what they must for themselves without needing us to intervene, support or rescue them from their latest caper, boo-boo or heartbreak.

Have you ever heard the term “til the day I die”?  I have come to think that this saying was created by a parent.  We were divinely chosen to raise the children we have and the children who seeks us as parents that are not biologically ours.  Once the work begins, it is a part of our life until the day we die (and dare I say beyond that as well).  I still rely on my mother for guidance, assistance with my children and for loving support.  I also still rely on my deceased father through prayer and memories.  Many of the lessons I learned from my father have had a direct impact on the choices I have made as a parent for my children.

Parenting is the ultimate career.  It is the definitive work of the soul.  Remember that parenting is not just biological.  If we are lucky, we have many parents in our lifetime.  Oprah Winfrey is a great example of that.  She is woman who never biologically birthed a child but she has more children than the infamous Ocotomom.  She has done parenting work with many sons at Morehouse College and many daughters at her school for girls in South Africa.

Parents, mothers–take your job seriously.  Do your work with integrity and loving kindness.  Know that you are perfectly imperfect to do exactly the best job required of you from your children in this lifetime.  Try to spend more time embracing every wonderfully challenging moment and less time defacing your spirit with criticism and doubt.  In this work, your boss will love you just for trying.

La Shell Wooten is a New York City based therapist, mother, writer and entrepreneur who sleeps like she’s in a coma whenever the opportunity arises.

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