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The Best and Worst Parenting Jobs

The Best and Worst Parenting Jobs

Parenting is a game of yin and yang – there are parenting jobs that have to get done and others that I wish would last forever. Recently, I was complaining about what I deem as the worst parenting job in the world. It’s a daily chore that has me pulling my hair out – literally. I daresay the forbidden “h” word here. I hate brushing my daughter’s hair. I found out I was not alone in this sentiment and that, in fact, many of my social media parent friends agree. This got me thinking about the best and worst parenting jobs out there…

Worst Parenting Jobs

Brushing a little girl's hair

  • Hair brushing. I stand by this is as the absolute worst of all parenting jobs. I apply this only to my daughter right now because my toddler son’s hair is short and fine so it’s not a problem yet.
  • Getting out of the house to go anywhere on a deadline. It befuddles me how working parents can get out of the house in less than two hours from wake-up time to getting into the car. I tried all the morning routine tips and tricks but I just can’t master or stand this one.
  • Getting kids to eat vegetables. This one is sometimes the best (like when my kids decide they love vegetables) but is the pits on those nights (or months) when getting the kids to eat veggies is like feeding them worms and spiders.
  • Keeping track of all their stuff. Boots, homework, blankie, favorite stuffed animal or fire truck of the day – you name it, I’m supposed to have a GPS tracking system for all the kids’ stuff. We try to keep things organized and I put ownership on them to know where their things are located. But still there is an awful lot of looking for things going on here and it’s tiresome.
  • Bathing kids in the tub. I love listening to my kids play pretend, sing and otherwise calmly enjoy their bath or shower. It’s when tubby time gets out of control with splashing & shouting where my parenting patience ends. And, when it’s time to wash hair (see hair brushing above).
  • Potty training. Actually I don’t really do this one. I should encourage it but I’m sort of leaving it up to Owen’s teachers to master this one with him. After months of endless sitting on the pot, my daughter ended up potty training herself one weekend while I was out. That’s my hope for Owen.
  • Playing pretend. I sit on the proverbial fence with labeling this one as the best or worst parenting job. I love that both my kids have great imaginations and can play pretend for extended periods of time. But truthfully I don’t really like to participate. I do sometimes because I know the importance of pretend play but it’s really not on my list of favorite family activities.

Best Parenting Jobs

Happy toddlers playing outside

  •  Teaching life and education skills to kids. Kids are full of curiosity and inquisitiveness. From practicing the ABC’s with Owen to showing Olivia how to feed our new fish, I love teaching my kids about the world and how to be successful in it. I don’t always get it perfect but it’s the best parenting job out there.
  • Cooking with kids. If I set aside the time and prepare appropriately, cooking with my kids is always a fun activity that we can share together with delicious results. I also love that they’re learning important life skills at the same time – like, the right way to lick a batter bowl clean.
  • Reading at bedtime. My kids love to read before bed and I treasure our bedtime routine that includes snuggling together with a good book. I don’t love it when it’s an hour past bedtime and cutting into “mommy” time but I try to do it just about every night.
  • Playing outside with my kids. As a working mom, this does not happen often enough especially in the cold winter months. My husband and I try to make this one a priority because we know that fresh air, free play or even a simple walk around the block goes a long way in improving moods and sleeping patterns – in both kids and adults.
  • Painting and art projects. My mom friends think I’m nuts for painting with my toddler. I love it. Growing up, my mom always had some sort of art supplies out for us. I’m not crafty but I do love “freestyle” art projects followed by some fun sink play.
  • Teaching my kids to give to others. I don’t do this one often enough but I cherish the times when my daughter is moved to help others and we work together to do a service project. There is nothing more rewarding as a parent – except for maybe a glass of wine after a bad tub night.
  • Spreading toys out everywhere and having fun. It sounds crazy because I’m the first one complaining about cleaning up the toy area. But I love when my kids are immersed in their toys and playing with them in an engaged way. I know it won’t be long until technology takes over their free time so I’m enjoying the messy toy phase for now.


So there you have it. My picks for best and worst parenting jobs. What are yours?



  1. Profile photo of Mary

    Mary March 28, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Those hair brushing photos are awesome!!! I’ve hated hair brushing for so long BUT, now armed with detangler spray and a brush, I drop everything I’m doing and brush my daugther’s hair in the morning while she eats breakfast and is distracted by the TV. At night, I do it while she’s brushing her teeth (with her mouth full with toothpaste she can’t object all that loudly!)

  2. Profile photo of Amy

    Amy March 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    LOL! Those photos are very true to life but it’s usually me that’s making the painful face. We’ve taken out stock on detangler but she still freaks out whenever I try to brush her hair while she is doing things such as eating breakfast and brushing her teeth. I thought it would help while she is distracted but she says I just make it harder for her to do those things. We’re getting there through patience.

  3. James September 2, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Maybe this will help with hair brushing. I have an older daughter who was always complaining about brushing her hair and the hair being pulled out. I found a brush that breezes right through hair without getting caught. I bought it for her last Christmass and she loves it. Here is a link where you can see them and read about them.

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