Unpopular opinion alert: I think we celebrate too many holidays. I know. But before you come for me with your pitchforks, think about it for a second. How many times has your child reminded you at 8:00 pm that they need cupcakes or a special coloured shirt for school tomorrow to celebrate some holiday you didn’t know existed? If your answer is a number higher than 0, I rest my case. BUT, in spite of my Grinchy disposition, I have recently discovered a holiday that I am going to be adding to my calendar immediately: the Global Day of Parents.
Yes, you read that correctly. There is a holiday celebrating parents.
The fact that it is a day instead of a week is disappointing. The fact that I was today-years-old when I learned about it is appalling. And the fact that this holiday is not well-known is a downright travesty.
Let’s face it, being a parent, guardian, or caregiver is no easy task. It is also, often, a thankless one. So if ever a group of folks deserved a day of appreciation, it’s parents.
So let’s all get up to speed on this day so that we can make up for lost time and start celebrating immediately.
What is the Global Day of Parents?
This glorious day has been around since 2012. Since the 1980s, the important role of the family has come to the attention of the international community. As part of that recognition, the UN decided to highlight the critical role of parents in rearing, nurturing and protecting children. Celebrated each year on June 1st, “Global Day of Parents provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their ‘selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.’” (Global Day of Parents, UN)
All of which is a fancy-pants way of saying that parents are the bomb. We play a critical, important, and valuable role in shaping our kiddos and our communities. And we give up a lot to make sure our littles grow into functioning members of the planet and not the greedy little narcissists they seem to want so badly to be.
And to that I say, heck yes!
How did it take til 2012 for this to become a thing?
Parenting in a Pandemic
After a year of pandemic living, I’d say most parents are in extra need of a cause for celebration this year. Because, real talk, families are often bearing the brunt of COVID-19.
In their materials on the Global Day of Parents, the UN goes on to say that, “As the anchors of the family and the foundation of our communities and societies, parents have the responsibility of sheltering their families from harm, caring for out-of-school children and, at the same time, continuing their work responsibilities. Without support from parents, children’s health, education, and emotional well-being is at risk.” (Global Day of Parents, UN)
And, frankly, I don’t think I have ever felt something so deeply in my soul.
Figuring out work-life balance. Raising a well-adjusted child. Keeping said child from licking everything in sight and coming home sick. Somehow taking care of yourself in the midst of this chaos. All of this was hard before.
And COVID has only amplified all that. Especially for essential workers who are putting themselves at risk for the sake of our families and theirs.
So if ever there was a time to give yourself a pat on the back for your parenting prowess, it is now. Because whether you have been baking homemade sourdough and re-organizing, or clinging to sanity by your unmanicured fingernails, you’ve made it this far and that makes you a super parent.
Celebrating Global Day of Parents
If I had a dollar for every time I’d written the words “parenting is hard” somewhere on the Lil Helper blog or website, I’d have enough money to send my boys to college. And while it feels a little cliché to say it, it also feels like it can’t be said enough.
Because parents are such a central part of making the world go round, that we are just expected to be awesome. Sometimes it even feels like we aren’t allowed to feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of parenthood.
Yes, it is something that most of us chose. In fact, it is something that many of us sacrificed to achieve. Yes it is a labour of love. And yes, it is super gratifying. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle. Or that we shouldn’t be acknowledged for overcoming that struggle.
So how do we celebrate? Wear a crown? Make your children throw you a backyard parade and bring you snacks all day? Lock yourself in your room and just sit in silence?
Nothing seems quite enough. But however you mark the day, I hope you know that us parents deserve to be celebrated.
Because we give up a little piece of ourselves to bring it into the world. And because we make the frantic 8:00pm run to the store for cupcake ingredients or a rustic salmon colored shirt.
So, happy Global Day of Parents, from one awesome parent to another.
Share this post with a parent or caregiver you want to acknowledge!
About the Author
Amanda is a teacher and mom of two from small-town Ontario. When she isn’t struggling to keep up with her boys, you can find her reading, crocheting, or writing poop-jokes for Lil Helper’s website, emails, and blog.