International Day of the Seafaring Parents
International Day of the Seafaring Parents
Parent24 Editor, Scott Dunlop
I don’t know too many seafarers, but today is International Day of the Seafarer. So if you are parenting aboard a ship, I wish you the best sort of day. Perhaps we are all a little at sea when it comes to bringing up children…

Picture yourself on board an old sailing ship. Only it isn’t sailing. It’s bobbing rather uselessly in a windless sea. There will be times like this when you’re a sailor-parent. When you start to daydream about something, heck, anything happening just to break up the monotony.

And then it does.

Out of nowhere, a storm appears on the horizon and it’s all-hands-on-deck time. This is particularly difficult if you’re parenting solo, and your hands are the only ones to help keep the household afloat. Something as simple as a burst geyser or a lost phone can threaten to send your carefully balanced world capsizing into an ocean of uncertainty. (Ha- you can tell I’m enjoying this metaphor!)

That’s why you need to keep in contact with other sailors. They can warn you when pirates are in the area- let’s call those challenging times in parenting “pirates”. They threaten to take all of the pleasure out of experiences which, when viewed differently, may actually be rather enjoyable. Too often we live in fear of the teen years, for example, but we do so in isolation. Other parents have some wonderful experiences to report of how their teens managed to navigate an awesome course through treacherous waters. The pirates may still get off a couple of shots, but if you have the right defences, you may escape unharmed.

Fortunately the difficult times pass. There will be wonderful stretches where the mainsail is up and the wind behind you. You’ll all be surging ahead to the next exotic harbour where you can have a break from eating endless fish fingers. No shortage of new experiences on this journey. Even if you get stranded on a desert island, you’re sure to find hidden treasures.

Let’s hope that you all manage to keep those fabulous creative ideas coming during the school holidays, and that you don’t suffer from cabin fever!

I’ll stop with the sailing analogies now. Aren’t you glad it wasn’t International Day of the Undiagnosed Rash?

Actually, I just checked, and today is also “Please Take My Children To Work Day”, according to; the aim being to give moms with young children a break by getting other adults to look after their kids for the day. hat’s a pretty cool idea too, right?

However you choose to celebrate today, I hope you have fun.

Don't forget to enter our “My Dad, the Superhero” competition by sending in a picture of the dad (or any father figure) in your family.

If you could name an International Day, what would you call it, and why?

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