A philosophy of parenting, or perhaps a manifesto, so to speak. One that surrounds two general concepts in which all matters of parenting then proceed.
As defined in the broadest possible terms. Children are merely visitors to your life. You had a life before children and you will have a life after they stop returning your phone calls. It is thus important to maintain friendships, interests and sanity so that these will be intact when the time comes. Perhaps even a living partnership with another adult who also loves your children is important. The last one is the most difficult of all and plays into the second general concept, namely:
This comes as a result of the fact the child rearing is (at times) relentless, excruciating and just plan boring.* This must be endured, with a modicum of goodwill. Knowledge of this will enhance patience and produce appropriate survival skills. To endure is to love your children. And to endure one must also survive. But don’t forget the goodwill. My belief (take it as you will) is that to endure is to enjoy and that enjoyment must be shared with the children and those other people that you need for survival.
What’s left then?
*Sometimes it’s not and it’s those times that we remember, at least I think so. Ask the grandparents. They have a tendency to only remember the good times and the hard times seem not have existed at all. This is curious because many adults seldom reflect upon the good times of their childhood and focus all of their energy on the bad times. This thought is also important to this philosophy. Parents have, at the end of the day, very little influence upon whether the children end up being good, or not so good people. There is very little we as parents can do about this. On the other hand, if we treat kids like second class citizens, but then we almost certainly create second class adults.