Sometimes I like to think of parenting as an episode of Lost, which is how I feel most of the time:
Think of a mysterious island inhabited entirely by a tribe of parents. None of them are really sure how they got there. They do their best to survive using what little skills they have. Some will adapt quickly, others more slowly. They will all learn new methods of cooking, cleaning, shopping, packing, organizing, soothing, inspiring, empathizing. They will learn how to eat quickly, with either hand, while washing the dishes and holding a baby. They will grow stronger, both physically and mentally.
As time passes and hope for rescue grows dim, a society begins to form. A SECRET society, operating invisibly to the rest of the world, in which the wisdom of the ancients is passed on from elder to child through story and song. Small clans break off from the main body, held together by the shared interests of their children.
Some, desperate for information, will leave the safety of the tribe to search the island for a handbook on parenting, a magical text that is said to contain all the knowledge of generations past. They will scour the jungle for this fabled tome, eventually realizing that it does not exist. Along the way, however, they will gather weathered old books and magazines washed up along the shore, and will begin to piece together a rudimentary method of defining themselves.
A computer room is discovered in a small underground bomb shelter where access to the internet gleans more parenting information from the mainland. They soon become inundated with too much advertising and must sever their connection.
They soon realize that there is no easy way off this island, and that they must each walk their own path. Only by suffering first hand will they truly learn what it means to be A PARENT.
One day they will be rescued and will all be integrated back into the main body of civilization. But they will all realize that their experience on the island has changed them in ways they are still struggling to understand. They have evolved somehow. They will then spend the rest of their lives gathering information and watching for signs, preparing for the day when they can share their experience on the island with the rest of society. And the world will become a better place.