You don't have to be a parent to understand certain responsibilities. For a child, parents are always their constant support system. They do not let the child out of their sight, at any cost. Their prime responsibility is their child as well as their partner, work, food and so on.
The little things our parents do matter a lot. Whether it's good or bad, there's always a lesson to be learnt. Bad? Yes, well you do learn what not to do in order to be a better person.
You don't have to wait till you get married or have a child to be a responsible parent. You learn these things from a young age and by that, I mean at your 18s. It's the right time to observe all the tiny moments of your life. Especially when you walk into a different home, observe how they treat their guests. What did they do to comfort you? How clean their house was? How they communicated with their family to keep you occupied? Everything. Same goes true when it is vice versa. How you like guests to feel at your home and how your parents want you to help them do the same. For me, I'm blessed to have my father teach me the best out of his experience and knowledge. Surely, there were moments when I hated what he did but never who he was to me. I could pick on a million times he restricted me from something or did not notice my big moments but at the same time, I can pick another million times he did his best to be the best father. Because of this, I would not be found on any street begging to be saved. I do not remember much of my childhood.
There was one moment when my brothers and I were back home after our 2 years of education in India. The day we landed, dad welcomed us with a big hug and drove us back home in his green Land Rover. On our way back, the happiness in him cheered us. He kept asking us to guess where our home was and once we reached, there was a moment I would never forget. He mentioned there was a surprise hidden somewhere in the hall. You know that feeling when someone says 'surprise' and your heart pounds harder. My brother helped me find them and it was a red big doll kept in one of our TV storage compartments. Okay, I was in the third grade and I loved it. I had it until my sixth grade when we were shifting to a few floors above us and I was the first one who pulled all my toys in a black garbage bag and kept it in a corner of my new room.
But the next day, it was gone. Probably someone thought it was just garbage and trashed it away. It doesn't matter if it's gone as long as the memory lives with me. He also got me a blue identical doll years later. During my sixth grade, if I'm not wrong, my mom used to travel to India for almost 2 weeks and those two weeks were something valuable. My father used to teach me how to cook, how to do the laundry, how he keeps his cupboard, how to take care of my skin, took me for a walk in the evening and explained things he spotted around the area like how things were constructed, what a building foundation looks like and so on.
We were lucky to stay on the top most floor of the building, so that he would stand by the window explaining me things like how far the construction was headed.
Later my brother taught me how to bake a chocolate cake. That was my best learning experience so far, I was curious to bake more and learn to cook anything I want. He would teach me many things like playing a piano, math, how to Google search, we often had long talks where he was always explaining me a million things. We hadn't been together since I got done with second grade. But distance never mattered much. He was, in fact, the first one to make a Gmail account for me which I have till this day. Later Skype was how we kept in touch. So little things are definitely learnt at home. There should be no excuse to ask something if you don't know. You should always be curious.
Life is a riddle. You need to constantly put things in place. Being a parent is more like a puzzle game. Every day the puzzle keeps growing, and there are little responsibilities like cooking, bathing your kids, taking them to school, making sure you stay in touch with both families, etc. They never end until you're severely sick and need to take days off. I'm certainly not sure how my life will be after marriage but I'm sure of the things I must know before the time comes. Okay, I may not have the answers to everything, but I know how my parents taught me to be where I am now. Even my brothers. And there were moments I observed closely and learning from, what happens when walking into another person's nest and figuring tiny little puzzles they played.
One crucial thing my elder brother taught me was, "In order to be happy, learn how to do things by yourself, starting from cleaning your room to doing your own laundry."
No matter how old you are, you're always responsible for giving back to your parents who brought you up. I don't know how far I will be able to support my parents after marriage but I will make it a point to be there for both sides. It's far more important to be there than to be left alone. As my father said, "all the good things you do will be carried over to your children and all the blessings you get will make you a happy person".
Blessings are earned when you do good to others. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Happy parenting!