I remember asking my sister how do I take care of my baby if I have one (I have none at that moment). And this is what she said "easy, if he's wet you change him, if he's hungry you feed him, and if he's sleepy, you put him to sleep". Oh.. it's as simple as that? Yeahhhh.. it's as simple as that PLUS millions of other things....
And even now, after having 4 kids, I still ask myself, what does it take to be a parent because most of the time I think I'm not good enough as a parent. So this is what I came up with based on my experience:
1) Love - LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of love ... and you have to show them, shower them with love. It's not material things, it's not money.. it's just feelings.. and these feelings must be shown. Research and statistics have shown that children who grew up surrounded by love are better persons, more sucessful in life and have greater self confidence.
Believe me, there are people who have children but never loved them under some circumstances!
2) Patience - Kids are god's greatest gifts and challenge. With them you feel the joy, at the same time you have to endure some pain . As such you must be strong and patient to face whatever coming your way from them. When they are babies and toddlers, you have to endure their tantrums and sleepless nights, and when they are teenagers you have to deal with their unpredictable behaviors in searching their true identity, and when they are adults, you have to be diplomatic enough to treat them as another adult knowing that they were once babies! And all throughout their phases of life, you have to be there. It is a long joyous and meaningful journey, with some pain here and there no doubt! And this really require lots and lots of patience.
These are the 2 most important ones that I can think of. The rest I believe would come naturally becos LOVE would conquer all. You would do research of their sickness, you would find out about about their medications (and remembering the medication names and purpose). You will buy parenting books, you will want to cook for them.. and do and learn everything else in the world in relation to children. With the feeling of love of your children, you will do anything for them. You will change to a better person insyaAllah.
There are many guides and tips on being a parent, how to treat your kids, how to educate them, how feed them, even how to potty train them. But at the end of the day, it's all about how YOU do it. Each child is unique thus some tips may and may not work for them. Only you can decide what's best to raise your children depending in your environment.
There's no right or wrong parent, they are just different parents.
So what does it take to be a parent, just be yourself with lotsa love to give away!