What the Job of Mom Actually Entails
A girlfriend asked me the other day if motherhood is what I thought it would be.
My response immediately was along the lines of uhhh….NO. It is WAY harder than I ever dreamed of!
If someone would have handed me a job description for Motherhood before I had kids, I probably would have declined the role and continued forward in my career. I would have read over the hours, the pay, and the job requirements, laughed and then tossed that beautiful piece of linen paper in the trash. After all, I worked in Human Resources, reading and writing job descriptions, and hiring the right candidate for each role was exactly what I did. Negotiating salary and time off was a regular part of my daytime duties.
I took the job of being a Mom sight unseen. Well, that’s not totally true. I had watched Three Men and a Baby, Full House, and Look Who’s Talking One and Two – if they could do it, surely I could. I had no idea what my work environment was going to be like, who my supervisor would be or even what the physical and emotional requirements would entail.
I said yes to the hardest job ever without having an actual clue in hell what I was doing. I had successfully helped run an HR department for a multi-million dollar fashion brand in my mid-twenties, climbed the rungs up the corporate ladder, graduated college early and landed the man of my dreams before any of my other friends – so how hard could this baby thing be?
Oh sweet girl who knew NOTHING about motherhood. Bless her.
Alas, nobody handed me that job description, so I’m going to do you a solid and help a sister out. The job description for being a mom, that no one gave me ahead of time.
Don’t say I never did anything nice for you. 😉
Job Description for Motherhood
Job Title: Mom. Mama. Mum. Mommy. Mother. Maw. Mumsy. Ma. Female Parent. MOOOOOOMMMM.
Department: Department of Homeland & Household Operations.
Supervisor: None. Technically you will be supervised by no one, unless you count the Ring Doorbell Camera or the FedEx/UPS man whom you see on the daily. There will also be a peanut gallery full of peripheral “friends” and “family” with opinions on how you should be doing your job. Also, disregard the tiny humans demanding your attention, despite their efforts – you don’t actually work for them.
General Job Description: No two days will be alike. Flexibility will be key (vaginally and emotionally). In fact, as long as you continue reproducing and adding to your brood, no two children will be alike. Your daily goal will be to survive. Some people might think you should thrive, but let’s keep the bar low. You’ve got an entire childhood to attempt to raise your standards.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Director of Social Activities
- Executive Producer of Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Birthday Parties, 4thof July, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day
- Chief Party Planner for National Pancake Day, National Dress Like Your BFF Day, 100th Day of School, Dr. Suess Day, Pajama Day, and National Wear Your Favorite Color In Support of No Bullying Day
- PTSA, Art Docent, Field Trip Chaperone, Playdate Coordinator & Class Party Mom (see also holidays above for volunteer responsibilities within the classroom as well)
- Maid, Uber Driver for Children, Homework Supervisor, Chef, Household Philanthropist, and Laundry Attendant
- Referee, Counselor, Physical Fitness Teacher and “Encourager” (see notes on screen time and discipline management)
- Trip Coordinator and Travel Agent for all precious memories
*Note: it might be worthwhile to contribute $1 per holiday in a jar toward future counseling because ultimately no matter how hard you try, you inevitably will forget something
Minor Duties and Responsibilities:
- See above.
Primary Objectives: Raise kind, generous, productive, inclusive humans while not screwing it up along the way. (Super easy)
Hours Required: The hours for this role will vary, from all of the time to every single waking hour of time. Time off is limited. Within your first year especially, good-freaking-luck. All major holidays need to be honored and celebrated, but please note you will be in charge of overseeing the production of such occasions, including but not limited to catering, decor, invitations, front of house and back of house, and clean up.
Pay: This is actually an unpaid role, where all of your work will be completed pro-bono. Imagine the hardest non-profit looking to solve the world water crisis, and then deduct 100% of all those wages. Occasionally, as a token of appreciation,you will receive paper crafts and self-portraits that are meant to resemble you but might look more like a Picasso reindition. These are original pieces of artwork and worth nothing in the marketplace, but are priceless in the eyes of the artist. Time will tell. Stuff them in a box to be assessed (for the trash) at a later date.
Benefits: Free muffin top. An ever-changing wardrobe that doesn’t fit because your body has changed sizes so many times. Flexible work hours – can range from graveyard to daytime shifts, although you don’t really get to choose.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Vaginal flexibility. If this does not exist, there are alternatives that involve sharp objects and righteous scars.
- Options in parenting strategies. Just search: Parenting Books at your local library and this will provide you with thousands of options in sleep and parenting strategies. Finding time to read them will have to be after-hours, on your “own” time.
- Master of answering the same question 100 times
- Ability to predict meal necessities, and any potential variables that may occur during a given outing – please always carry a pack of band aids, spare snacks, outfit changes in multiple sizes, hand sanitizer (organic preferred), sunscreen, spoons, straws, deck of cards for entertainment, stickers, diapers, wipes, and socks. Don’t forget to leave room for your wallet.
- You will need to purchase a bigger bag for daily life because see above.
Education and Experience:
- College degree and age will not affect ability to succeed in this role.
- Body stretching
- Sleep deprivation
- Constant bending over
- Willing to be on feet all day
- Sleep deprivation
- Chasing rogue ones out of the street and crosswalks
- Wrangling during public tantrums
- Swim lessons
- Sleep deprivation
- Spontaneous [current] dance moves (Whip and Nae Nae, Flossing, Twerking and Shaggy for example)
This is up to you. It will most likely be a disaster, but outside help is suggested but only recommended if 2 hours of a clean space is worth the financial endeavor. In fact, use outside help at your discretion. Or just get a dog.
Disclaimer: There is no bonus potential and the path up the ladder is foggy. No options for internal promotion until the last child has graduated. Buyer beware though, some tend to boomerang back home so don’t make too many life plans.
*All photography courtesy of The Morgan Taylor