Until I had a kid, I really had no idea how hard being a parent is.
Then I hopped aboard the pregnancy train heading for Parenthood with a capital ‘P,’ discovering all through the journey just how amazing (and sometimes gross- let’s be honest) being a mom is.
I bought What to Expect When You are Expecting and began to read the BabyCenter message boards. I made my husband take classes with me about childbirth, how to take care of a baby, and breastfeeding. I thought I was doing the best I could to prepare for the life change that was rapidly approaching.
Soon enough I found out that I was clueless. I had to have a C-section? I didn’t prepare for this. You mean you are letting us take home this teeny-tiny little human? Am I ready for this? When the three of us (how foreign that sounded) arrived home my husband and I settled on the sofa, looking at each other with a deer-in-the-headlights look on our faces. Um, what are we supposed to be doing now?
We survived the first night, then the next, and the next, and the next. Ten weeks later I returned to work and constantly worried about how my baby girl was faring in the care of a stranger.
As I have found over the last five years since my first pregnancy, being a parent pretty much means we must expect the unexpected and be prepared for just about anything at all times. I willingly signed up for this job but was naive to just how much work it would really entail.
In the spirit of this, I thought it would be fun to put together a job description for a mother, a lifelong profession and a fulltime job.
Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and be able to communicate effectively with many different people with various educational levels. Position will include the most joyful and terrifying life experiences (sometimes concurrently). Will be responsible for planning, implementing, and directing projects, programs, and direct support services designed to advance the success of progeny. The emphasis is on meeting or exceeding the standards set by society. Will also strive to achieve goals for health, service, quality, cost, and growth.
- Oversees day-to-day household operations
- To keep child(ren) alive
- To coordinate shared parenting/caregiving with a partner, but can be performed alone
- Must be able to multi-task and adapt to situations quickly
- Improvisation skills are necessary
- Must be able to remember birthdays, allergies, each family member’s food favorites
- Must be able to handle poop, puke, snot, and other bodily excretions that are not one’s own
- May be required to provide taxi service
- Must be able to handle excessive stress
- Must have at least basic food preparation skills
- Will be expected to change diapers, wipe butts, and potty train
- To love unconditionally
- Will be expected to kiss boo-boos and apply unnecessary Band-aids
- Needs to be able to repeat commands multiple times and count to five
- Answers 4,000 questions daily
- Searches for monsters and causes of scary noises
- Must sometimes act as referee
- Washes mountains of laundry
Not required, but preferred
Neverending; always on-call
- Level of movement:
- Must be able to chase children
- Must be able to quickly change diaper while child tries to escape and run away
- Must be able to stay in awkward positions for extended periods of time
- Needs physical capacity to hold a child past the point where your arms may fall off
- Will need to rock, sway, or dance to comfort child while making “shhhh”ing sounds for hours
- Falling completely in love with your child
- Judgment from others
- Loose skin
- Saggy boobs
- Lack of alone time and time for self-care
- May not receive appreciation or thanks
- Constant worrying
- May have to hold pee for hours at a time
- Unsolicited advice
Well, what do you think? Have I missed anything?