If “Mother” were listed as a classified ad, this is how it might read:
Job Position: Mother
Goal: To raise a child as a strong individual that is a contributing and active member of a larger community.
Job Duties: Provide food, clothes, shelter. Give a never ending supply of love, advice, and hope that your child absorbs most of it. Must have a toughness about yourself during many critical time periods, such as: terrible twos (which last about 3 years), and the teen years which last anywhere from 10-12 years in length. (Note: when totaled this is about 13-15 years out of the 18 years of rearing.)
Skills Required/ Lessons Taught & Learned: Must have a tough outer skin (to protect your ever loving heart), and a great emotional fortitude. Must be able to drive a vehicle as this job requires a sort of “taxi service”. Teaches: appreciation.
During the teenage years you might experience a series of mini breakdowns and question whether or not you are, in fact, capable of sticking this job out. * Please note, once you accept this position, you cannot quit. Lesson Learned: Patience. / Teaches: Compassion, Love
You will be peed upon, puked upon, run down, asked for money, unappreciated, snapped at, stomped past, yelled at, blamed for things you had no control over, and in return you are to cook meals, buy clothes, pay tuition, run a household, and provide whatever they need — whenever they need it. Teaches: Respect if handled correctly.
*Be advised that many times you are handed letters from school late; like permission slips and sports fee bills — things that are due the following day. During these times you must use your quick thinking and your ability to do some creative banking: like what not to pay at the moment so that your child can attend his/her event. You must do all this seamlessly, like a toothfairy in the night, so that it looks like you are in complete control of everything, at all times. Teaches: The importance of timing, responsibility.
You must be able to pick your battles and determine your choice within a fraction of a split second. There will be times when you cry yourself to sleep and times when you laugh your head off. Lesson Learned: Willpower, fortitude, strength.
You will be hated to the core and loved to death — sometimes in the same day.
The applicant must be willing at all times to feel like a piece of taffy being pulled in all directions, yet maintain the shape of their emotional well being and continue to perform all their duties in tip top mental shape. Lesson Learned: Moms must make time for themselves and incorporate “me-time” daily. This is crucial for a healthy mind.
Education required; although it is not mandatory to have a degree or certificate, you must possess the knowledge and provide the services of: doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, teacher, accountant, dietitian, referee, coach, cheerleader, judge, and policeman.
Other education required: housekeeper, chef, driver, tutor, driving instructor, wedding planner, advocate, and financial adviser. You must also, sometimes, have to provide the role of the other parent. *All this must be done in conjunction with the other duties and roles you have in your life.
Pay scale: The applicant will receive no monetary compensation for this job, she will, however receive benefit in other ways, such as: pride for your child at school events, smiles, laughter, hitting milestones, hugs and kisses, watching them walk down the aisle (whether it be graduation or wedding), and watching them grow into their own person throughout the years. She will learn to cherish her pay in the form of necklaces made of noodles, handmade cards, lop-sided pottery, chalk drawings on the driveway, finger paintings, and report cards. As the child grows older the pay comes in the form of breakfast in bed, home made birthday cakes, and an occasional text message of love and gratitude. She shall expect no more and no less and love it with all her heart.
Hours and Benefits: The applicant is required to be on duty at all times (24/7). She will not receive sick days nor any vacation time. Rarely will she be thanked or appreciated. *The good news is that for the most part, you will recover quickly from the crappy times and not remember most of them. Note: There are far more good times, then stressful times. You will also grow a wonderful little baby into the next future something or someone in the world.
With all this said, please understand it’s the most rewarding job in the world. A woman does not have to give birth to be a mother, and yet be a mother just the same. Mothers never stop learning and never stop teaching.