Happy Mother's Day 2018! As a pediatric sleep consultant, I work with mothers on a daily basis. I can in constant awe at a mother's ability to conjure bravery, wit, resourcefulness, resilience, kindness, compassion and generosity-of-heart even when extremely sleep-deprived.
On a daily basis, mothers pour their talents, their love, and their energy into the job of mothering and parenting. So On Mother's Day 2018, I honor you. Please stop to offer yourself some well-deserved recognition. Please consider how many wonderful things you do for your family and your community on a daily basis. Please take a moment to relish in the fact that you and all mothers are astounding and totally amazing human beings!
Cheers!!! Happy Mother's Day!
This gem of a piece written with clever wit and honesty is worth the read. It was written by Kimberly Harrington (@honeystaysuper) is the author of “Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words,” from which this essay is excerpted
Posted in New York Times on April 27, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/opinion/sunday/motherhood-job-description.html
Job Description for the Dumbest Job Ever
By Kimberly Harrington Ms. Harrington is a writer and mother in Vermont.
SUMMARY: This position manages to be of the utmost importance and yet somehow also the least visible and/or respected in the entire organization. You will enjoy a whole bunch of superficial attention and lip service from culture, advertisers and politicians, but will never receive a credible follow-up in the form of a concrete plan for advancement, support, benefits or retirement.
Please note: Although you will coordinate, plan and do almost everything, you should expect to crash face-first into bed every night feeling that you’ve accomplished basically nothing. Welcome!
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES: You will be responsible for literally everything, including but not limited to:
• Keeping co-workers alive.
• Related to the above, supervision of all possible hazards, including: electrical currents; water in all forms (baths, sheets of ice, swimming pools, Slip ‘N Slides, lakes, dodgy sprinklers, igloos); table corners; dogs that have food-sharing issues; uncut grapes; playground equipment; bees.
• Read every book about the job. Provide verbal CliffsNotes version to adult partner who apparently can’t read these same books although you know for a fact he’s a college graduate because that’s where you guys met. You actually studied together. He’s capable of reading, processing and retaining volumes upon volumes of complex information. Nevertheless. Observe verbal CliffsNotes go in one ear and out the other.
• Become unnaturally intrigued by what gets stains out of clothing, trade tips with other moms and hate yourself for it, bookmark stain chat blogs and hate yourself for it, share hot tips (sunlight! vinegar!) with your friends via text and hate yourself for it.
• Exercise more in less time and with greater difficulty than you ever have at any other point in your life. Expect marginal improvement. You can do it! Sort of!
• Prepare to assume the responsibilities of pets your co-workers have begged for and then subsequently abandoned. Steel yourself for spending $95 on a vet appointment for a pet mouse while you have no fewer than nine mousetraps lying in wait in your basement for her cousins. It’s a real “Upstairs Downstairs”-type situation.
• Plan company off-sites/“vacations.” Oversee reservations and coordination of overpriced rental minivan, multiple flights that will ultimately not work out, strange babysitters, creepy outdated tours you had a free coupon for, family-friendly restaurants where all human hope goes to die and other assorted details. Create packing list. Create shopping list. Create list for house sitter. Create list for pet sitter. Create list of reasons everyone should go on this godforsaken trip without you. Weep.
• Stay on trend but not too on trend with your clothing, if you know what we mean. Don’t look dowdy, but don’t look like you’re trying to dress like a teenager, for God’s sake. Wear things that are flattering but not too revealing. Bare shoulders are O.K. as long as the rest of your arms are fully sheathed. Bottom line: You’re culturally irrelevant — embrace it!
SUPERVISOR: This position reports to co-workers younger and less qualified than you. They will also have little regard for your personal space; may pull your shirt up in public; slap you on the bum (also in public); wonder aloud why your arms, legs and/or stomach are so “squishy”; and will not at all listen to your opinions. They may, on occasion, order you around and be clearly unappreciative of your efforts. You’re a woman; you should be used to this sort of thing in the workplace by now.
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE: Nothing will prepare you for this. Not babysitting, not having a dog, and certainly not your childbirth class. Maybe get some sleep or eat chocolate-covered pretzels in your underpants?
TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT: This is a volunteer, unpaid, full-time job. If you have paid employment outside the home, this is still a full-time job. You will have to sort that out for yourself. The primary purpose of this position is to train your co-workers to become more competent, independent, well adjusted and successful than you. Don’t be afraid to occasionally whisper “Marry for money” to them when no one’s around. Who cares? Times change, love is fickle and working is hard.
HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS: Success in this position — while prematurely announced by those who are currently breast-feeding 5-year-olds — may be accurately measured only roughly 10 or 20 or 30 years after your last co-worker has left his or her in-house position. Please note: Once your co-worker has moved on, you will no longer be allowed into a majority of his or her waking moments and certainly not the sleeping ones. Your former co-workers will typically not be terribly vocal about whether they feel your tenure was a success, or what they’re doing now on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes they won’t even tell you what they’ve had to eat or who they are with! Honestly, the feedback process and yearly reviews for this position are a nightmare, if they happen at all. Many employees find Thanksgiving to be an unusually popular time for performance reviews, but we do not recommend it.
SUMMARY: The primary purpose of this position is to train the people you love most in this world to leave you. Forever.
Told you it was dumb....by Kimberly Harrington (@honeystaysuper) is the author of “Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words,” from which this essay is excerpted.