La La How The Life Goes On

The Greatest Job in the World…

Posted on: May 11, 2014

I know on this Mother’s Day that I’m supposed to wax poetic about how being a mom is The Greatest Job In The World. Blah blah blah

Sorry. No can do.

Here’s the reality:

With apologies to Donald Sterling’s publicist or Mariah Carey’s personal assistant, being a mom is the hardest, most intense, most insane job in the world.

Being a mom sucks so hard sometimes that I can’t even find the words to adequately describe the precise, exquisite nature of that suckage.

Being a mom requires you to dig so deep sometimes that I can’t even conjure the adjectives required to effectively illustrate how deep you have to go just to stay upright.

Being a mom demands that you put yourself second so often that I can’t even locate the integer 1 on the keyboard. (except for right there. Yay me). 🙂

Nope. Being a mom is not The Greatest Job in the World. It is the shittiest job in the world. Seriously. It’s an effing sweatshop full of recidivist, insubordinate ingrates WHO LIVE WITH YOU. Imagine going to your job and spending every day with the following coworkers or employees:

–The one who ignores your requests until you raise your voice.

–The one who makes everyone late for important deadlines because she refuses to be ready on time. EVERY DAY.

–The one who slams her office door in your face because you “don’t understand” her.

–The one who embarrasses you at an important meeting because she cannot stop herself from saying, “farty poopy.”

–The one who goes into a roid rage over seemingly-innocuous requests like, “Please put your shoes on.”

And the worst part? Every damn one of these employees is Union. Tenured. So you are stuck with them.

Tell me you wouldn’t quit that job in a hot minute.

No? Consider this: Imagine going to your job and doing your job. For 12 hours. At the end of that 12 hours, a coworker comes into your office/cruiser/checkout line/classroom/wherever and ERASES everything you have done all day. Deletes it. Like it never happened, like you never accomplished it. And this happens almost every day. You work all day, you put in the time and the energy and effort, and–boom–by 6pm you look around and it’s like you were never there.

This is, I’m sorry to say, the Secret Life of the Stay At Home Mom, whether we want to admit it or not. Amid all the exclamations of the joy! heartsongs! pride! of being at home with your kids, the daily grind of being a mom is in reality just one giant suck after another. It’s a job no one would sign up for if they really knew what it entailed. You can pretend you would. But you know, deep in the core of your being, that the job description is one that would cause any sane, reasonable, remotely well-adjusted individual to run as fast as possible into the long, unreachable distance.

So why am I still here, at my laptop, on my couch, chilling with my awesome Baby Daddy while our precious kids sleep in the other room? Because, my friends, this is the gig.

Yes, the job description is scary. It should be.
Yes, the pay is terrible. What IS the going rate anyway for raising quality humans?
Yes, the hours are exhausting. You can’t tell your 4th grader you’re off the clock when she wants to tell you what’s on her mind.

It all aches in so many ways, but I always come back to my mantra: this is the gig. You become a mom, you become responsible for human children who need you. Children who need you more than you need whatever it is you think you are needing that day. If you’re lucky you have an awesome partner to share the load. If you don’t, then you are more awesome than I will ever be and I salute you. But however you accomplish it, this is the gig, as-is. It’s hard. It’s thankless. It’s often just not fun. But it’s important. It’s meaningful. And although it’s definitely not the Greatest job in the World (I believe that honor belongs to Ewan McGregor’s towel), it is a job that has no rival. Because in between the recidivism and thanklessness exist moments of grace. Moments of joy. Moments of overwhelming pride. When the teacher tells you your 4th grader stood up to bullies on behalf of another kid. When that 4th grader tells you that you should have been nicer to yourself as a teenager because you really were pretty. When she declares (thankfully not in public) Wednesdays to be International Fart Day. When your 5 year old touches your face and says “You the best mama ever.” When you tell the household to get ready…and oh my freakin lord…they just do it on time and under budget without malingering or complaining. These–these are the moments that save you, that sustain you, that keep you punching the clock at this, the most terrible job in the world.

Happy Mother’s Day, sisters.

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1 Response to "The Greatest Job in the World…"

A great big ol’ farty poopy to you, my friend. Those girls are gonna rule the world. And thank God for that.

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