Sunday is another Mother’s Day. A “Hallmark card” opportunity for my kids to tell me how much I mean to them…how much they love me. It’s a day when I’ll be made to feel special and receive gifts for being their mother.
What goes through their minds when they think of me? Of the specific times, places and events we shared when they were younger, which do they remember most and why? Which of my maternal traits, skills and abilities will they try to master? Which of my habits will they avoid at all costs?
Truthfully, none of this really matters. Sons and daughters have very self-centered and myopic views of their childhoods. They simply cannot comprehend the mental exercises, complex emotions and physical demands that mothers must endure for decades.
But now that my kids are young adults — all who started new jobs in the past year — let me explain motherhood in terms they’ll understand….
Job Description — Mother
GENERAL: Candidate must possess excellent communication (written and oral) and organizational skills. Must get along with people of all ages from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and professions. Must display mental and physical endurance. Must also be willing to work variable hours, including evenings and weekends with few breaks.
- Must function well on little sleep.
- Must multitask and deal well with interruptions.
- Must be able to manage facilities, IT, logistics, and basic accounting functions.
- Must be a creative problem solver and negotiator.
- Must be willing to address technical challenges, such as toy assembly and stuck zippers.
- Must coordinate production of multiple projects.
- Must coordinate vacation, daily, and extracurricular calendars for multiple people.
- Must be on call and accessible 24/7.
- Must be willing to worry 24/7.
- Must be willing to be hated at times.
- Must be willing to put others’ needs ahead of your own.
POSSIBILITY FOR PROMOTION: No.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required. On-the-job training is offered and encouraged. However, background in the following areas are preferred: psychology, counseling, physical therapy, general medicine, education, technical writing, tutoring, music, dance, sports, art, drama.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION: None.
That’s what it takes to be a mother. It’s a hard job.; often an unappreciated and thankless one. And only women who’ve put in their time can understand the sacrifice and toll it truly takes. One day, when they finally become parents, our kids will understand too.
Until then, I’ll enjoy my Mother’s Day.