Have you ever wondered what the role of “Mother’ would look like in a job ad? Well look no further. Here is your life as it would appear on a job seeker’s website. Would you apply?
Mother of three children under five
Are you an expert multi-tasker who can function under enormous emotional pressure? Are you able to negotiate ridiculous arguments with small angry humans who have an as yet undeveloped emotional intelligence? Do you thrive on a lack of sleep and regard remuneration as an optional perk?
If so, we have an exciting project for you.
Working alongside the other breadwinner/adult in the house you will be the main point of contact for the small under-developed humans in the family.
Your responsibilities will be the day-to-day running of the household which includes raising three human beings so they don’t become axe murderers and generally doing everything for everyone else and not worrying about yourself.
The other breadwinner/adult in the house will help you from time to time but between the hours of 8am to 6pm on most weekdays you will be on your own and expected to work unsupervised. Above all, you will be a team player who will put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own.
You will be given a minimal budget to feed, clothe and care for three small children. Some government grants are available but they are forever in flux and cannot be relied upon for forward projection of your budget ongoing.
Skills and experience
To be suited for this job you will need:
- A strong stomach: fluids out both ends are a daily occurrence and one of your most regular tasks will be to wipe small bumholes. In addition to toileting duties you will also be required to clean up any other unexpected emissions such as: snot, vomit, regurgitated baby food and saliva.
- A ‘sleep is optional’ attitude to sleeping through the night. Your charges will regularly wake in the night for no apparent reason other than their sock came off. You will be expected to deal with this nightly and there will be limited time to catch up on lost sleep the next day, unless you want the laundry basket to start overflowing.
- A ‘can do’ attitude to unforeseen disasters like: split lips, lost shoes, incomprehensible toddler meltdowns in public places and bumps on the head that are touch and go with regard to is it or isn’t it a concussion?
- An ability to multi-task like a MOFO: on any given day you may be asked to tie a toddler’s shoelace, put in the Paypal password for in-app toddler game purchases or fix a Lego spaceship whilst also breastfeeding a baby.
- A high regard for interpersonal engagement and an ability to not lose your sh** when the toddler upends his yoghurt onto the carpet for the second time in one morning.
- Attention to detail: there is a zero tolerance policy for forgetting any of the following items whenever you need to leave the house:
- the baby wipes
- spare nappies
- a change of clothes in case of accident or spontaneous water play in the local fountain
- toddler snacks
- middle child’s stuffed giraffe
- the rock the eldest child found at the park last week which you now must carry everywhere in your handbag for no apparent reason other than in case he needs to hold it which he won’t need to unless you forget it.
- Able to meet pressing deadlines: e.g. needing to be home in time for the 1pm nap without compromising the play date at the park in the morning followed by the grocery shopping.
- An ability to juggle two to three daytime naps while keeping on top of laundry, dishes and keeping a house relatively safe for human habitation. (Please note: clean bathrooms are optional and totally up to your own discretion.)
- Strong forward-thinking conceptual skills where you can foresee disasters before they happen and put in place strategies to avoid them. For example: will the corner of that coffee table take someone’s eye out?
- An ability to problem solve and triage with a medical professional’s clarity in case of any or all of the following emergencies: broken limbs, bruised foreheads that turn into giant egg-shaped lumps, a fever that may or may not be life threatening and a bleeding head wound that doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon.
- A working knowledge of cooking, cleaning, nursery rhymes, Peppa Pig, baby sleep cues and toddler toileting cues. You will also understand the importance of separating the whites from the blacks in the washing machine as well as the urgency of hanging out the washing first thing in the morning on a sunny day.
- You may also be required to take on other paid work outside the household in order to bring in extra money to pay for groceries, mortgage/rent, clothing and general household costs. This will be done with no compensation or reduction in your general duties at home.
In return you will be paid in sticky kisses and warm cuddles from your charges. You will also enjoy the satisfaction of ‘continuity of care’ as these small people will be in your lives forever and ever, amen.
You will know them from sun up to sundown for a good 18 years and beyond that, your job will still not be done. They will visit with laundry, eat food out of your fridge and remind you what’s important giving you a wider perspective on life and all of its challenges.
One day they may even thank you.
Full-time with no sick leave, holiday leave or any time off other than when the children are asleep. There is also no provision for paid overtime.