Motherhood…World’s Toughest Job?

Viral video hits the internet. 24 people apply for the “World’s Toughest Job” and had their minds blown. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. The interviewer asks the candidates questions revealing the job’s requirements…

List via AdWeek

  • Standing up almost all the time
  • Constantly exerting yourself
  • Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts necessary
  • No vacations
  • The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
  • No time to sleep
  • Salary = $0

Now, the candidates were confused, thought the requirements were “cruel,” a “sick twisted joke,” and possibly illegal, but when they found out that billions of people have this “job,” they were overcome with gratitude.

Because the “job” description is that of a mom.

The viral video, made to sell Mother’s Day cards, missed the mark on what sacrifices women make when they become mothers. For instance, the damage to a career from leaving the workforce, how mothers earn even less money than childless women for the same work,  how since 2000, the cost of childcare has increased twice as fast as median incomes, how parents need more support while their babies are young (Canadians get up to 52 weeks maternity leave as opposed to 12 weeks stateside), how single women sometimes have to work multiple jobs to care for their families, and to top it off, how women still do most of the housework. There are certainly issues at hand that make being a parent difficult today. It’s not easy, especially if  parents do not have the resources to make things easier. But do the issues that make things difficult for parents equate to the the actual parenting?

Now, I am a mom, and I’ve had lots of jobs. I’ve been a strawberry picker, a dishwasher, a retail sales associate, a fast-food worker, a cigarette girl,  one of those people who passes out fliers on the street, a hostess, a barista, briefly a waitress and a bartender, a nanny, a babysitter, a daycare worker, a real estate agent’s assistant,  a teacher’s assistant, an English as a foreign language teacher, a receptionist, an office manager, a graphic designer and a blogger.

From that experience, I can tell you, that:

  • Standing up all the time? I had to stand for 8 hour shifts while working at Wendy’s, Starbucks and the Gap, and as a mom I have never once stood for any prolonged amount of time.
  • Constantly exerting yourself? That’s a demand for everyone, child or no child.
  • Degrees in medicine, finance and culinary arts? Um, no. Unless you count kind of knowing how to operate the microwave a degree in Culinary Arts.
  • The work load goes up for the holidays? I’ve worked on the holidays and in seasonal industries, it was nothing like the fun of making things festive for the little guy…
  • No time to sleep? I haven’t slept an 8 hour stretch in about a year. Still 100% less stressful than say, organizing the IFB Conference.
  • Working from 135 hours to “unlimited?” There are 168 hours in a week. Any more hours would be more than one week.

I can also tell you that:

While there there are a lot of aspects of parenthood that are undervalued. Being a parent is the greatest experience I’ve had in my life. Heck, I get to hang out with this guy all day:

For me, being a parent is a privilege and gift of the most absolute love I’ve ever felt. While I’m very fortunate to have a loving husband and the resources to be able to work at home and spend time with my son. Maybe I just have an easy baby. I do not feel like actual motherhood part is this grueling battle that I have to face every day.  Even when I’m changing the poopiest of diapers, motherhood is certainly not like the work I have done for money, even the jobs I love (like blogging).

All I’m saying is don’t confuse the act of mothering with the issues that make being a parent in today’s world difficult.

jennineMotherhood…World’s Toughest Job?