My mind has been full with thoughts on motherhood today. This letter may be long but stick with me. After thinking, I could not find a single job that looked as unappealing on paper as motherhood can. I imagine a job description for motherhood looking something like this:
- Be at your client’s beck and call after hours, on weekends, and in the middle of the night.
- Must be able to function and be production on little sleep.
- Willing to get messy/dirty and go through several outfits a day.
- Willing to wipe client’s bum, nose, hands, and mouth.
- Cook for client. (Baking not necessary but preferable.)
- Feed client while they sit back relaxed.
- Must be willing to skip your own meals.
- Wash, dry, and fold laundry of client. Must also be able to put their laundry away for them.
- Pick up client’s groceries at the store and restock their fridge.
- Must have a decent enough fashion sense to pick out clothing and dress client(s).
- Must bath, clean, dress, and do hair of client.
- Must have more knowledge than client and be willing to teach them new skills.
- Willing to have your patience tried. Client can often be slow, whiny, stubborn, and is still learning basic manners.
- While being professionally trained is not necessary, you must be able to offer counsel and comfort and know how to fix a broken heart.
- Knowing how to administer first aid is necessary.
- While no certificate is necessary, must have cleaning and tidying skills and be able to teach them to client(s).
- Must be able to handle stress.
- Must be able to offer constant praise and affection.
- No accounting degree necessary but must be able to budget and use money wisely.
- Must be able to protect client from physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental harm and must protect them from getting hurt.
- Be willing to correct, discipline, and put client(s) in their place if needed.
- Know how to respond appropriately in many different situations.
- Be able to recognize and apply the fine line between friendship and guidance.
- Must be able to multitask.
- Must be able to juggle many different conversations and activities at once.
- Provide a warm smile whether you are stressed, exhausted, or unhappy. Along with this, must be able to convince client that everything is okay.
- Have a current driver’s license and know how to operate a vehicle. Personal vehicle preferred.
- Must keep client(s) fit and healthy.
- Must be able to prescribe meds and give them when necessary.
- Must protect client and keep them safe.
- Must use intuition.
- Must be able to convince client to eat, behave, and do things they don’t always want to.
- Should be able to maintain cool and collected with large amounts of attitude, whining, crying, sass, and problems.
- Must be able to care for more than one client at once.
- Must attend every event of client.
- Must chauffer client to their different activities and events during the day.
- Able to use common sense and sort through and make sense of white lies and sneakiness.
- While not desirable, must be able to complete smell checks on body, bum, and clothing of client.
- Willing to have your reputation ruined because of clients words, decisions, or actions.
- Full knowledge that your chance of getting sick if your client(s) is sick is very high.
- Willing to sacrifice your freedom, hobbies, interests, money, and time for client.
- Able to work of little praise.
- Willing to go days without showering or cleaning self.
- No specific dress required.
- Will feel heartbreak on behalf of your client(s). Must be able to manage and handle pain.
- Must be able and willing to carry up to 30+ pounds for extended periods of time.
- Must make and attend all personal appointments of client(s).
- Must be able to be stubborn and know when to put your foot down.
- Must be able to communicate effectively.
- Must be able to build and gain trust and love from and for client.
- Must know how to turn a bad day good.
- Client(s) may be moody and must be able to deal with their emotions.
- Willing to get thrown up on, pooped on, have boogers wiped on, and be a human napkin.
- Must be willing to run errands, even if unnecessary.
- Must have a basic knowledge and understanding of PreK-12th grade education at the least.
- Able to tune out nonsense, whining, and crying from time to time.
- Able to answer hundreds of questions a day on almost any topic.
- Must pay for what client wants and needs without getting repaid in cash/check/money form.
- Willing to work for no pay, no holidays, no breaks. (Pay in the form of hugs, kisses, snuggles, bonding moments, and occasional thank yous.)
- Unable to quit job.
No person in their right mind would ever sign up for a job like this and yet we do. Motherhood is such a paradox. It is so challenging, so hard, and some days so lonely, while the same thing that brings you the most happiness, accomplishment, fulfillment, and joy in your life. Somehow motherhood is both of those things.
I’d be lying if I said that every day was easy. I can’t tell you how many evenings come and I’m exhausted and worn out. You give up your freedom, you time, and your hobbies being a mom. By the end of the day you’re sometimes so pooped that you just need a break; time to be with yourself, without noise, or being touched and smashed and jumped on, with the possibility of having a break from being a human napkin. Before having kids I didn’t always understand the mom who said that she’d make up an excuse to use the bathroom just to get a few minutes to herself. Now I get it. I so get it. The idea of alone time, free time, or freedom is gone after having kids and the world tries to convince you that you’re selfish if you take your eyes off your kids even for a second, or have something that you enjoy doing.
To date I haven’t been able to think of a single occupation yet that sacrifices as much as a mother. Even the most grueling of jobs end when the clock hits 5:00 or 6:00, yet a mothers stretches into the night and early hours of the morning, never really ending. It’s a continuous job that has no end. On top of this, motherhood is most under paid, underrated, and unappreciated job there is. Our payment comes in snuggles, hugs, kisses, connections, and occasional thank yous ,and I have to believe that we’d rank as one of the higher paying jobs if money paid us. A mother is the real version of superwoman, minus the red cape and funny looking outfit (although we have those from time to time too.) A mother does everything; she encompasses every job I could think of and I have to believe that Heavenly Father made us this way on purpose. Our roles and tasks are no small feat and in order for any human to accomplish what a mother does, she has to be built strong. We mothers are a different breed of human. That isn’t to say we are better, just different. We’ve been given different strengths and talents and thank heavens for that.
Motherhood is hard. Somedays it can be a challenge. With this said, some days are wonderfully fun and smooth. You get both. I wanted to make sure that you knew the truth about what it takes to be a mother and the strength you must have. Not to scare you but to make you realize how incredible you are. You were born, built, and made to become something incredible. You’ve been given special talents and skills and one day those will come in handy.
I wouldn’t trade it being a mother for anything. Even on the most challenging of days. What a blessing being your mom has been. Being your mom has been the biggest dream and the greatest blessing and I wouldn’t give it up or trade it for anything. You’ve brought a happiness into my life that couldn’t be greater. You’ve given me purpose and a sense of accomplishment. You’ve given me laughs, and love, and memories and for you I will always be grateful. Please always remember that you are incredible and strong and even on the most challenging of days, motherhood is always worth it.