Ever replied ‘oh I’m just a mum’ when somebody asks what you do? Well mamas, firstly, being a mum is one of life’s most challenging – albeit rewarding – jobs in the world. But if you actually stop and think about all of the various hats you have to wear on a daily basis, being ‘just a mum’ makes you an expert in so many fields. And ‘free-time’? What is that? There are no days off , regular breaks or pay. Here are just some of the careers that come with being a mama…
Seriously – carrying a carseat around requires some mega muscle power -and that’s just for starters. The groceries, the children, the huge amounts of kit – we’re superwomen!
Between the school run, after-school activities, play-dates, parties and all of the other stuff that requires driving our families around, the average mama spends half of her day ferrying her brood and clocks up a mammoth amount of miles. And chauffeurs must have the car prepared for every eventuality in order to cater for thirsty, hungry or bored little passengers (because keeping the peace in the back-seats is just as important as the driving itself).
Child 1 won’t eat porridge, the 2nd likes his toast buttered just a little and cut into precise squares while the baby needs freshly pureed organic fruit. After the breakfast orders are out, mama needs to start thinking about exciting lunch box options and suppertime meals that will pack enough vitamins and goodness into her little salad-dodgers. And this kitchen needs to be open 24/7 as there’s no telling when hunger will strike and a snack must be produced.
Questions and more questions. All. Day. Long. Studies show that mamas are asked more questions in an hour than most teachers or doctors – our curious kiddos are relentless. And when they ask mamas, you need to be able to answer – even if you really don’t know exactly how hot the sun is or how many leaves there are in the whole world. You have to think on your toes, come up with something – and then rely on good ol’ mr google to help!
Judge mama needs to learn to listen to various sides of the story before making her verdict and doling out the appropriate sentence. This is no mean feat when child 1 is adamant that child 2 did it and vice versa. Sentences can be reduced if Judge mama can use her excellent negotiating skills to convince the children to tell the truth. And remember, no tv for a week ends up back-firing if you need 5 mins peace and quiet in-between jobs!
Whether you’re combing food out of their hair or trying to tame the tangled tresses into something school-worthy – mamas become experts at styling on the go – literally – following (chasing) the kids as they do everything they can to avoid the brush. And as for fixing kiddie-cuts gone horribly wrong, getting rid of that chlorine-green or – heaven forbid – dealing with the dreaded nits – we’ll have to deal with it all at some point. Time to get that pinterest tutorial on how to create your daughter’s latest must-have style.
Sleep Expert (night shifts)
Being a mama requires the occasional night-shift – whether you’re checking that there really are no monsters under their beds, clinging onto the side of your own bed for dear-life while the littles sleep star-fish style between you and hubby or dealing with night-time requests for water, food, toilet – or to answer a few of those incessant questions.
Pen at the ready mamas – you’ve got to be able to jot down and manage every playdate, party, doctors appointment and after school activity while remembering last minute changes (nobody wants to be that mum who sent their kids to school in uniform on dress-up day). The kids social life is more complicated (and frankly exciting) than ours most of the time so we have to make sure it all runs smoothly.
I could go on – personal stylist, toy fixer, photographer, interior designer, paediatrician, party planner, cleaner…the list is endless. ‘Just a mum’? I don’t think so.