Referee and personal bathroom attendant: These are the two job titles I feel I work hardest at and do the most of in my household. Ironically, I am not trained as either (do bathroom attendants receive training?). I’m trained (educated) in the world of finance and English (creative writing was always my favorite) yet I do a lot more of just about everything else in my life. I’m a mother; interestingly enough, a job that is available to almost anyone regardless of your education level and free of all training (clearly).
As a mother, I have many jobs. Referee, personal bathroom attendant, chef, driver, detective, mediator, alarm clock and personal packing attendant are just a few of the jobs that I do every single day of my life. I’d not trade them for the world – kidding; anyone that wants to take over the twin’s diapers is free to do so at any time – but I will point out that I’ve learned as a mother that there are jobs I do that I never, ever realized that I do. It took my husband pointing out to me that I should be paid for the whole motherhood thing since it’s by far the most dedicated job on the planet. It has the best benefits but the worst hours and sometimes even the worst bosses you’ve ever met in your life (and sometimes they are the best). But really, when I signed up to become a mother, I had no idea I’d take on so many different jobs. Aside from the obvious roles that a mother plays in the lives of her kids, I’ve taken on roles I never even realized.
Doesn’t it seem ironic that someone who has never used drugs would become a drug counselor? I mean, we’re not talking anything stronger than baby Tylenol and anything that the pediatrician prescribes, but still. I now administer drugs like a professional to tiny humans, and then sit them down and discuss with them that drugs are not good for them. I find myself counseling my children on their Grape Tylenol addiction, telling them that I know they want it, but they cannot have it. It’s not meant for personal pleasure, but only for those instances in which they desperately need to feel better and lower a temperature.
You spent year after year in pharmacy school (and make six-figures as a result) learning how to correctly portion and create medications for patients. I spent zero time in school and know exactly how much of what medication my kids need without looking at the instructions – for all four even though we are talking three different ages. I can use a syringe so worn that the numbers have faded off the side thanks to too many runs through the dishwasher and still get the exact portion in one try. I can mix and match medications and administer it like a pro. Free of charge. I think I lose.
Halloween comes but once a year and ironically enough, it’s the one day a year I need not design a costume for my kids. It is the other 364 days of the year my kids need a specific look that I am now underpaid to provide.
I donate, donate, donate. Why? Because I don’t need another useless candle or frozen cookie dough for $20 (because I can buy it for $2.99 at the store, thanks) and I certainly do not need another coupon book that offers coupons to places I have never once heard of. What I need is for my kids to stop bringing home crap from school asking for donations. Aside from our church giving and our actual donations, I now write big checks at the beginning of each school year for my child’s school and send it in with a note that threatens imminent crazy mother if anyone sends home an order form of any sort with my kids throughout the year.
I can pretend that your poop in my hair doesn’t bother me as I’m changing your diaper. I can pretend that your artwork is beautiful when it’s awful, and I can pretend I don’t want to put my kids up for adoption yesterday when walking through the store while they have a fit – I am not phased. Kidding; I’m totally phased. But I’m now the Meryl-freaking-Streep of motherhood and I deserve a darn Oscar (so does she, really).
Before the twins were born, I was not a body builder. It’s only been obvious to me in the 18 months since their birth that I now have some impressive muscles in my arms. Why? I certainly don’t use weights. But I have carried two babies at the same time in my arms numerous times a day every single day for 18 months. For 15 of those months, I carried them in their infant car seats at the same time. This makes me a super human. I carry them to the car, into the house, out of the car, into stores, up the stairs, down the stairs and through the house numerous times each day, usually while carrying their cups and my handbag. I’m a freaking rock star, people – and I have the arm muscles to prove it.
Since I mentioned it above; I am a rock star. My husband told me this. And, increasingly, people I encounter in public tell me this. I’ve birthed four kids, including twins, and I rock getting them handled, in and out of the house and the car and through the store like a super star. I’m the Mick Jagger of parenting four kids when it comes to efficiency, cleanliness and getting stuff done. Did I mention I do this every single day with full hair and makeup, too (I’m vain – sue me)?
I pay someone to come detail my car every week, but I find that I do it several times a week myself. Why? Well, I hate mess. I hate it with a passion – and I only hate one other thing in life and that is parents that send their sick kids to school. But I cannot stand footprints, spills, crumbs or anything else in my car. I like a clean car – all the time. So I detail it. Because I like that it’s spotless when the detailer comes to clean it out.
I am not bilingual. I have a superb grasp on the English language – between 6:30 am and 5 pm after two cups of coffee and before the wine comes out – but I know no other languages. Yet, I’m an interpreter. “GOSaligjaourlakdjohg,” says the baby. “She wants you to put some more milk in her cup, honey,” I say from the sink. “How do you know that?” asks my dubious husband. “Because she just said it. Weren’t you listening?” I ask with a touch of impatience. “Um, all I heard was algijaweoptulfhaogh,” he says, skeptical.
“Put milk in the cup and give it back to her and you’ll see,” I say in response to his doubtful expression and raised eyebrows. Milk, cup, baby; she’s happy and on her way. See? I can interpret anything.
Listen, I’m not proud of it, but you’ve never seen a woman do so much work without clothes on. That’s because my kids like to ask me for everything and get into everything in the 30 seconds I spend changing out of my robe and into clothes to take them to school. Sometimes I have to go get the kids off the counter in my underpants while performing a dance so that I don’t step on legos or crush the beautiful for the kids made along the path to the kitchen. Hey, someone’s got to do it.
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