Sunnyside Up!

By Mary Helen Darah

This new mom discovers the job
description of mothering is limitless.

My daughter and son-in-law blessed us with a bundle of joy a few months ago. I cannot count the numerous times that I have heard from new moms, including my daughter, about how having a baby completely changed their lives. They say that women shared their wisdom with them beforehand, but nothing compares to the reality of ‘momhood.’ I thought it may be beneficial to lay out a few needed skills and requirements for the greatest “job” moms will ever have.

Job Title: Mother

Job Description: Responsible for assisting, nurturing, guiding, and protecting offspring safely into adulthood and beyond.

Physical Requirements: Must have the ability to support a 26 lbs. clinging appendage that is limited to single word requests, eventually, such as “juice” “blanket” or “cookie.” Must have the ability to multitask especially if there is more than one offspring present. Daily scenarios of playing Chutes and Ladders while simultaneously constructing a Lego creation and finding a way to get black ink off an off-white leather couch could become the norm. Must be capable of suppressing gag reflex and ability to not flinch when faced with unknown substances that are expelled from either end of little humans. Must be capable of wheeling carry-on suitcase while, like a heat seeking missile, keeping track of offspring, paperwork, plastic container full of Cheerios and favorite stuffed critters. 

Skills and Abilities: PR skills are mandatory as you must convince teens that the zit on their nose is not as big as it appears. Skills may also be needed to encourage first time tampon users, through closed doors, or urging a child out of the house after catastrophic haircut and/or other assorted primping disasters. Must come equipped with “Buck up buttercup” speeches such as “F” does not stand for “failure” but rather “find out” and “follow through” as well as the standard “Success comes in a “can” not a “can’t”. “Someday you will look back at this moment and laugh,” must be said convincingly even if teen child does not sufficiently back up, pulls forward and rams into the car parked next to them in front of the Department of Motor Vehicles BEFORE taking the driver’s test.

Must have a keen sixth sense to be able to know where every charger for every electronic device, pieces of clothing and assorted missing items are located. 

Educational requirements: A junior engineering degree is helpful in constructing toys containing small parts. (Tough skin is a must for when you inevitably step on said parts.) Being “handy” will also be needed to HELP your child with school projects. Please note: prospective moms will need the ability to accept defeat graciously if their child’s spray painted styrofoam sun and solar system goes up against a Pegasus, with backdrop drilled lighting accompanied by synchronized music, apparently also made by a third grader.

Nursing skills are a must for diagnosing real ailments and knowing when child has a case of “Ididntdohomeworkitus.”  

Please note: Performance reviews will be given randomly by the older generation, in-laws, and other women with the “mother” title. Judgment may be harsh from maternal figures who have memorized the school calendar, volunteer at every event, know how to make cute costumes on a budget and hand in every and all permission forms on time. 

Compensation: Once entering the mothering profession, you will find that every time your wallet opens, money will fly out. However, the hugs, memory-making moments and love will last an eternity.
Position Summary: The job is highly demanding. Your body will take a beating. Parts of you that once headed north will venture in other directions. There will be hormonal fluctuations, brain fog, sleep deprivation and daily handling of minor and major catastrophes from pet guinea pigs stuck in Barbie cars to discovering your child’s missing USED bandaid in the chocolate Buckeyes prepared for a school project. When you first take the job, showers and sleeping for more than three hours will be a luxury.
For all the job’s challenges, the rewards are countless. You will continue to ponder how your heart magically quadrupled in size, full of the love for your child. The major downside of the position is that it goes by far too quickly and your heart may break a bit while at the same time be overflowing with pride, as you see offspring gain greater independence and your job responsibilities diminish.

If you are a passionate, idealistic, adaptable woman who does not wince at words such as “carpool,” “team mom rep,” or “5 am mandatory swim practice,” be assured ‘momhood’ is the opportunity of a lifetime.

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