Does anyone else ever feel that going to work is like taking a vacation compared to being home with three-foot-tall tyrants all day? That parenting is the most difficult thing you've ever done, far more challenging than any job? Further, that being a parent has forced you to develop skills, strategies, and coping mechanisms you didn't have when you were childless? I have certainly felt all of these things, and a few years ago I thought I should write a "mom resume" to articulate how I'd developed as a person since becoming a mother.
Parenting is no joke. It is back-breaking, mind-bending, emotionally strenuous work that requires lightning-fast problem-solving skills, extreme dexterity (both physical and mental), and the utmost humility. A parent becomes acutely aware of all of his or her shortcomings, flaws, pet peeves, and triggers (have you ever tried to complete a task—or just maintain sanity—with three tiny people shouting in your ears and clinging to your legs?).
Being a parent is Real, and it's hard, and those who do it deserve more respect for their skills and accomplishments. The workplace ought to take seriously the crucible of parenting and recognize what we have to offer by mere fact of our parenthood.
Here's my mom resume. I've added some points since writing it a few years ago, hence the discrepancy in number of children, if you're reading carefully.
Position: Domestic Executive
Company: The Watson-Elliott Household
Dates: November 2012—Eternity
- Manage and fulfill expectations for five household members with wildly divergent needs.
- Excel in a high-stress environment under constant sleep deprivation to provide for the material and emotional requirements of two high-maintenance individuals (aged four months and two years - the two-year old hereafter referred to as "The Tyrant").
- Solve problems quickly and creatively and remain adaptable and ready to implement new strategies on a moment's notice, usually under high pressure and while The Tyrant screams.
- Generate meal plans and procure provisions to ensure the health of all family members and to fulfill the whims of the The Tyrant.
- Take and edit photographs and compose updates to maintain communications with far-flung loved ones by keeping a blog.
- Research, analyze, implement, and dissect dozens of strategies to optimize the functioning of the household and emotional wellbeing of the newborn and The Tyrant.
- Manage financial accounts in three countries, pay bills in two, and determine the most cost-effective organic diaper-purchasing solutions.
- Work closely with co-executive to maintain acceptable hygiene levels in the home, locate strategies to get The Tyrant to sleep, and maximize ineffable experiences of joy, connection and fondness to ensure the continued wellbeing of all household members.
- Seek out and matriculate in enrichment opportunities to challenge, fulfill, and inspire household members, while balancing said activities with research-backed "down time" to allow for optimal human flourishing.
- Whilst living in a foreign country, figure out how to do everything (banking, shopping, tax registration, extended public transportation excursions, etc.) with minimal practical or emotional support, frequently with an upset small child in tow.
- Coordinate multiple international moves by assessing cost-effective removal and relocation strategies, select and communicate with vendors, and bear screaming children through border and customs queues.
What would you add? What skills have you developed as a result of being a parent? What responsibilities do you have as a parent that translate to the work world? Please share more points in the comments!
Long Weekend comic from Fowl Language Comics.