Friday, 3 October 2014

Part mom, part quantity surveyor, part event coordinator

Part mom, part quantity surveyor, part event coordinator
2 October 2014

Being a mom. 

I think there’s a huge misconception out there, as to exactly what being a mom entails.

You actually need a bloody degree.  No, a certificate.  Boot camp.  Tertiary education.  A technical qualification.  An apprenticeship of sorts.  A medal.  A trophy.  And a hole in your head.

It’s not the easiest job in the world.  Some days I’d far prefer sitting in a delightful air conditioned office.  Imagining crunching numbers.  Maybe being a lawyer.  A doctor.  A high powered business women, making my many minions squirm.  A psychologist – pickling and picking brains.  An entrepreneur, making gazillions.  A journalist, relaying current events.  Even a data capturer – whatever that might be.

But then again, I think to myself.  To be fair, I’m doing all of that already.  Sadly without the pay.  Or the holidays.  The 13th cheque bonus.  The entertainment and travelling allowance.  The free telephone.

Moms don’t spend their days making school sarmies, and driving kids around.  And painting their nails in between drop-offs and collections.  Moms are challenged way more than that.

In any given day, you can be expected to do the following:  Help do research for a project you have no interest in – RESEARCHER.  Bake muffins for an entrepreneurship day – PATISSERIE CHEF.  Help to accurately work out costs, for said muffins, taking into account electricity usage and labour – QUANITITY SURVEYOR AND COST ACCOUNTANT.  Drive kids up and down – CHAUFFEUR.  Buy kids’ clothing to exact specifications – PERSONAL SHOPPER.  Plan meals, do grocery shopping and cook – RESTAURATEUR.  Schedule kid’s extra-murals, and parties they’re going to, get-together’s with friends, and all their social commitments – PERSONAL ASSISTANT.  Plan Birthday Parties – EVENT COORDINATOR.  Liasse with school teachers, keep abreast with school projects and orals, sign school reply slips – DIARY COORDINATOR AND ADMINISTRATOR.  Help with homework, orals, projects and studying for tests and exams – PRIVATE TUTOR.  Pay for everything they need (and sometimes want) – PERSONAL BANKER.  Help at school cake sale – SHOP ASSISTANT.  Support next to the sports field – RA-RA-GIRL AND SUPPORTER.  Help with piano practice – MUSIC TEACHER.  Practice bowling or play hockey in the back garden – COACH.  Help to make an outfit for a dancing show or exam – DRESSMAKER.  Help with make-up for a dancing show or exam – MAKE-UP ARTIST.  Capture every major event in your child’s life – PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER.  Go to various shops like the hardware store, plastic shop and stationary shop to get items for school projects, ranging from wood, nails, glue, wire, cardboard, funnels, tubs, glitter, polystyrene, etc. – GOFER.  Deal with problems with cell phones and computer related issues – TECHNO GURU.  Diffuse sibling disagreements and arguments – CONFLICT MEDIATOR AND ARBITRATOR.  Listen to tales of love and heartbreak – LOVE DOCTOR.  Explain the basics of male/female biology – SEX EDUCATOR.  Give advice on personal issues, ranging from body issues, to problems with friends – PSYCHIATRIST.  Help with goal setting, study methods, and future planning – LIFE COACH.  Basic wound care and medical assistance – DOCTOR/NURSE (depending on the severity of the injury or ailment).  Dispensing of medicine to cure or treat any ailments, illnesses or injuries – PHARMACIST.  Give general care and attention to matters requiring medical intervention, such as dentistry, orthodontics, dermatology and orthopaedics and liaising with said professionals in order to get expert care – MEDICAL ADVISOR.  Ensure social get-togethers, outings and sleepovers are discussed and coordinated with other parents – SECRETARY.   Set boundaries with regards to money – FINANCIAL ADVISOR.  Manage time spent on PlayStation, TV and the computer - MODERATOR.  Monitor content of material viewed on social media and TV – SENSOR BOARD.  Ensure healthy eating habits, and shop and cook accordingly to those requirements – DIETICIAN.  Limit intake of unhealthy food – HEALTH COUNSELOR/CONSULTANT.  Promote exercise and all round physical well-being – FITNESS INSTRUCTOR.  Be a non-judgemental sounding board – CONFIDANT.  Giving of life advice and little nuggets of wisdom – MENTOR.  Explaining and trying to answer questions relating to religion – SPIRITUAL GUIDE.  Initiate exposure to art, music, dance, architecture, literature and culture – AESTHETICS FACILITATOR.  Wardrobe and clothing advice – FASHION STYLIST.  Plaiting and gelling of hair, as well as hair straightening – HAIR STYLIST.  Oversee all written school projects – COPYRIGHT EDITOR AND PUBLICIST.  Teach etiquette, basic manners and respect towards elders – PROTOCOL ADVISOR.  Advise on career options and study courses for tertiary education – EDUCATION SPECIALIST.  Act as intermediary and organiser for social calendar, incorporating school events, extra-murals and social time with friends – LIAISON OFFICER.  Deligate household chores and tasks – LABOUR CONSULTANT AND BROKER.  Encourage and fund an interest in a pastime – HOBBY FACILITATOR.  Discuss appropriate behaviour with members of the opposite sex – FOREIGN AFFAIRS.  Broker and foster fledgling relationships – SOCIAL ENVOY.  Document and record all important events and milestones – ARCHIVIST.  Organise playdates and get togethers with other parents – FRIENDSHIP EMISSARY.  Carry and load everything they ever need (Mommy, please hold my sweater) – BELLHOP AND BAGGAGE CONSULTANT.  Dispense with any rubbish (Mommy, here’s my empty packet of chips) – REFUSE REMOVAL.  Explain language anomalies, sayings, grammar, as well as all verbal skills – LINGUISTICS ATTACHE.  Attend parent-teacher school meetings – PERSONAL RELATIONS AMBASSADOR.  Boost the child’s ego at all times and help to promote a healthy overall image of the child – PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER.  Encourage pets and caring for them – VETERINARY ASSISTANT.  Foster a love for helping those less fortunate and in need of help – CHARITABLE ORGANISER.  Plan transport to and from places, as well as holidays and weekends away – TRAVEL AGENT.  Ensure clothes are clean – STAIN REMOVAL EXPERT AND LAUNDRY SPECIALIST.  Express admiration for all art works made in all forms of media and proudly display them in your home, regardless of their true aesthetic value – ARTISTIC AND GALLERY AFFICIONADO.  All round care of neatness, tidiness and cleanliness in the home – DOMESTIC ENGINEER.  Relay messages from friends sent to your own personal cell phone via sms, BBM and WhatsApp – CRYPTOGRAPHER (you firstly need to be able to understand their texting shorthand and signals) AND MESSAGE BEARER.  Help with selling of endless sheets of raffle tickets – SALES REP.  Basic mending of items of clothing, like sewing on of Cubs badges and adding buttons – TAILOR.  Bravely endure meals and snacks they’ve unhygienically prepared for you – TESTER.  Watch numerous plays and shows put together for your benefit – ENTHUSIASTIC CLAPPING FAN.  Play endless rounds of Monopoly, cards, Snakes and Ladders, Cluedo and any manner of boardgame – ENTHUSIASTIC-DICE-THROWER-INTENTIONALLY-THROWING-THE-GAME-SO-THEY-CAN-JUST-BLOODY-WIN-THE-GAME-AND-IT-CAN-END-AS-WELL-AS-PRAYING-YOU-LAND-ON-GO-TO-JAIL-SO-YOU-CAN-JUST-LOSE-ALL-YOUR-MONEY-AND-THE-THREE-HOUR-LONG-GAME-OF-MONOPOLY-WILL-FINALLY-END (I’m a huge fan).  Count how long they can hold their breath under water and how long it takes them to run from one end of the garden to the other – TIME KEEPER.  Stock endless quantities of stationary and craft items - STATIONARY SUPPLIER.  Home burials of much beloved pets - FUNERAL DIRECTOR.

So here’s the thing.  Looking back at the rather vast array and diverse scope of functions I am required to perform on a daily basis, I feel that it is within my rights to feel ever so slightly disgruntled.  Never mind disgruntled, damn outright exploited!  Moreover, the parameters of my employment have not accurately been documented, set and recorded.  And the list of duties I need to complete and take charge of, seem to be ever increasing.  Always growing.  Stretching and stretching.  Surely a proper job description is required?  Protecting me from being over extended.  And being taken advantage of? 

There is just one solution here.  Particularly given the complete and utter blatant disregard for formal remuneration in any form whatsoever.  Yip – no payment.  No salary.  No bonus.  Not even a petrol allowance.  Nor bloody free pens from work.

I’m taking my three bosses, Luke, Amber and Cole to the Labour Court.  They’ve left me no choice.

We’ve passed the point of arbitration.  And just to prove my point, I won't cook them any supper tonight (perhaps just a little snack).

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  1. And all are the same for one's husband....with a few more added!

  2. I would love to have a resident mother / wife to run my life! I always said that an "at home" Mom worked much harder than an "at work " Mom! You deserve a medal!