I never imagined I would become a stay-at-home-Mom. I didn't even know it was considered a job. Even when I became pregnant, I was determined to head back into the work force simply because I thought being a Mom was not a real job. Boy was I wrong. But, I couldn't be more happier with this "wrong" decision.
I had given my prior job notice that I would be taking the standard maternity leave allowable. But to me, 3 months off was too long. I had a pretty manageable pregnancy, therefore, I didn't take time off until literally days before I delivered. When I finally was off, I made lists of things I could finally do, projects I could finally tackle, places I wanted to visit.
Then Michael arrived.
And everything changed.
Like any job, the responsibilities became countless. The long nights, the early mornings, the purchases that need to be made, the time you spend just to prepare a meal, the preparation needed for every outing, the changes to your home and vehicle, the emotional impact, the list goes on.
If there was a job ad for being a parent, this would be it-
WANTED:-Talented multitasker.-Must be able to balance new baby on 1 hip while cooking dinner, talking on the phone with the doctor while a toddler is strapped to the opposite leg crying. -Needs to have at least some basic knowledge and entry skill level in: money management, budgeting, childhood education, child psychology, pediatric medicine, homeopathic remedies, hostile negotiations, housekeeping, executive cooking, computers/technology, driving and hazardous waste management just to name a few.-Must be ok with bodily fluids! You can fully expect to be sneezed on, coughed on, drooled on, spit on, bleed on, peed on, pooped on and puked on. It may even all happen in the same day! There will be no hazard pay for this.-Applicants who are accepted for this position must expect to function on little to no sleep and work through all illness's. You may even be expected to care for others who are sick while you are as well putting their needs above your own.-There are no sick days or any time off for that matter. -The job is a 24/7 commitment for a minimum of 18+ years.-Specialized training in the fields of care for multiples, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, and all things crunchy are a plus but no extra pay will be given for these skills.-Did we mention there is no monetary pay at all? That's right you will not be paid for this position. Not only will you not be paid but when you are asked "what do you do for a living" and answer proudly as "I am a mom" you will be looked down upon with scoffs and judgmental glares.-Applicants will be compensated for their time in heaps of sloppy kisses and sticky hugs. In soft whispered "I love you mama"'s. In tickle fights and late night slumber parties. In sweet baby cuddles and big kid snuggles. In first steps, first words, first holidays, first days of school, first dates, and even first heart breaks.-The hours are lowsy and the monetary pay awful but the experience is a gift far more valuable than anything else you will ever experience in your entire life.Literally, it was like taking on a new project. Every single second. Every single day.
But unlike any job, the reward is priceless.
Don't get me wrong. It's hard work. You want to be the perfect CPO (Chief Parental Officer) at all times. But the work is essentially a dream- the fact that you were given not only the opportunity but the responsibility of another being in your hands makes this the best job you could ever be given.
It's really hard describe. If you aren't a parent yourself. (Chaunie does a better job describing it here.) But when you become a parent, you take on not only the toughest, but the most rewarding job you can ever apply for.
Everything changes. Even your identity.
But it's all worth it.