The job of a parent has got to be one of the most multi-skilled professions on the planet. From nursing a feverish child through the night, to party planning, to acting as a sibling mediator, there is a lot to learn and fast. It’s on the spot training; an intense 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and your ‘boss’ will not accept any errors. The challenges are huge but so is the job satisfaction. And whilst looking after your little sprogs, you are learning valuable new skills. Here are 10 jobs we could (possibly) qualify into…
From sickness bugs to post vaccination fevers and a constant stream of snot in winter: you are becoming an expert at caring for the ailments of a small person. Infant paracetamol is always to hand, you’re great at clearing blocked noses with the nasal aspirator (weirdly I actually enjoy it) and night shifts are a regular occurrence in this role. You even have the NHS baggy pyjamas uniform (well navy blue joggers and a basic top from Peacocks look pretty similar), you are well accustomed to sacrificing lunch break and end most days completely shattered.
Forklift Truck Driver
Operating modern buggies require skill, precision and strength. The first time I nervously took my pram out, I knocked over a stand of cakes in our local shop and then rammed into someone’s table leg in the café next door. Lifting my Phil & Teds out of the car with baby no. 2 almost broke me and that was before I had even worked out how the hell it popped up. Now I am a pro at lifting and operating heavy machinery – I can skillfully whip in and out of a shop, steering my 3-wheeled beast through the crowds.
Secret Service Agent
From surviving sleep torture; to sneaking in and out of baby’s room like a ninja; to covering your bad face and hair day with a disguise of sunglasses and a bobble hat, mums make EXCELLENT Secret Service Agents, an idea that apparently MI6 have caught onto…so if you are approached by Judi Dench one day, no she is not about to tell you off for your children’s bad behavior in Marks & Spencer – there may be a secret mission on the horizon…
Food expert, kitchen planner, and manager. Think you haven’t got what it takes? You’re wrong! We’re awash with advice on what our little ones should be eating thanks to the likes of Annabel Karmel and Jamie Oliver but we’re also aware of what to pull out of the freezer in an emergency situation when the customers in the restaurant are unhappy: you can be pretty sure that potato smilies, fish fingers and peas will lead to empty plates and excellent reviews.
I am not the greatest singer but I am pretty sure that my vocal chords have improved tremendously since becoming a mother. I used to wobble slightly on the high notes of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, but now I can tackle all the greats: ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’, ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ and ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ with ease. There is still room for improvement though: the other day I was very loudly singing ‘Shake it Off’ (a popular Taylor Swift nursery rhyme) in the car and toddler started shouting. I continued warbling, thinking she was joining in, but then I realised she was saying “STOP SINGING!!!!”. Oh.
Social Media Executive
Before children, I would check Facebook once on my lunch break and on the bus journey to and from work. I thought Twitter was just a playground for over egotistical celebrities and Instagram was for giving yourself a nice tan in the winter months. Now social media is my lifeline: my main contact into the adult world. Arranging a meet up with friends? Messenger, WhatsApp or my mummy friends’ Group page. Made a meal for yourself from scratch? Well, that’s an achievement that needs to be immediately documented on Instagram with the Mayfair filter. Feeling a bit lost in this new parenting role? Join Twitter to connect with fabulous mum and dad bloggers. I see so many brilliant posts every week I wish I could sit down and read them all. What I do know is, that if I come across a challenging parenting milestone, chances are it’s been written about. If not, I write it myself. Social Media has been a big help in my parenting journey so far.
Assistant Wine Buyer
In the last 3 years I have sampled a lot more types of wine. I used to favour Sauvignon Blanc, but to be quite honest, anything on offer goes: from Chardonnay to Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir to Shiraz. A good glass of the liquid grape really takes the edge off a particularly challenging day; it’s my little reward and I am pretty sure I can tell my unoaked from my over-oaked (although obviously, any is fine).
I have never had to empty the bin as often as I do now, particularly now I have a newborn. I frequent our dustbin so often, the neighbours probably just think I am looking for someone to talk to outside of my house (well, kind of, yes). Rotting food is nothing compared to a poonami clear up, and as for toddler’s waste…I wouldn’t flinch at any pongs and I’m a hard grafter. Also you get to talk to people when you are emptying their dustbins.
Barmaids need to be charming in order to keep their customers happy, able to provide drinks quickly and cope with any aggravation. I can lay my hands on a sippy cup quicker than anyone can pour a lager and I keep my cool when the drinkers are angrily demanding black-cu-cu joose instead of ovange. If there’s any brawling, I deal with it.
Is it difficult to herd a whole flock of sheep? Not once you have herded one toddler to nursery. Shepherds get the help of a sheepdog, parents don’t get that. We have to follow our tot’s chaotic zig zag path whilst keeping one eye on the time and another eye ahead; scanning for any distractions such as a pile of horse poo (“LOOK MUMMY! MUD!!”) or a gurgling drain (“What’s dat?!?”) if you maintain your toddler’s drunken snail pace, you have to be very patient and if manage to get them to go faster in a straight line, they break into an over-excited manic run, which usually culminates into a fall and crying. However you somehow usually get to your destination before dusk. Shepherd recruitment – look this way.
So there you have it. Not only are you keeping your child alive each day, you are gaining excellent attributes if you ever want to return to work or train for a new career. Anything I have missed out? Feel free to comment below!