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Job Description: Mother

May 27, 2009

There is notice on the door at the entrance of Oliver’s daycare which I kept seeing everytime I drop him off and pick him up every Monday and everytime I remember that I was going to put it up on my blog. I should have put it up on Mother’s Day a few weeks ago — very funny yet very true.


JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call.

Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends, away sports matches and occasional visits to casualty. Travel expenses not reimbursed.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Must provide on-the-site training in basic life skills, such as nose-blowing and shoe-tying.

Must have strong skills in negotiating, conflict resolution and crisis management. Ability to treat flesh wounds a plus.

Must be able to think outside of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project. Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly, unless you want to hear, ‘He got more than me’ for the rest of your life.

Also, must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse conditions while simultaneously practicing above-mentioned skills in conflict resolution. Must be able to withstand criticism, such as ‘You don’t know anything.’

Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs extra pocket money for the cinema.

Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the garden are not someone just crying wolf.

Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zips. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and co-ordinate production of multiple homework projects.

Must have ability to plan and organise social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.

Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next.

Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices. Also, must have a highly energetic entrepreneurial spirit, because fund-raiser will be your middle name.

Must have diverse general knowledge, so as to answer questions such as `What makes the wind move?? spontaneously.

Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left.

The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, the job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

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