My Job Ad

pexels-photo-533444As I make my way through hundreds of job postings a day during my job hunt, I’ve been thinking about my current role, which I’d describe as an accidental stay at home mom. I didn’t plan to stay home past a year but finding a good job that’s worth leaving my little guy for isn’t an easy task, so in the interim, here I am.

I feel really fortunate to be at home with my amazing son, and I thank my lucky stars for him every day. But holy guacamole, this is by FAR the most exhausting, demanding job I’ve ever had. Babies are one thing, but toddlers are a whole different ballgame.

I’ve been thinking about how my role as a mom would look when laid out as a job description and what I came up with made me once again realize how totally bananas it is to be a parent, especially one who does it around the clock. So without further delay, here is my job ad. And if anyone is looking to take over my role and let me nap for the next month, feel free to get in touch.


Hello! Are you a natural self-starter who loves a challenge? Then boy oh boy, do we have the job for you!

Here’s a breakdown of some of the things you’ll be doing:

Reading the same book about cars and trucks up to 25 times per day

Playing with cars and trucks for multiple hours a day

Listening and remaining calm as your toddler throws fits of rage while ignoring your desire to scream even louder than he is

Extensive dishwashing

Frequent trips to the grocery store and return trips upon realizing you forgot everything you needed

Preparing meals every 2-3 hours, half of which will not be eaten or thrown on the floor

Singing ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ up to 2,000 times per day

Changing 4-8 diapers a day with varying contents

Driving and walking in inclement weather to various activities filled with other toddlers, most of whom are sick  and want to lick your child

Getting poked, scratched, and bitten

Other miscellaneous duties such as: bathing, dressing, nail clipping, doctor’s appointments, music classes, counting, teaching the alphabet, dancing, hugging, chasing, crawling, wiping tears, wiping snot, administering medicine, etc.

Qualifications:

Heavy lifting throughout the day up to 30 lbs (or more if you choose to lift tiny human and stroller and diaper bag simultaneously) and constant bending and crouching in uncomfortable positions

Must be comfortable working with horrific smells and toxic waste

Ability to survive and thrive on minimal hours of sleep

Ability to accept your house looks like a bomb went off and will for the next 18 years

Ability to adapt to constant change in a high-stress environment with no guidance or feedback, except from random strangers on the internet, most of whom are just as clueless as you are

Comfortable having your entire existence controlled by a tiny person who doesn’t know how to wipe their own butt

No experience required. We like to just throw you right in the deep end and cross our fingers you don’t drown!

What do we offer?

One break between 30-90 minutes per day (note: 90 minutes is rare and zero minutes is always a possibility). You can use these breaks to quickly make and eat a sandwich, go to the bathroom in private, or research how to make your child nap for longer than 40 minutes

Ability to wear mismatched clothing, sweatpants, or pajamas all day. We encourage you to change your outfit daily but this is not a requirement

Unparalleled moments of happiness and joy that will take your breath away

Meaningful purpose and unconditional love

Unfortunately we cannot offer any vacation time, personal days, or sick days.

***Please note that the hours for this position are unpredictable and vary widely. Between 13-24 hours a day is expected. Average start is 5AM. Weekend work is mandatory.

Salary: This is a volunteer position and you will not be paid. Sorry, sucker!

Advertisements

To my baby, on your first birthday

brooke-lark-203839.jpg

My darling baby boy,

Today you are one year old. A whole year since that exhausting, frantic, world-changing day when you entered our lives. Today you are a man. Oh no, wait. That’s what you say when it’s your Bar Mitzvah. We still have twelve years until that whole deal. For now, you are still a baby. Officially a toddler. Just saying that word, “toddler,” makes my heart hurt a bit. Weren’t you just this wee little thing curled up on my chest five seconds ago? Please stop growing so fast. I’m not ready.

How amazing it has been to watch you change every day, learning and exploring and discovering. So much development packed into one year. You’re crawling now and so curious about the world around you. I love watching your little brain work as you try to figure out how to shut your bedroom door (a glimpse into what is to come, I’m sure), or how to take an object from one spot and hide it somewhere else (usually in a pair of shoes). You have turned the mundane into the extraordinary. I could sit and watch you all day. For the most part, that is exactly what I do.

The beginning of our time together wasn’t easy. Let’s face it, we were both miserable. You cried all the time. I cried all the time. You didn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep. We threw ourselves a pity party and it felt like the party would never end.

But then it did end.

A cloud lifted and we both decided, hey, this is kinda great. You saved your first smile just for me when you knew I so desperately needed it. And then you laughed, and that was pretty much the end of me. You know that feeling where you’re somehow sad and overwhelmingly happy at the same time? When you feel so much emotion that you can’t even describe it? That’s how I feel when you giggle. Your infectious howl shoots straight through me. How did I create this magical little being? Sometimes I swear I must be dreaming. To be this lucky. There’s a really corny saying: After every storm comes a rainbow. Or something like that. You are the most spectacular rainbow after a really nasty storm. Not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate your many vibrant colours.

As I was going through another round of “what do I want to do with my life” recently, I asked myself, if I found out that I didn’t have a long time to live, how would I spend the time I had left? And the answer was so clear: I would spend it with you. I’m already living my dream life. You are it, baby boy.

I dreamt about you for so long, even when I was worried the dream might not come true. And now that you’re here, you are so much more than I ever could have imagined. I won’t say I didn’t know what happiness was before you came into my life, because that’s kind of a silly thing to say. But I will tell you that I’ve never known this particular kind of happiness. I’ve never felt a more pure sense of joy than when you look at me. Like I am your whole world. Guess what? You are my whole world. You are everything.

What is it that I love about you? I could go on forever, and the list would be much too long. I love your wild head of hair that makes strangers come up to us wherever we go. I love how you scream with glee and crawl to the door when your daddy comes home from work each day. I love that you’re sensitive and gentle with others, without me having to teach you to be that way. I love all the silly sounds you make; they are the sweetest sounds I have ever heard. I love your toes and your fingers, and watching those fingers wrap themselves around mine. I love your kisses, when you finally give in and plant one on me. I love how you make even grumpy people in the grocery store smile and laugh. You’re already making this world a better place and you’re only a wee baby. I think that’s pretty special. You are pretty special.

Sometimes my mind wanders way into the future, and I imagine all of your firsts. First day of school. First sleepover. First best friend. First crush. First love. First heartbreak. So much of life ahead of you. But none of that right now. For now, for a little bit longer, you are still my baby.

Actually, scrap that.

You will always be my baby.

Happy birthday, baby. How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.