Primary Roles and Responsibilities
- Standing watch while someone is pooping, peeing and getting dressed. All this will be done at the speed of molasses and you will be expected to stand there until they are ready for a wipe. Do not leave the room to do something else or you'll be sorry.
- On call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Big meeting tomorrow? Here's some stomach bug to shake things up a little bit.
- You must look like you're having fun at all times or at least not like you wish you were taking a nap instead of playing princesses.
- Swing pushing. Hours of it over the lifetime of this position.
- Walking a child back to his or her room 10 times before it finally sticks and they fall asleep for the night.
- Willing and able to sleep with someone else lying perpendicular to your body while you take up only the 6 inches closest to the edge of your own bed.
- Ability to get yourself ready to walk out of the door in less than 10 minutes including a shower. You'll spend the additional hour trying to find lost shoes, convincing toddlers they cannot go to school naked and watching kids pee (see above).
- Excellent multitasking skills. We're not talking doing two or three things at once. We're talking nurse a baby, sing to a toddler, make dinner and fold laundry at the same time kind of multitasking.
- Have reliable and large transportation. Kids have lots of places to go and they want their friends to come too. Must have room for two plus car seats and lots of gear.
- Pretending to be crafty and making back to school signs, teacher gifts, birthday party favors and so on.
- Keeping children from touching dog vomit, fire hydrants and yellow snow.
- Must be able to rearrange an entire work day schedule at the drop of a hat when sickness inevitably strikes your household or when there is snow in the forecast.
- Listen to at least two conversations at once and give the impression that you're giving your full concentration to both.
It doesn't matter, you can study as hard as you want and you'll still feel totally clueless. This job provides on the job training. You will be tested hourly.
You'll be paid in kisses, hugs, snuggles and love. You'll get to know yourself and your spouse better than you ever thought you could. You'll absolutely melt the first time your child says "I love you" completely out of the blue. You'll soon realize the true meaning of the phrase "the days are long but the years are short."
I started writing this because I couldn't believe I had to clean up dog vomit twice and toddler urine once in a 5 hour span. I thought to myself "this was not in the job description." And as my husband and I spent the weekend taking note of all the things we never thought we'd have to do or say, I was reminded of this great commercial that came out near Mothers' Day last year. Sometimes my husband and I joke that we just can't believe what we've gotten ourselves into and how different our lives are now that we have kids. It's a good thing that even though this job is unpaid, the compensation is priceless!