30 Reasons Why Motherhood is NOT a Job

Still no news on the job. Hopefully I’ll hear tomorrow. Please, for the sake of my sanity, let me hear tomorrow.

But with the world of work at the front of my mind, I’ve been thinking how different ‘public’ work is compared with ‘private’* family life. (*Except with everyone from the media to government to the mother-in-law having an opinion it’s not really private…until you want to venture outside. Then the world prefers it if you stick to the four walls of your home.)

I’m not saying that motherhood isn’t hard work. It’s damn hard. And it can be boring. And isolating. And misconstrued. (Certainly, Husband always seems to think that my life is one permanent weekend. In a way it is, but he fails to recognise how much work is involved in a weekend for me, compared with his version where he buggers off to football or submerges himself in the papers at exclusion of all else.)


But it’s not the same as a paid job. Why not? Well, in the world of paid work:

1) Getting the job doesn’t require you to wreck your body…and then be expected to get it back into perfect shape whilst doing your job 24/7, 365 days of the year.

2) Your main duty for the first 18 years isn’t to keep your employer alive. You don’t spend the first year worried about him dying in his sleep, or the subsequent years fearing death from taking your eye off the ball or through their misadventure.

3) You aren’t also held culpable for making your employer a well-rounded, confident, yet responsible, well-behaved individual with a strong moral compass. If your employer fucks things up you’re not automatically held to account.

4) Your employer won’t then turn around and accuse you of completely fucking up his life.

5) Unless you work in a pretty niche area, you don’t have to wipe your employer’s bottom for the first five years.

6) You’ll also be allowed to take toilet breaks alone, and definitely without your emoter pointing and laughing at your ‘hairy front bottom.’

7) Unless you work in a very niche area, your employer won’t have on-demand access to your boobs, sucking at them in public if he so desires. (And then popping off them, leaving you exposed – and possibly squirting! – if he spots something more interesting out the corner of his eye.)

8) Your employer doesn’t get away with biting/scratching/kicking/pinching you because he’s in a bad mood/you denied him something he wanted (such as making himself sick on chocolate buttons/throwing himself face first down a slide).

9) People don’t throw scorn at you and your employer for daring to venture outside of the normal working environment (eg a supermarket or café). They don’t throw death stares your way even if your employer is in a foul mood and behaving horribly.

10) You won’t be called a ‘tramp’ for taking a break with your boss and grabbing a bite to eat with him, with your picture splashed all over the internet, like Emily Slough did.


11) Other people don’t assume they’d be better at your job than you and happily rub your supposed mistakes all over the place, whilst holding up idealised images that you’re meant to aspire to.

What do you mean, you don’t manage to parent whilst matching up to Posh Spice?

12) You don’t say ‘Oh, nothing,’ when people ask what you do. People don’t glaze over when you do mention your job. You’re not automatically asked when you’re going to get another job, on top of the one you’re already doing.

13) The skills you pick up whilst working – which may or may not include an understanding of nutrition, first aid, diplomacy, negotiation skills, finance, time-management, lie-detection and mind-reading, all undertaken whilst sleep-deprived and sometimes even without swearing – actually have merit outside of your actual position. You can add them to a CV and use the people in your life as referees.

14) You’re entitled to have an opinion on the things that matter to you and can debate it amongst your peers without being labelled a ‘troll’ or ‘militant bully’.

(Although if you’re a ‘celebrity’ parent you can have an opinion on anything and everything and can push your idealised parenting choices time and again, even if your life is falling to pieces. You will probably be awarded ‘Mum of the Year’ if your life is like a car crash with your kids dragged along for the ride. See: Katie Price, Peaches Geldof, Mylene Klass, Kerry Katona…)

Because nothing says ‘Perfect Mum’ like public spats with your ex-husbands splashed all over the front cover of Heat and OK! Magazines.

15) If you don’t do your work to the best of your ability 100% of the time you can probably get away with it without criticism from someone (be it your employer, alleged co-worker, a professional or random stranger). If you do manage to exceed expectation you will probably be rewarded, rather than criticised for it by your peers.

16) You get paid.

17) You get to go home at the end of your shift. And you get days off…

18) …Including sick leave.

19) Your employer doesn’t accompany you on holiday, thus rendering it from a ‘break’ to ‘change of scenery’.

20) Your employer doesn’t nag you to go to Disneyland. At your expense.

21) Your employer has to pay into your pension…and doesn’t get to choose what happens to you once you retire.

22) You can quit and change jobs or take a sabbatical.

However, you can’t:

23) Sneak up on your employer and give him a big squeeze.

24) Smell the top of his head.

25) Give and receive the very best cuddles.

26) Watch your employer sleep.

27) Admire his peachy little bottom out loud and cover it in raspberries if so desired.

28) Tickle your employer into submission.

29) Tell him he’s not going out dressed like that and then take a photo to use to embarrass him with at a later date.

Well, not without getting a reputation for yourself.

Ultimately though:

30) Your employer won’t love you unconditionally, even if his tendency to show such adoration diminishes over the years.



7 thoughts on “30 Reasons Why Motherhood is NOT a Job”

  1. Finally, someone on the same page!!! I am pretty fed up with all the self appointed martyrs who consider raising the children they chose to have as a job. Like you said, even with the sucky parts it’s SO much better than any “normal” paid role.

    1. It was your Mother’s Day blog that really got the ball rolling on this one. After reading it I was in the park with it swirling round my head, alongside experiences of parenting old and new. And I couldn’t think of a single job I’ve done that on one hand is so legislated or debated (although teaching probably comes close) and at the same time people prefer not to hear about from those actually doing it and having an opinion gets you shot down.
      So thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

    1. See that bruise on my leg? (Ok, no, but imagine it.) It’s from me not thinking of your reason 31…although it’s a line I’m totally going to use next time my spawn do something to fill me with the sort of rage usually only reserved for Husband. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s