I don’t know if it was an writing exercise, or a lesson in life, but I was recently challenged to write a help wanted ad as if I were hiring out my job as mother. Here is the result:
Wanted: Replacement Mum for busy blended family.
Hours: on call 24/7, time off subject to sleep patterns, children’s health, husband’s unpredictable military schedule and availability/cost of babysitters.
- Flawless memory: Must remember all field trips, birthday parties, changes in work/activity schedules, babysitting bookings, and all other commitments regardless of whether you were told about them or if they were actually recorded in the family schedule… you will be blamed if they do not happen.
- Ability to read minds: You must be able to detect all deceit ranging from missed homework assignments to knowing which brother hit the other first.
- Thick skin: Must withstand saucy behaviour, raging hormones, refusals to do anything from cleaning up to eating dinner, and being blamed for everything from the end of a favorite TV show to failure to chauffeur for a swim party despite not being told about the event in question until a week later.
- Social Diplomacy: Must be able to find the grace to explain social gaffes ranging from refusal to play with a specific child to the inevitable ‘mommy, I just farted! EXCUUUUUUSE ME!’ (followed by manic laughter, of course) across the quietest part of the church service.
- Magical Healing Powers: Must be able to make even the worst falls or bumps go away with simply a kiss or a cuddle (and perhaps a Transformers band-aid in an emergency).
- Endless patience: Must withstand everything from the 27th rendition of ‘This Old Man’ to the 14th refusal to get dressed or the 347th ‘MOMMMMMMY!’ of the day.
- Unqualified Time Management Skills: Must be able to fit in 2 play dates, swim class, a family dinner and the creation of 18 Valentines all in an 8 hour period.
- Multi-tasking: Unparalleled abilities to multi-task are an absolute must in this family. This doesn’t mean doing two things at once, this means scheduling a doctor’s appointment while making lunch, while kissing a ‘bonk’ better, while answering an e-mail about swimming class, while spelling out Happy Birthday so junior can make a birthday card for the party starting in 20 minutes.
- Strong stomach: must manage wiping bums, changing diapers, cleaning messes made from poor toilet aim, wiping snot from noses, fingers, favorite stuffed animals and just about any other surface in the house. Must be able to clean up vomit, diarrhea, bloody noses, and, of course, the occasional ‘surprise gift’ from the cat.
- English as a Second Language Training: Must decipher and act as interpreter in ‘toddler speak’ before the attempt to communicate breaks down into a full force tantrum.
- Innate understanding of the ‘world of boy.’ This means knowing the basics of how a car works, knowing the name and function of any imaginable truck, understanding the world of transformers and knowing, without a doubt, that Spiderman is cooler than Superman.
Applicants must also have training/experience with the following professions:
- party planner
- home care provider
- personal shopper
- prison warden
Applicant must commit to the position for life. Pay is negligible and successful applicant may be expected to earn extra income to contribute to the household budget.
Total commitment (to the family, not the insane asylum) is required. Applicant should expect to be swept off their feet and instantly smitten with the love and chaos inherent in this household. Compensation will include, but not be limited to, kisses, hugs, cuddles, bed time stories, handmade gifts, endless hand drawn pictures and the occasional, but treasured, ‘I love you.’
Competition for this position is expected to be tough as it is unlikely the incumbent will ever be willing to relinquish her current position – even on her worst days!