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October 22, 2014

Is Being a Mom the Hardest Job in the World?

You hear this phrase a lot as a mom. It usually comes from someone trying to sell you something. Or someone who doesn’t have kids yet. They generally scrunch up their face like they are talking to something absolutely squeeze-it’s-cheeks adorable before they say it.  Then it comes: “Being a mom is the hardest job in the world”.

And my reaction is always the same. Really? Because, honestly, I like being a mom. I could do with a bit more sleep and I wouldn’t turn down a housekeeper or the chance to go to the bathroom by myself once every 5 years, but being a mom is a pretty good gig.

I can actually think of quite a few jobs that are harder than being a mom because I wouldn’t enjoy them nearly as much. Working as the guy who has to clean up bodily fluids in a hospital, that’s a hard job. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood comes with it’s fair share of bodily fluids, but they are about as close to my own bodily fluids as you can get and when it comes down to it, they really aren’t that gross. Working as a telemarketer – now I know this one from experience — I lasted 2 whole weeks as a telemarketer during college and I wanted to pull my hair out one by one every minute that I was there. Working as an investment banker, now that would be a hard job (and boring, oh so boring).

Actually, any job where you have to either get dressed up (and stay looking presentable until the end of the day) or get up at an insanely early hour does not appeal to me. I usually try and take my kids with me whenever I eat out because they help me cover up the fact that I am messier than them. “Waitress, I’m so sorry. My son seems to have gotten crumbs all over the table, and floor, and it looks like someone spilled a drink.”

Being a mother, there are plenty of early mornings (and late nights), but the difference is, the job comes with perks. So you may wake up 50 times with a baby in the night (or an asthmatic 5 year old in our case) – in the morning no one is expecting you to look professional. In fact, in all likelihood, you’re probably going to get a nap in the middle of the day when the exhausted child takes a nap of his own (or you lay down to help your child get to sleep and you fall asleep instead while your child tries to quietly play with his toys so you won’t notice that he isn’t sleeping).

There’s always the boss issue too. Really, what adult wants someone else telling them what to do? As a parent, you are the ultimate boss. As a working adult, you are required to be at the mercy of someone else, who may or may not actually be smarter than you are. I think this is partially why mommy blogging has taken off so much. Even if you look beyond the fact that blogging gives moms a great way to connect with each other, blogging also allows women to make a bit of money from home in some cases and doesn’t require them to answer to anyone else.

When it comes right down to it, there’s only one hardest job in the world, and it isn’t specific to any one industry or field. The hardest job in the world is one that takes you away from those tiny people who steal your heart the moment they are born – and makes you work long hours, dress up like a grown-up, and answer to someone else. So hats off to working moms – the ones who leave “the hardest job in the world” to take on one that is even harder, and then try to balance the two.

About Rachel

Rachel knows what it is like to be busy and worry about balancing everything without losing your sanity. As a homeschooling mom of 6 incredibly different kids, including newborn twins (and one tiny angel who passed away at birth), she's just about seen it all . . . when she isn't too sleep deprived to notice.

Rachel holds a B.A. in English and is a former teacher. She is the creator of Busy Mommy Media and works as a freelance writer from home.

Comments

  1. I think being a SAHM is the hardest job in the world, at least for me. I worked a lot of jobs before staying home and there are days when I truly believe that my life would be a lot easier if I went back to work outside the home. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that I have it made and am grateful that my husband makes enough money that we can afford for me to stay home. But, this job never ends! I never get to leave “the office” and leave it behind so that I can truly relax at home. I really never feel like I have accomplished what I want and/or need to in a day. When I was working for pay, I would finish a project and feel great that I had attained the goal that I set for myself or that was set for me by my boss. At home, I sometimes feel like my husband is my boss or that even my 4-year old is my boss! Even on a strict schedule, a 4-year old can sometimes make it impossible to do what is needed or is wanted in a day.
    At the end of every day, I look back at my day to see what I did. I find that I was very active and on my feet most of the day and occasionally I will get online for 15-20 minutes but only a few things on my to-do list are completely finished. I also find that when you are dealing with a child, you truly cannot stick to a schedule. At 4 years old, my son is starting to assert himself and in doing so wants to gain independence wherever he can. Just in the last week I have decided that I will no longer argue with my 4 year old. I just walk away and in essence put myself in time out instead of him. It is working like a charm but I am still not accomplishing as much in a day that I could when I worked outside of the home.
    And just because a job is hard, doesn’t mean that it isn’t fulfilling. This is a difficult job but it still is the best job!

  2. Good post. In my opinion, whether you’re working out of the home or not, being a mom is the hardest job in the world. As soon as you become a mom your choices are weighted by the impact on your children. I agonized over the decision to return to work part time. Part time isn’t a perfect solution, but I found I had a bit more balance. Still, I found myself frequently questioning my decision and gradually distanced myself more from my career as I turned down evening networking events and travel opportunities to be with my girls. And, I would want to quit any time my daughters didn’t sleep well at daycare. Presented with the opportunity to return to work full time, I went the other direction and quit to freelance. Freelancing so far is wonderful and I have more balance in my life. And yet, being a mom is still hard, especially when I pay attention to the news and see the latest article on yet another negative impact of daycare, or whatever. Maybe I should stop reading the news…
    Amy´s last blog post ..Snowed In – Toddler Survival Activities

  3. begging a stay at home mum is the hardest job in the world for me I don’t enjoy it is painful ,I can’t lift my kids 2 months and 18 months and I find the whole thing unbearable.I can only think of getting back to work and hiring a nanny I do nit get any joy out of being parent

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by OC Moms and Joanna Bear, Rachel . Rachel said: Is Being a Mom the Hardest Job in the World? http://tinyurl.com/4fjdc7u #parenting [...]

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