Job Title Upgrade

My job title needs an upgrade. Currently, my title is Stay-At-Home Mom. It garners almost no respect among those who have never been tethered to a home with small people gunning for the highly sought after position of Dictator. People are under a misguided perception that as a Stay-At-Home Mom, I must spend my day doing…nothing. This is not exactly a resume worthy experience, although I think it ought to be considering the amount of work involved.

The job description might look like this:

Stay-At-Home Mom
Pay: None
Benefits: None
Time off: None
On Call: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Training: None
Required Qualifications: None
Desired Qualifications: Patience, humor, willingness to perform thankless jobs such as cleaning up poop, puke, and pee with no judgment. Must have an appreciation for loudness, irrational behavior, potty humor, and disobedience. Must also be willing to chauffeur, cook, gracefully handle flip-flopping opinions on topics that include dinner options, TV options, and must also manage complaints regarding everything from undesirable tactile sensations such as how slippery a slide is or how soft socks are to the whiny tirade of being bored. Must possess the ability to negotiate hostage situations that tend to occur whenever it is time to “go”. Highly recommended that the applicant possess a unique talent for tuning out whining and rapid fire, repetitive question asking.

* Job Description Subject To Change Without Notice

This was a Tuesday for me:

My day started out with a simple list of what appeared to be easy to accomplish line items. This simplicity was short-lived after my four year-old decided that he would protest everything from breakfast to PBS. He was cranky. It made me cranky. I managed to get partially through my list and with little quality control, I’m afraid.

Vacuuming: Only the downstairs got vacuumed but not without stopping 487 times to answer the same question.

Child: MOMMMMMMM! Can I have cake?!
Me: No, you need to eat your lunch first!
Child: WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!??!?!?!?!?

Laundry: I’m not completely sure, but I think I washed the same load three times because I kept forgetting to put it the dryer. Laundry time was stunted and the piles of clothes did not get put away.

Dishes: Can I just throw these fussy things in the trash? They ALWAYS need to be cleaned. I managed to get them all done, but I missed some bits of dried-on stuck stuff. My husband called me out on my crappy dish-doing for the day.

Sort Toys: Hmm…how did that get on my list?

Art Project: This included a fun round of throw-googley-eyes-at-Mom followed by my four year-old complaining that the pipe cleaners are too bendy and that he decided to color in his coloring book instead. Coloring was really just ripping paper wrappers off of ALL the crayons and calling it Art.

Reading Hour: Turned into brief reading moments when meltdowns started in over who could sit on Mom’s lap. We did learn the words drowsy, investigate, and adoration.

Sort Toys (together): Seriously, who put this on my list?

Yoga: Hahaha
Write: Not until both children are asleep and I’m on a second glass of wine.
Bathe: Who has time for that?!

Doctors Appointments: Set em up. But forgot to write them on the calendar. Shoot…
Groceries: Got em. Forgot half of the list. Got the wrong cereal. Forgot to buy wine (f**k!)
Call Mom Back: Yes. Got the voicemail. Left deeply and profoundly heartfelt apology for years of not appreciating the ridiculousness that is motherhood.

This list – and really, every other list I’ve ever made as a Mom – did not include cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or cleaning up after every activity and meltdown. Or bathing and dressing small children, which takes much longer than one would expect. Nor did it include the amount time spent just trying to exit the house. Here’s a challenge for you to try at home: Combine two small wiggly children (one of whom has very tall opinions on how things should happen and in what order) with winter clothing. This is difficult for even for the most seasoned of mothers.

So, all of that being said, I’d like to formally request a new job title. Here are some thoughts off the top of my head:

Supreme Grand Ruler of Household
Creator of Future Civilized People
Molder of Extraordinary People
Extreme Wonder Woman
The Chief of All Chief’s

More job title suggestions welcome!


Sarah Cottrell

About Sarah Cottrell

Maine-based writer Sarah Cottrell is the voice behind Housewife Plus at the Bangor Daily News and is a regular contributor to Disney’s Babble and Momtastic. She is a co-author in six books including I Still Just Want To Pee Alone from the New York Times Bestselling series. Sarah’s work has also been highlighted and featured by SELF Magazine, National Public Radio, Washington Post, and VICE Tonic.