HELP WANTED: Full Time Mom - Expanding family seeks reliable mom to care for 1 husband, 2 kids and a high-energy dog. Must be detail oriented, possess interpersonal skills and have experience in diaper changes, sleep deprivation and cooking macaroni and cheese. Ownership of a Barney DVD a plus.
Who knew after years of schooling and working in the professional world, my toughest job yet would be "Full Time Mom." I don't remember sending a resume, or the interview process, but I must have impressed someone. I've had the position for two years now and heard through the grapevine that I will not be let go so long as I continue to provide plenty of juice boxes and bologna sandwiches.
For those of you thinking about taking the position, please take a moment to consider if you have the required credentials. First, understand there are no special degrees or certificates that you can acquire at a local college to prepare you for this position. All qualifications and skills are developed on the job.
Secondly, the training is intense. You must be able to multi-task while functioning on less than 4 hours sleep on a daily basis. The hours are long and evening work is mandatory. Time off is an aberration.
This position will also affect your personal life. Hobbies will be replaced by a mandatory reading list. Long gone are books by Mary Higgins Clarke and John Grisham. Instead you will be reading "How to Stop Your Toddler's Temper Tantrums" and "Goodnight Moon."
Your taste in music will change as well. You will put on any CD that will keep a child quiet for the duration of a car ride even if that means you will be listening to Elmo singing a cappella with Big Bird.
If you take the position, you will develop a new "on the job" vocabulary which will include words and phrases such as "potty", "time out", "stop hitting your sister" and of course, "hurray for nap time." You will say all of these phrases at least five times a day without exception.
Additional skills will include: Getting a weeks' worth of grocery shopping completed before your children finish a box of animal crackers, cleaning the entire house before the Barney DVD is over, and lastly, accepting that your next car will be a silver minivan with sticky seats and a zillion toys thrown on the floor.
So, if you are thinking about applying for the job, consider if you can handle it. As you can see, the work is hard and the tasks complex. But luckily, the pay is excellent. Lots of hugs, kisses, smiles and giggles every day make this job worthwhile.
When I accepted the position, I didn't know how difficult it would be, but I wouldn't change a thing. My long-term goal is to remain on the job, if my employers will keep me. I will check with them in a little while. They are presently taking a much needed power nap.
Kiersten Bartolotta is an attorney, part-time college instructor and full-time mom. She writes on issues of adoption, infertility and motherhood. She lives with her wonderful husband and two beautiful but very active daughters in Sayville, New York.