This week I read a post that reminded me that not every post on this blog need be helpful. In fact, someone once described this blog as “the right kind of joyfully silly” and it was a badge I wore with pride. To that end, inspired by the madness that is the second week of school holidays, I present the ten reasons why parenting is the hardest job I’ve ever had.
- While I managed mine site waste in my previous life, my role as a parent requires micro-managing personal excrement.
- My youngest daughter has arrived at my bedside, pillow and blanket in hand, every night this week. Over the years, a few of my coworkers attempted to sleep with me, but generally a single knock-back was suffice.
- I’ve had my fair share of high-maintence coworkers, but at no point have I ever had to lay out a detailed argument for the compulsory wearing of pants.
- Unnamed colleagues have eaten my lunch from the communal fridge on occasion, but they have never helped themselves from my plate.
- When addressing poor behaviour in the workplace, there’s the opportunity to caution or even sack an employee. The only ameliorative measures available to me as a parent is withholding dessert and access to screens. That said, in my experience cross children stomp at the same volume as angry employees.
- Parenting pay is incommensurate with the level of responsibility. Previously, more responsibility = more money. This must have been a clause I overlooked in my parenting contract, because there was no corresponding wage increase during the 2011/2012 financial year when I was appointed the manager of a small fiery red-headed additional human.
- Some of my previous roles were demanding. In preparation for important events, I was known to work sixty hour weeks. Now I work 168 hour weeks, every week. (See point 2).
- I once worked at a cubicle in a busy office. Privacy was at a premium. There was even a girl who wanted to chat from the next stall when I visited the ladies. That said, on no occasion did she ever put her head under the door. Unbeknownst to me, my current charges had sensors installed in my backside. They now receive silent alerts every time I sit – at the table, at my desk, on the throne – and converse with me while I complete the task at hand.
- Never before have my coworkers attempted to hold a board meeting while I showered.
- While I’ve had several manipulative colleagues in the past, the isolation in my current role appears to have afforded my coworkers the benefits of Stockholm Syndrome. This is the only explanation for cheering for the Big Sister from the side of the pool at 4pm after overhearing her outlining how much she despises me – “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you” – at noon.
School goes back next week (or in 5760 minutes), but who’s counting?1