Tuesday, 29 April 2014

10 things I'd want in my contract if parenting were my job.

What if parenting was your job? Oh, wait, it is, right? Unless you don't have kids yet of course, because that would be pretty weird. But seriously, what if you invested in your kids (or kid, in my case) as much as you invested in your job? Maybe you do already, in which case you are far better qualified to write this post than me. Of course you may be a full time mum, but do you take yourself seriously as such? Do you have aspirations in your role other than how many loads of washing you're doing today?
For me personally I have plenty of ambition in terms of my future and how I wish to make my money - there are things I wish to get better at, things I intend to learn; there are schedules and deadlines I need to keep and there is a certain amount of filing I need to do. I think if parenting were my job I would probably have been sacked by now. It's not that I'm a bad parent, it's just that you can never really be that good at it because it's the hardest job on the planet. There are certain aspects, though, that I don't make routine that I'd really like to, so here are the ten things I'd probably include in my contract if parenting were my job (or if I acknowledged it as such).

1. I'd like to start the day with a cup of tea but let's face it, that's never going to happen...

2. Besides caffeine infused drinks, I'd like to start each the day with a meeting. What I mean by this is that I would like to sit with my son and have breakfast with him and chat to him about his goals for the day. I'd like to make sure that he knows that he is important to me and give him the self-worth to be his greatest self each day. It is a challenge to implement this when, instead, you're chasing him round the house trying to put his trousers on.

3. I'd like to have a job description. Because, lets face it, being a mum isn't really a very clear title is it? What being a mum involves is cooking, cleaning, being good at acting (or at least silly voices), being a mind-reader, a playmate, a leader, a counsellor, an artist, a personal trainer, a teacher, a nurse and a moral guide. You will suddenly be required to know subjects you previously had no clue about so quick learning is essential. Having the ability to smell your own child's unique poo smell in a crowded play centre is also a must. You will need to function on little sleep and no pay. You will need to set routines but be completely adaptable because tomorrow your job role will be entirely different.

4. I'd like to have a lunch break. Or any break for that matter.

5. I'd like to have a schedule. What I mean by that is not a tight fisted routine - no, I mean I'd like to have plans instead of drifting through life. It's funny that I like to plan things at work but at home I just want to take each day as it comes. There are good things about that too of course - about having a bit more freedom with your family because, lets face it, it's rare things always go to plan anyway where children are concerned. But what if I actually considered the things that might be good for my son to do in a week? What if I took on board his need of rigorous exercise instead of avoiding the rain? What if I made note of his current love of sticking and cutting and I planned to do a collage together instead of lumping him in front of the TV?

6. I'd like sick day entitlement. Seriously, have you tried to have a day in bed with a crazy child running round the place? I'd rather be sat in an office.

7. I'd like to fulfil ambitions. No, that's not so I can compete with other mums and make sure my kid is the brainiest in class, honest. But I would like to see what talents and interests my son has and think more long-term about how to encourage him. I'd like to think strategically about how to develop his love of languages or geography or numbers in fun and exciting ways. How can I implement it into our days and weeks?

8. I'd like to have appraisals. Actually I'm very lucky that I have good people around me who are willing to tell me when I'm doing a good job and likewise will be honest with me if I'm not. It's so important to get feedback and to learn from other people, otherwise you will just oscillate from being the best mum in the world to being a total failure. Let's face it, no one is perfect and we need to get all the help we can.

9. I'd like to work 9-5, and not bring my work home with me. There's no end to parenting which is exhausting to say the least and no one tells you when to put your feet up - you're continually working overtime. I guess I'd like more realistic work conditions because, quite frankly, I'm done in.

10. I'd like a pay rise.

If you had a parenting contract what would you add?

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