Being a stay at home parent IS a job.
This is something women have been saying for years, and they are totally correct. You are on the job twenty-four hours a day, have a number of people under your command, and must be able to leap to duty at a second’s notice. Despite this, the position gets little respect. It’s sort of like being a teacher (something I know about). You work your ass off but most people look down on you and think you should get a real job. Bastards.
The more I think about it being a parent is a lot like a career at a large company, and you, of course, start with an entry level position (note: yes, I realize I could make a crass sex joke here but thought better of it…but apparantly you didn’t, sickos). At this company there are promotions, benefits, and even retirement.
Let me explain:
When you first are hired your duties are menial and don’t involve a lot of thought. Cleaning diapers, putting bottles together, giving feedings, this is your typical minimum wage entry level position. The hours are bad too – pretty much every night you get called to work at two, three, four in the morning – and the one person below you doesn’t listen to a word you say. Heck, they don’t even speak English, which, in California, is about right in these kind of jobs.
Soon things get better. The person below you becomes more articulate, and before long one or two more people come under your command. You’re moving up in the world! Your hours improve too as your babies now sleep through the night. But the job is still not so great though as you’re still cleaning diapers, doing laundry, and cooking meals. You’re enjoying it more though, and really starting to dig your co-workers.
Eventually you become a manager. You do little physical labor, and pretty much just over see your kids as they go to school, do after school activities, and hang out with their friends. The job is much more intellectually demanding though. The “Why is the sky blue?” type questions are a thing of the past and replaced by, “My boyfriend wants to have sex and I think I should do it because I really love him should I?” With questions like that you better come up with the right answer and fast!
Finally, your kids leave the home and you now are just a consultant. A call comes now and then, as does a visit, but for the most part the company doesn’t need you anymore. If you did your job right though, you can rest easy knowing you’ve set your underlings up to be successful on their own.
So yeah…being a stay at home parent IS a job, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. And…the best part is that when you get a kiss from a co-worker it warms your heart instead of sending you down to HR to lodge a sexual harrassment complaint!
I like my job. It may not impress people at parties, but it’s pretty cool to be this person’s boss…