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Mother's Day Should Be Monthly...Maybe Weekly

...or, my job is probably harder than yours.

Yeah, I went there. Most of you probably saw that stunt viral marketing video for the "world's toughest job" and probably rolled your eyes so hard that they stung when you un-rolled them.

But I stand by my position that full-time parenthood (in this case, motherhood), particularly when one is the main caregiver, deserves recognition as one of the most challenging roles/jobs ever.

Not *the* most challenging, and I'm certainly not arguing that every job doesn't have a host of hardships and difficulties of their own, because they do. It's hard to be a neurosurgeon, a dentist, an astronaut, an astrophysicist, a teacher, an administrative assistant, a paralegal, a server, a convenience store midnight-shift clerk, a custodian, etc.

But I am saying that motherhood (at least, the brand of motherhood that I know) is harder than many of the jobs out there, in a totally different kind of way.

Most jobs have set hours and coffee breaks, usually mandated by law. A mom's job lasts a lifetime, and is 24x7 for the first 18 years. There are no real breaks, because when does a mommy stop being a mommy? My 63-year-old mom is *still* a mom, even though I'm as old as the expensive wine we can't afford to buy (wait, I'm even older than that!). Even when kids are in school, moms are "on call" in the event of an emergency, and then they still must perform their parental duties from 3:00pm until their children are back at school the next morning. For working moms, there isn't much in the way of down time in the evenings, particularly when a kid gets sick.

Most jobs have monetary compensation. Much as I love the currency of kisses and hugs and smiles and cuddles, none of these pay the bills. Therefore, from a purely economical measure, being a mother is a worthless venture. Even homeless people get some change donated into their paper cups some of the time. Mommies? Nothing.

Most jobs don't carry the potential of damaging a life. Remember that teacher you had that said that one off-handed, awful comment that you carried forever? Or the rude aunt that embarrassed you in front of everyone? Or the friend's parent who made you feel like an ogre? Well, mommies spend 18 years not only trying to avoid scarring and damaging their kids in this manner (which requires 24x7 self-censoring and self-control and intentional parenting), but also filling emotional tanks hourly to ensure that their babies are well-adjusted grown-ups. This is exhausting work.

And there are the many other constant fires that mommies are figuratively (and sometimes literally) putting out! Keeping a child alive, particularly one who is rambunctiously hell-bent on carrying out mock suicide missions, is a huge job. I don't recall any accountants having to keep anyone from falling off high platforms or swallowing pebbles or setting the rug on fire with a magnifying glass! Plus there's the hardship of having more than one child, which not only compounds the aforementioned challenges, but also brings out the UN-worthy negotiation and peace-keeping skills in a momma. Trying to make things "fair" all day long is emotionally draining, particularly when "fair" is completely impossible (e.g. when the younger smaller child complains that it isn't fair that the older one has longer limbs or blue eyes)!

This is just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Mommies get a bad rap as slackers who sit around watching daytime soaps and eating junk food in the closet. Ha! My body bears the striped evidence of having carried a nearly-9-pound giantess of a child, I still don't get to pee in private, all of my food is common property (according to Little L), I haven't had a good night's rest in 3 years, and I spend most of my day doing chores or entertaining a spirited little girl who doesn't really like to play alone for very long.

Yes, I signed up for this job, this role of a lifetime, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard. And the kicker is this: nobody understands just how much work motherhood really is, until they become parents themselves. Yeah, yeah - everyone pretends to "get it," and maybe they have some inkling based on nieces and nephews and from babysitting or nannying, but until you wake up and realize that you alone are responsible for the health and well-being of a helpless babe, you don't really "get it." By the time you do, however, it's too late - you've been hired and you're bound to the job for life.

So I really do think mothers should be honoured more than once a year. I mean, even Cupid gets a day. Mothers deserve more than a fictional arrow-wielding cherub, no?

**And in case you missed it, this is meant to be a cheeky rant, mostly to convince Hubbs that I need a big-ass Mother's Day gift this year. If you are taking any of this too seriously, well, go call someone who cares (your mother). Happy Mother's Day!!


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