It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. With pleasure.
September 5, 2016
The summer break is over. After a glorious week on the Cote D’Azur Rory is back at work, Aoife has just started Year 1 and it’s back to reality (booooo).
There’s no other job, yes I referred to parenting as a job – If a job doesn’t get done, things go tits up and things fall apart. If parenting doesn’t get done things go tits up and things fall apart, though to be fair things generally go tits up when I’m on shift anyway. Anyway, I digress.
There’s no other job where I would put up with my boss physically attacking me, screaming in my face, throwing my stuff, throwing everyone else’s stuff (I’m thinking dinner plates at the villa we rented last week) and making impossible demands.
There’s certainly no other job where I would do it all for free on a 24 hr shift pattern. If most people were at work and their boss called them to the office and said “Read this to me” they might think ‘Hmmm OK, this is a little odd but what they hey’ If the boss then stopped them and said “NO, I need you to read these sections in a French accent, this bit sounding like a boy and this bit here like Woody from Toy Story” They’d reply “heck no” and start updating their CV.
There’s only so much shit you can clean up from your toddlers back. So many headbutts you can handle. So many times your glasses can be ripped from your face or your hair can be pulled or you can be scratched. There’s only so much food you can have thrown at you or scrape from the walls or floor. There’s only so many times you can retrieve broken pieces of items you rather liked. There’s only so many times you can be summoned at 4 am to replace covers that are well within reach, or find teddies that are *right* there. There’s only so much you can handle before you ask yourself “why on earth did parenthood seem a good idea?”
Then I think about it and I realise there’s only so long I’ll be needed to do these things. There’s only so long a bedtime story will be required. There’s only so long a hand will need holding or a booboo need kissing. There’s only so long that I’ll be considered the fountain of all knowledge and the fixer of all things. There’s only so long a Mummy cuddle will make things better. There’s only so long that a trip to the cinema with me will seem like fun. There’s only so long they’ll want to holiday as a family. There’s only so long before they’ll feel they’re too old to need me. There’s only so long. My contract is temporary, I’ll be made redundant one day. And so I’ll remember this when I’m up to my eyes in one mess or another, when I feel like I’m just there to serve not as a human. I’ll remember that one day I’ll not be needed for anything, big or small. I’ll remember that although now I may feel insignificant sometimes, these jobs need doing and these processes need playing out and I actually AM of importance in my workplace. One day I’m going to be very sad to have retired.
On a lighter note, we just spent a week in France. One evening we’d got Seth down to sleep at a reasonable time so went to sit outside. Aoife came out in her pyjamas and sat next to me. “This is what it’s about. Sitting here, relaxing in the sun, enjoying the peace and chatting” I tried hard not to laugh “What would you like to chat about?” “Ummm the view? Those trees down there are lovely aren’t they?” She’s perfect.