I have recently began reflecting on my “career”, or what might better be characterised as a distinct lack thereof. I am now a mother – a career that is interminable, underpaid, and largely overlooked. In today’s age, being a mother is simply not enough. While I might feel fulfilled in this role, unfortunately being a ‘stay at home mum’ is not a feasible option, at least not for me. With this realisation comes the dreaded self-reevaluation: What experience do I have? Where do my skills lie? Having been immersed in only motherhood for the past six months, it is difficult to ascertain who I am outside of this remit.
When updating the almighty CV or creating that elusive covering letter, it seems unbelievable that my current role shouldn’t be specified as “Mother”. Surely, most of us would argue that we have experienced and developed more through parenting than any other stage of our lives. Yes, I have a minimum of 5 GCSEs and experience using Microsoft packages, but how does this come even marginally close to the skills I’ve developed as a new mother?
On that note, I have included the following proposal.
Dear dubious employer,
In reference to ANY JOB
I have just had a baby. This has been the most difficult and extraordinary experience of my life. After months of discomfort and hours of even greater discomfort, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Since that wonderful moment, I have cared for my son relentlessly. Through physical pain and heightened levels of anxiety, I have managed to love, nurture, and meet the every need of that child. A full-time job, I have never for one second quit and continue to grow and thrive in this new role without the hope of any monetary gain.
For the past six and half months, my life has revolved entirely around my son. My every waking moment (and several sleeping) has been dedicated to his wellbeing and happiness. I have learned to be more selfless than ever, sacrificing my own pleasure and putting his needs firmly before mine.
I have mastered the art of efficiency and can perform numerous tasks simultaneously. I can now hold, without dropping, an upset (and rather heavy) child while preparing a bottle, cooking dinner, and eating lunch.
My time management skills have similarly flourished and I am proud to say that I can feed, medicate, bathe and change my baby in record time. I owe this to my organised self who has the foresight and preparedness to inventory and stock every essential item accordingly.
I am an expert communicator, fluent in “gaa-gaa” and able to communicate through facial expressions alone.
I am a proud supervisor, responsible for a team of two (my partner and baby) who, everyday, are supported to the best of my ability in their own individual roles. There may be no ‘I’ in team, but there is certainly a ‘me’.
I have found more meaning in the word *‘patience’ than ever, allowing myself to be taken to boiling point and back without so much as flinching.
My capacity for empathy has grown to new levels as I notice myself increasingly able to relate to a frustrated, teething baby. I am more than happy to go to uncomfortable lengths, including hair pulling and face biting, to alleviate a pain which I can only imagine.
I have learned to deal effectively with setbacks on a daily basis. From nap refusals to seemingly senseless outbursts, I’ve grown to be thick-skinned and learned how to realign my expectations.
Ultimately, as a result of this role, I am now stronger than ever. Resolved to never give up, and handle every situation with openness and determination, I will give no less than 100% because in motherhood, there is no room for any less.
I *patiently await your response.
A hopeful mother