A few years ago, my sister had to interview someone about their job for a school assignment. I suppose I was the easy choice.
Sis: "What is you job?"
Me: Hmmmm, what is my job. Well I'm a mother of three. I'm a wife. A housekeeper. A cook. A bookkeeper. Can I give this many answers? I suppose if I say, mother, all the rest automatically falls into the category? Once we become mothers, we become so many other things! Diapers to change, floors to mop, dinner to make, bills to pay, children to bathe, phone calls to make, no problem! Oh and did you mention a husband? Thats right, he wants to be acknowledged too, no problem!
(I wished she would have asked me my title. I would have said Domestic Engineer. That has a nice professional ring to it.)
Sis: "What have you sacrificed for this job?"
Me: Should I say my figure? No, I am blessed with good genes, so that doesn't apply. Should I say my career? That doesn't apply either, this IS my career. Well I would have to say that I have sacrificed time for myself. I don't get to shop, hike, or work out by myself anymore. I'd love to take more classes at the college, but my kids keep me going 24/7. I no longer get a full nights sleep. And time alone with my husband is pretty minimal.
Sis: "What kind of skills do you need for this job?"
Me: Thats easy. Number one would be Patience. You need a lot of that. Creativity. Kids require it. It helps to know how to cook. Your husband will be happier. Efficency. There's a lot to do in a day. Wisdom. Unconditional Love.
Sis: "How much time do you put in for this job?"
Me: More than any other job in the world! Its a 24/7 thing. Kids don't stop being your kids at night just because you're not on the clock anymore.
Four questions. That was it.
Wait, I thought, is that it? Your forgetting something! With those questions, Mothering doesn't sound like a very glamorous job. You didn't ask me anything about the rewards of my job! They are absolutely the best! Have you ever held a sleepy child, just waking up from a nap? Have you felt little arms wrap around your neck and squeeze? Have you ever shared a victorious grin over learning to dress oneself, or riding a bike without training wheels? Have you ever been given a handful of dandelions and weeds and one tiny flower, picked specially for you?
It occured to me that to become a mom, you never have true prior experice. How can you? And there really is no list of qualifications. Once you bear a child, you are Mom, regardless of your skills, regardless of whether you think you're ready to raise a child. Most of the skills I listed came after becoming a mother. You learn as you go. So perhaps a better answer would have been simply the ability to be openminded and the realization that each child is different and will let you know what skills you need. As you're learning, you're growing. Your children make you a better person. And quite frankly, I wouldn't know what to do with a whole few days to myself anymore. I'd fret over not having my kids to fret over!
Is it worth it? Absolutely!! Lacking in the skills department and sacrifices aside, I wouldn't trade my kids or job for anything in the world.