There are lots of great essays that
circulate the Internet and drive home the demanding nature of motherhood.They’re good for a laugh and more
importantly, a wake-up call.
Essay #1: “I Didn’t Do It…” (Author unknown)
One afternoon a man came home from work to find total mayhem in his house. His three children were outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers scattered around the front yard.
Editor’s note:You’ll love the exchange between husband and wife when he asks if she did anything today!
My husband came home today and saw me sitting
on the couch, toddler on one knee, and baby nursing on the opposite
breast. I was trying to turn the pages
of a book with the hand not attached to the infant, while listening to the
sound of the stove buzzer, which would indicate that tonight's meatloaf was at
the stage between "well done" and "the dog gets tonight's
Editor’s note: Similar to the first essay, but this one is
great at discussing the contrast between a mom’s “prior life”!
To jump right to tips, free charts and lots of great ideas on managing the details in a mom's life, click here to go to our Mom Life page. We'll help you with everything from scheduling to carpools to mealtime and everything in between!
Motherhood isa legitimate business. It is a valuable business with a unique set of demands. Whether you work inside or outside of the home or juggle both, you understand the demands of running a household. The Business of Motherhood is a fresh, practical guide to tips on parenting. It is a reliable roadmap that busy parents will find easy to follow and full of useful information. It gives parents tactics and tools for managing and tracking critical information and tasks on kids, schedules and short- and long-term household projects. We'll continue to load our website and blog with innovative parenting tips, skills, plans and resources.
I've been a babysitter, a waitress, a caterer, a student, an
advertising agency executive, an advertising salesperson, a public
relations executive and an entrepreneur. These jobs (except the last
two) started and ended, like chapters in a book. The job I took on in
May of 1997, however, will last a lifetime. It won't earn a place on my
resume, won’t generate income or social security, won’t ever have
regular hours, and will be forever unpredictable. It has been and will
continue to be the most rewarding position a woman could ever dream
All of the preparation and research in the
world could not have prepared me for motherhood. What fascinated me the
most as I entered this club of toddler-toting, diaper-changing,
constantly frenzied women, was the lack of understanding most people
have for what moms do.
"Do you work, or are you just a mom?" "Did you quit your job after your baby was born?"
Huh? What are these people thinking? Isn’t motherhood real,
legitimate work? While I don't expect to revolutionize how the world
views motherhood, I hope to give moms a boost in terms of first,
understanding why what they do is indeed work that should be valued
tremendously, and second, giving them the tactics they need to succeed
in this legitimate and fascinating career.
I hope that
you’ll find valuable resources here, will print pages that will become
rumpled and frayed, stained with baby formula or breast milk or peanut
butter and jelly as you use it to get through daily struggles, big and
small. I hope that it is the best friend you need on a rainy day when
you can't seem to get it all together with your kids. And I hope that
you will hold your head up with pride the next time someone asks you if
you're "just a mom," and tell them that you are a very successful
Editor's Note: I have to offer one disclaimer...I am
far from a perfect mom. Like you, I'm learning every day. I read
parenting books, attend interesting lectures, observe my peers. I do
believe that to continue to be a student in this job is critical. You'd
never approach a new task in an office setting without advance
preparation -- motherhood requires the same planning and research.
Motherhood is indeed a legitimate business. It has all of the makings of a real job – expectations, periodic reviews of performance (self-inflicted and from friends and family), success and failure, management and supervision, and on and on. Like a businessperson, mothers are expected to be dedicated, high achievers day and night.
Motherhood is tough. It’s misunderstood and under-appreciated. Once you accept that it is indeed a business, you will not only see it increase in value and legitimacy, but you will be ready to make it the most successful operation you have ever managed in your life!
It’s amazing that you need a license to drive a car or to operate heavy machinery. You need a degree to teach in public schools. You need advanced training to be a doctor or lawyer. But to raise a child, to be responsible for another human being, you simply need one “oops.” People joke that they send you home from the hospital with a newborn without an owner’s manual or instruction booklet. Well, finally, here it is!
Ok, it’s not really a “test,” but most moms can relate to this. Surviving motherhood is quite a feat.
I’ve often dreamed of an obstacle course that would educate people on the physical rigors of parenthood. Here’s how it goes…First, prepare your body with a lack of sleep or proper nutrition. Don’t resist fast food or eating in your car. In fact, dump a bag of trash in your car. Set your alarm clock for different times in the middle of the night for a week, and play a recording of a crying baby or a child’s poignant description of a nightmare while you cradle and rock a doll to pacify it. Then, hug a heavy pile of wet, urine-soaked laundry so you can pretend you’re carrying your child who just wet the bed. The day of the race is here. Put a toddler on one hip, a baby on the other. Strap a 20-pound diaper bag to your back, and run! Run fast! Pretend you’re dodging cars in a parking lot. Then, go to your kitchen and prepare dinner. Make sure the phone rings at least four times; the doorbell rings twice; and two irate toddlers are running through your legs while they fight for a toy.
NBC’s Today Show had a great feature (click here to view) about a Texas college offering Homemaking 101 as a major. We can debate the pro’s and con’s of a required degree to do this job (http://momtinilounge.com/?p=11) but the story confirmed our premise – Motherhood is indeed a job! They estimated a mother’s workweek as 92+ hours with an estimated corresponding salary of $140,000! It’s all hypothetical, of course, but doesn’t it make a great point!?
Moms form a powerful community
Moms are hungry for information on parenting tips. Moms love to talk, to listen, to advise and to be advised. Motherhood and parenting advice is readily available, and even though parenting styles differ, the dialogue is great! Parenthood is a club of sorts, with its “members” feeling comfortable talking with other parents who may be absolute strangers about private matters typically considered off limits.
Whether you work inside or outside of the home or juggle both, you understand the demands on running a household. Parenting kids is tough.
Let’s say you’re a “juggler,” working inside and outside the home. Even if you’re comfortable with structure, organization and planning at work but haven’t figured out how to apply those skills at home, you’re far from alone. You may manage a major corporation or department in stride but struggle when it comes to putting lunches together and getting everyone out the door in the morning without having a nervous breakdown.
Or, if you’re a full-time stay-at-home mom, you may be excellent at the creative side of parenting – singing, playing and so on – but may lack the business skills necessary to simultaneously juggle multiple tasks. This website will sharpen your “home business” skills so that you can accomplish motherhood with finesse and ease.
Then, of course, there are many, many variations of these two groups. For example, a full-time mom who decides to return to the workforce part- or full-time will find the juggling act extremely frustrating and challenging without the proper skills. Or, a mother who never worked in an office setting may need organizational and management skills to more effectively run a household.
The Business of Motherhood understands and respects a busy parent’s lifestyle. No matter which balls are involved, the juggling act is intense and leaves very little time for reading or research.
Note: We’re focused on “Mom” but don’t want to alienate other important parenting scenarios such as stay-at-home dads and single parents. It takes a village, as we all know! Also, whether you're parenting adolescents or teens, there's lots more in the pages ahead. Visit our Mom Life page!