Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Lesson 21: What if you're in the wrong job*?

*And by 'job,' I mean parenting. 

What if, all things considered, it just isn't for you? Is that a possibility? Is that even a thing?

When I was at school, we had a  'careers' focus session, where we answered a whole host of questions about what we enjoyed doing, in order to suss out our ideal future profession. I'm pretty sure my 'top match' was Zoo Keeper. I mean, seriously - I liked walking the family dog and spending time outside, but even at 14 this seemed like a random and unambitious prospect. Regardless, an effort was at least made to ascertain if you were cut out for certain sectors.

Nobody does this with parenting. 

There is no 'Motherhood' entry in the A-Z of Careers. You don't get an internship or work placement. You don't need ANY qualifications. You don't even need an interview.

The job offer is simply there. Furthermore, there is no probationary period, no training contract, no time as the Office Junior and no opportunity to ever move companies. You are Chief Executive Officer of The Mothership Ltd from DAY ONE until FOREVER. Congrats. And good bloody luck.

I previously joked about a Motherhood Exam. Clearly, that was intended as a bit of light-hearted entertainment. 'Lol' and all that. 

But seriously, I stand by my long-held observation that it really isn't a job suited to everyone. If I had to demonstrate competencies for the role of Mother, it would soon become apparent that I am actually pretty shit at my job. 

I would never have passed the probation and I certainly would not be trusted to take on additional responsibilities (essentially what is happening now I am growing another human). My end of year Personal Development Review would probably read 'tries reasonably hard but consistently demonstrates the wrong attitude by admitting she is bored with the role, and threatening to walk out.'

Of course there will be no resignation. No career break or sabbatical. No secondment to another department. This is it. 

Sometimes, I listen to The Others who assert that a switch is activated when you become a parent. You are, after all, automatically enrolled in The Club. More often than not, however (when pondering the lack of switch activation), I conclude that being a parent is much like any other job. Some people are really good at their jobs. Some people live for their jobs at the expense of all other activity. And conversation. Some people, and I include myself in this camp, hold down the steady job but often feel the urge to check the Job Pages. You'll never leave (you can't be released from the contract) but even if you could, you wouldn't jump ship. When all is said and done you know the grass isn't eternally greener at Child-Free Bliss plc. 

Lesson 21: Parenting is a tough job. I think 'the hardest job in the world' is a questionable description, but it is the most permanent of jobs you will ever 'apply' for. And even if you are not Employee of the Month material, you will always have the biggest claim to the role. 

The Unmumsy Mum