Recently I got to thinking about how much my role of mother is similar to jobs I’ve had in the past. Has my choice of work been a subconscious effort to train for parenthood?
P.A. to a manager who wouldn’t make his own coffee: within 6 weeks I had him trained to walk to the espresso machine outside his office door and press the button himself. Not unlike potty training in a way.
P.A. to a machinery salesman: basically this consisted of doing things someone else wanted done. As any mother knows, this is what a lot of the job of mother boils down to. The children want dinner, so you make dinner. The children want to go to the playground, so you go to the playground, …
Photographer of lorries: now this job has been especially helpful in my current role of mother to three boys. I know A LOT MORE than I ever though I would about lorries, especially bin lorries. In two languages, I might add. This was one of my more fun jobs and it impressed the kids no end when they heard that I used to earn my living by being around lorries all day.
Perfume sales assistant: this is where I developed a good nose for scents, a very handy skill to possess when you have babies in nappies. Not so much of the floral tones around here these days though.
Credit card sales: a very short lived career for me but it did give me a good grounding in how to tell white lies. And when you have children, you tell quite a lot of fibs
International health insurance claims officer: it was here that I learned how to tell when someone is lying to you. I fear that this is a skill I will need more and more as the boys grow older.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language: given that I have ended up as a mammy to half-German children, this stint as a teacher has come in very handy in bringing up English-speaking children in Germany
International project manager – this is relly where the boundary lines blur. Without a doubt, my current paying job has been the most helpful of all in equipping me for motherhood. Making sure a huge job gets done and to the customer’s satisfaction involves getting people to do things they don’t necessarily want to do and within a certain time frame. White lies, juggling roles and prioritising activities are all part of motherhood and project manangement. But there are days when I am in a meeting giving orders and setting aims and I find myself thinking, this is just like trying to get the boys to clean their room.