Imagine – if you will – that you are at a job interview. The interviewer runs through the main tasks involved in the job you have applied for:
- Cooking (often whilst trying to juggle four other tasks and mediate a blazing row).
- Cleaning (fairly constantly and generally to no avail as the dust, dirt and debris will continue to magically appear, laughing in the face of your feeble efforts to dispel them).
- Teaching (a full range of subjects, many of which appear to be at a higher level than you ever managed and use formula you have never come across despite making it through to adulthood reasonably successfully).
- Coaching (to include offering advice and support on any sport/hobby or interest as well as cheer leading, post-match analysis and motivational speaking on demand).
- PA duties (to include managing the diaries of a number of people all of whom have numerous appointments, weekly clubs and important deadlines, which will require your assistance to meet.)
- Providing counselling; anger management and behaviour modification strategies as and when required (regardless of whether or not you feel able to deliver this service due to incompetence; exhaustion; lack of patience or general apathy).
Would you take this job? And if you were crazy enough to do so, would you be up to the task? Because I most certainly am not!
If I run through the tasks outlined above, I am OK with the cooking (even with the recent addition of marks out of 10 being awarded at every meal – an unforeseen consequence of avid ‘Come Dine with Me’ viewing); I just don’t bother with the cleaning (and as such, fail to be irritated by the mounting filth) and I am happy to give the teaching a go (what I don’t know I make up or google so it seems to work).
On the downside, I am a bit rubbish at the coaching (I don’t make enough effort with the cheer leading aspect and am apparently overly critical: I call it truthful and honest, but it doesn’t go down too well!); I am really quite dreadful at juggling my PA duties (over the last year, I have missed one parents’ evening completely; attempted to attend another parents’ evening a week early; missed the deadline for ordering school photos; and – only this week – encouraged my daughter to skive Rainbows in order to complete the homework she had known about for two weeks, but we had failed to do in time); and – probably most significantly – I am very poor at the anger management and behaviour modification. I find it incredibly hard dealing with angry outbursts (particularly when they appear completely irrational) and I am continually wracked with uncertainty about which behaviours I should be attempting to modify in my children: should I really be trying to bend them to my will ALL the time? When is it OK to let things go? How do I know what I should address and how to address it?
So back to the job interview: can I do this job? Well, I am coming in at the entry level, but I am prepared to work hard and take advice so I am ever-hopeful.
Apart from the cleaning.
That’s unlikely to improve. Just so you know.