She works hard for the money.

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).

Salary: £0.

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?

Sigh.

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.

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