I've decided to change my job title from Mom to Housekeeper/ Childcare provider. It seems Westchester puts more monetary value on the latter title. Case in point, an advertisement I saw the other day:
Housekeeper/childcare provider available: dedicated and very reliable, will keep your house so clean you can eat off the floors, do all of your laundry, will run your errands and take kids for haircuts, doctor’s appointments, the pool, park, etc. Speaks English, has valid international driver’s license (and her own car) and has never called in sick one day in 4 years. Prefers live-in but will consider live-out. $550/week cash.
As soon as I saw the 'has never called in sick one day' I knew this was the job title for me. What mom ever gets a sick day? This describes my job responsibilities almost EXACTLY, though it omits paying the bills and walking the dog. But I'll consider that a trade off for keeping the house so clean you can eat off the floors (unless you are said dog).
I guess what gets me every time I read this type of ad (which is surprisingly often) is the thought that always runs through my mind: why do some women have children if they end up outsourcing every aspect of the job?
Now, working moms, don't get your panties in a twist. I know that working full-time and being a mom full-time are mutually exclusive positions and that no one can do it all. Hey, I'm an at-home/part-time-work-from-home mom and I still have help from my community, other moms, babysitters, etc. I get it. Really.
The thing is, there is so much flexibility in jobs today--thanks to the wonder of technology and the family-friendly nature of most companies--that I wonder if these moms are actually choosing to not take advantage of these options. That they are instead deciding to let someone else do the grunt work of motherhood, and keeping the fun stuff for themselves.
OK, fine, so maybe I am a little jealous. Who of us wouldn't want to outsource the chauffeuring, cleaning, laundry and housekeeping portion of our jobs? As my late sister-in-law once said to me about full-time motherhood, "the drudge factor is off the charts." Yet even with that warning, I really had no idea. In fact, when I think about the time I could spend with my children if I wasn't so busy cleaning, cooking, driving and doing laundry (oh, kind of like when they were newborns?) it makes me realize that I've been going about this job all wrong.
I need to find someone to pay me to raise my kids. You know, like a sponsor. Then I'll be able to do a better job as a mom, and at the same time, outsource all the work that's keeping me from doing said job well. Who knows? I might actually get to do it FULL TIME, as my current title implies.
Hey American Academy of Pediatrics! What do you say? Jacob and Ben would make great cover kids!