Bill Burr is my favorite stand-up comic on the planet. If you haven’t seen his specials, they are all on Netflix and you should get on that.
In one of his specials, he does a bit about the frequent figure of speech that being a mother is the hardest job in the world. He challenges this notion, hilariously, saying, “Any job that can be done in your pajamas isn’t the hardest job in the world.” Instead, he claims, the likes of coal miners and neurosurgeons should get the title.
When I first saw the routine, I agreed completely. However, when I first saw the routine, I wasn’t a mother. I watched, laughed, and consented that being a mother was just horseplay and pajama time. That men and women who risk their lives or go to school for almost a decade just to stay up day after day in a hospital have hard jobs, and being a mother was all fun.
Then I had a baby.
The trials and tribulations, the ups and downs, the constant change, the “this is going to end in tears” moments and everything else we go through on a daily basis makes our job hard. But that isn’t where it ends.
^^My employer, Oakley, throwing a tantrum in the middle of the street. FUN!
In fact, it never ends. We are at work every second of every day. When they are asleep, we’re cleaning or eating or anything else we can’t do with a kid on our arms. When they are away, we spend the time alone worrying about what the hell could be happening to them when we aren’t there to take care of them.
And if we are in our pajamas all day, it’s simply because we don’t have time to get dressed. Or we don’t want our toddler to see us get naked because then they will strip off all of their clothes and we won’t be able to get them back on before they pee all over the carpet. Or our children are sick and we don’t feel like wearing normal clothes for them to snot and barf on.
We are chauffeurs, chefs, teachers, coaches, entertainers, therapists, maids, dentists, nurses, assistants, IT, stylists, musicians, PROFESSIONAL diaper changers, waiters, athletes, editors, animal tamers and artists and sometimes all in one day.
But those are just in the ins and outs of motherhood; the daily routine. Being a mom isn’t actually considered an occupation in the sense that we don’t get paid for it (yeah, all of that and no salary). However, if I had to write a job description for what we do, it comes down to this: we are solely responsible for keeping a person alive.
Simple, right? For nine months, we house a tiny person as it grows. We feed it with our own bodies; we bathe it and shelter it. We protect it even when it isn’t inside of us anymore and it’s out in the world, with all of the sharp things and germs.
We don’t go to school for this. We don’t get paid for this, or did I mention that already? Although, and I may be biased, I think our earnings are worth far more than money.
In my humble opinion, with no disrespect to Mr. Burr, being a mother is both the hardest and most rewarding job out there. And better yet, those doctors and coal miners and firefighters that come home and are ALSO mothers should get some kind of award. Or like, a cookie.
Because after all we do, we deserve a cookie.