Photograph by Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RM
Photograph by Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RMI've been a stay-at-home mom for 25 years. Recently as our nest grew empty, I have started to wonder what it is that I'm qualified to do for my second act.
Upon reflection, it seems that I'm actually quite prepared and able to fulfill the job requirements of any CEO and any of the following job. And honestly, I might be over-qualified for some. God knows I have years of experience:
10 Jobs Moms Do Better Than The Professionals:
1. Home maintenance: "Hey, mom, the A/C turned off again. Can you fix it?" "The remote is broken." "Mom, there's stuff coming out of the drain again in the downstairs bathroom and, yo, I'm pretty sure the pool heater's broken." Whether it's electrical, plumbing, or mechanical in any way, I can do it. I know the noises the boiler makes, what triggers breakers to trip, and how to get a toilet to do anything I want it to. I'm basically a handyman, electrician, and plumber all rolled into one.
2. Doctor: "Mom, my head is killing me and my throat feels all scratchy. Which of these Mucinex do I take? I can't remember." Every mom could run the ER of the local hospital, assess the need for stitches, make splints, drive the family car like an ambulance, and diagnose pretty much anything. I don't need a doctor when the baby is screaming at 2:00 in the morning. One touch on the earlobe, and you know you need the yummy pink medicine. Too bad you have to wait for the appointment in the morning for the brilliant guy to shine a light in there and say, "Ear infection. I'll write you a script for Amoxicillin." No kidding, buddy, we knew that eight hours ago.
3. Lawyer: "Zach keeps hitting me, tell him to stop." "Bobby threw the rock, mom, I swear, it wasn't me." "I don't know why they towed the car. I didn't see the sign. This spot looks perfectly fine to me." As a mom we are in a constant state of negotiation and judgment. We represent our "clients" when they get into trouble, when they need someone to speak for them, and when they need someone to fight for them. Moms are some of the toughest litigators out there and can outlast most anyone. Remember, in most instances, we've been there, done that, and if you mess with my kid, mama bear's not a happy camper.
4. Travel agent: "Mom, should I fly out of JFK or Newark? Do I need my passport there; I think mine needs to be renewed. Can you do that?" When you are moving a family anywhere, anytime, whether it be by planes, trains, or automobiles, you better know your stuff. I wore a whistle around my neck for our family trip to Disney and I can say, we covered it all! We were the first to arrive at the Animal Kingdom and the last to leave. No stone unturned. Moms are like Tripadvisor, Seatguru, and Bingmaps all combined. High tea at the Savoy in London? No problem. Aisle seats on the plane? 'Nuff said. Skip the line to see the David at the Uffizi in Florence? Child's play.
5. Engineer: "The directions say it needs to be eight feet tall and constructed only using sugar cubes. I don't get it either." If you are a mom, the words "science fair" are music to the ears. Need to build a 3D cross section of the eye and ear? Done. A self-sustaining ecosystem? No worries. A Lenape log house made entirely with natural elements? Easy peasy. C'mon, teachers, bring it on.
6. Teacher: "Mom, I swear, I did pay attention. Read this and tell me these directions make any sense?" Whether it's relearning 8th grade algebra or the causes of the civil war, we spend ridiculous amounts of time teaching the K-12 curriculum to our kids. I've read math books and "Huck Finn" more times than I can count. I've diagrammed my fair share of sentences. The amount of hours helping with homework makes me feel like I've relived elementary and high school and have a degree in education.
7. Psychologist and Every Other Member of a Child Study Team: "Mom, Mrs. Binder says I have to stay in my seat in the classroom. I can't do that." "Mom, everyone hates me." Our kids/spouses/every other member of our extended family have all been patients on your couch. You fix the broken hearts, you listen, you advise, you counsel. When little Bobby can't read like his peers, you meet the child study team and advocate for your kid. You know the problems before they do, you understand the needs of your child, and you are prepared to take on what is necessary to fix it all.
8. Coach: "I know, but he said I have to play goalie." "Mom, he plays all the time because he's the coach's kid." If I were to calculate the hours I've spent on a sideline, in the bleachers, and on various fields over countless weekends, it might just make me cry for the sheer volume of it all. We had fun, my kid learned valuable lessons, but OMG, after all those hours, I could coach lacrosse, football, soccer, cheerleading, dance team, basketball, and track—and in some instances better than the coaches my kids had. I'm waiting for the Giants to call me. Seriously. I think they need some help.
9. Detective: "Where are my keys?" "I can't find the butter." "I swear, I was never there." I, like most moms, am probably asked about 5-10 times a day to locate something or someone. I can cordon off a crime scene, look for evidence, retrace steps, and collect DNA like everyone on all the CSI shows. If my kids are lying, I can conduct an interrogation like everyone on Law and Order. Nothing and no one is getting past me. Our deductive reasoning skills are fine-tuned, and our willingness to make the suspect uncomfortable during questioning is surpassed by no one. Just try to get something past me or lose anything in this house.
10: Financial planner: "Mom, I need money. Don't tell dad." "Hon, did you do the bills?" We tell our kids over and over about saving, about budgeting, about the "rainy day fund." And yet, the overdraft notices keep coming. Eventually, they choose to listen rather than to live with the sting of the overdraft charges. Money that goes away without anything to show for it wakes them up! At home, we can balance any checkbook, wire money, do taxes like a well-paid accountant, and run a household as well as any CFO runs his/her Fortune 500 Company.
We all know that we could be successful in far more areas than I've listed here. Other than best mom ever, what jobs have you been doing better than the professionals?