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5 Ways Being a Waitress Prepared Me for Motherhood

I started serving tables in college, as a means of working my way through my schooling. It was a fun job that I was really good at. I thrive at being kind to people, making them happy and being in a social environment. And, as with any job, of course there were things that I hated. But what I never expected was that this college job of waiting tables was actually preparing me for motherhood the whole time. And it's something I didn't realize until I became a mother myself. The lessons I learned have served me well. (Pun intended.)

Yes, there are more similarities between being a waitress and being a mother than you realized...

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1. You have to clean up other people's messes. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and unfortunately that somebody is you.

2. You do things that you hate, with a smile on your face. It's not fun to wipe down tables or have to be nice to rude people. It's not fun to clean a public bathroom or refill an industrial milk machine. Similarly, it is not at all fun to change a poopy diaper or try to get spit-up stains off of your brand new Free People dress. But it's all part of the job, and you just grin and bear it.

3. Sometimes nothing you do is good enough. You can try as you might to make your baby smile, you can time everything perfectly, you can feed them properly and make sure they have enough to drink, and yet things just sometimes don't go as planned. As a waitress, this came in the form of no tip. As a mom, it's a refusal to nap or a colicky baby. Either way, it sucks and there's nothing you can do about it except complain and move on. And throw back a glass (or bottle) of wine.

Being a waitress or a mom means that you work when you are needed. No questions asked.

4. The kindness of strangers will floor you. I still vividly remember the biggest tip I ever received. I was alone on a big birthday party, and I was pretty nervous about having them all to myself, but I completely rocked it and they tipped me generously—far more than I ever would have imagined. I remember crying because I was so shocked at their generosity and kindness. I cried those same tears of joy as a new mom, frazzled with this tiny baby in my arms, having doors opened for me and smiles sent my way. It's those frequent gentle reminders that you're doing a great job that mean so much and are sometimes what gets you through the day. Kindness never goes unnoticed, in whatever line of work you may be.

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5. There's no such thing as weekends or holidays off. Being a mother is a 24/7 job. You get no rest days, no vacations or weekends off. Working in a restaurant that is open year-round and is busiest on holidays definitely prepared me for the job of being a mom. Being a waitress or a mom means that you work when you are needed. No questions asked. And I'd gladly take my new job over my old one any day.

Image via Katie Michelle Reyes

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