Mums, your new LinkedIn profile is ready.
How do you deal with the frustrations and disappointments of every day life as a mum? Although I absolutely love being a mum and wouldn’t trade it for all the world, it’s not all roses and sunshine, people. Being a Mum can be a tough and thankless job—and that is the part that doesn’t always get discussed. The job of mum has no manual and no foreseeable end—put in 20 years of work and then you’ll begin to see results—maybe! At the same time, the job of Mum is filled with wonder and moments of intense joy. So in order to balance myself during those moments of frustration and feeling unappreciated, I’ve recently started to use reframing as a way to deal with some of the frustrations I feel while raising 3 kids. I love the idea of reframing so much that I almost named my blog, “Reframing Joy”. Sometimes we’re so brainwashed into what joy should be, we can’t see it when it’s right in front of us.
Instead of piping on about how hard it is to be a mum, let me show you how I have been able to reframe my frustration and think more about the incredible skills I have, compliments of being a mum! Here’ s how my CV currently reads:
1. Family Mediator: highly skilled in Conflict Resolution
Every mother should be granted a PhD in Conflict resolution. “It’s mine” is a regular occurrence in our house. Or “I didn’t do it”. Perhaps if Mums were in charge of the world’s peace negotiations, the world would be a more peaceful place? How many times a day do you negotiate through “it’s MY turn!” or “I had it first?” Think about that.
2. Flexible Worker: work is completed on time despite constant interruption
Being constantly interrupted by little people is part and parcel of being a mum. A honed skill that takes years to develop, the art of being able to stop a task to kiss a sore knee and go back to the bill paying is a fine-tuned art. Do you remember the days when your littles were really little? When it was time to eat, it was time to eat. Everything stopped when you had to feed the baby, no mater what you were doing.
3. Great PA: fantastic organisational skills
Is there anyone more organised than a mum? Someone who can balance the most complicated schedule and make it work for everyone? (who remembers that Modern Family episode with Claire and the summer schedule?) Only a mum can fit in a violin lesson, followed by a birthday party followed by maths tutoring and be home and be able to make dinner for everyone and get herself ready for choir.
4. Specialised Personal Chef: can adapt any meal to suit the pickiest eater
My cooking skills over the past 11 years have improved dramatically thanks to my “personal chef” experience. I am now an expert in making a meal work for a picky eater without much extra work for me. So if he doesn’t like the sauce, just take out his portion before mixing it in. He doesn't like cream sauce but likes yellow curry sauce, serve everyone the cream sauce and add a little yellow curry powder just to his before serving. Viola.
5. Healthcare pro: Keeps a calm head in the face of fevers.
Sick kids are inevitable and usually come at the most inconvenient of times. But why not cancel everything and take it as a great excuse to stay at home and chill with your sick patient? Works for me…
6. Experienced CEO: can make the toughest decisions under extreme pressure.
Have you ever thought of counting how many decisions you make each day as Family CEO to keep your Family Corporation going? What’s for dinner, what’s for lunch, can I play with my friend, can you drive me into town, can I have a sleep over, can I have those shoes with wheels underneath, can I have another cookie? One time I tried to count how many decisions I made in a day and I lost count by mid-morning.
7. CFO: great at making any budget work
Most families follow some sort ofbudget, and as CFO of the family, mums are experts at making that budget work. Kids grow like weeds and need new clothes, the washing machine breaks and needs replacing, the car needs a service - the money needs to be there when needed. And Mums are champions at stretching that food budget - it is always more expensive when the kids (or Dad!) come along for the trip!
8. Motivational Speaker: can make any task seem fun
Mums are awesome turning the most mundane job into an exciting one. “Time to tidy up your room! Don’t worry—this motivating tidying up music will help you get the job done much quicker!” “I’m going to set the timer and we’ll see who can tidy up their room the fastest!” (No prizes awarded, just the praise from a very motivating mum.)
9. Safe and punctual personal chauffeur: Better than any Uber.
Since we live very close to the kids’ school, I must admit I am not such an expert in this field, and since little Z was born I have selfishly wanted to keep most activities within our village. But a big shout out to the Mums out there are who we KNOW are expert personal chauffeurs! There is school to get to, ballet. soccer,, fencing and maths tutoring. Better stocked than your average Uber, Mum’s Taxi is filled with snacks, water and great music. And don’t forget the great conversation and no extra charge for waiting time.
10. Professor in general knowledge: able to recall information at any moment.
The test is tomorrow, and that list of Swiss cities won’t learn themselves. I now know so much more about Switzerland than ever before thanks to my 11 year old’s recent geography topic in Mensch and Umwelt (literal translation: People and the Evnviorment.) Not only can I name every Swiss Canton and its capital city, I know which river flows into which ocean. And don’t worry if you don’t know, you can always sneak off and ask Google. Your kids will still think you’re the smartest mum ever.
We are also Life coaches, Advice Columnists, Multitaskers, Travel Consultants (have a missed one?)
If I wasn’t a Mum, I would never have been able to specialise in all of those skills. Sure I complain, don’t you? But let’s face it—with those skills, which workplace would not welcome a mum with open arms? We work under so many different conditions, and get the job done 24/7.
Here’s to all of the Mums out there.
Happy Mother's Day