Yesterday, the UK celebrated Mother’s Day! What a lovely day to celebrate the mothers who birthed you, the mothers or female family members who have raised you, the mothers who fell in love with you when fostering or adopting you, the step-mothers who love you like you were their own, the male family figures who have had to step into the role of mother, and the mothers who are our best friends. They are the true hustlers of the home.
We talk a lot about careers and being fierce in the boardrooms and being great employees. But what about the women who chose the career of stay-at-home wife and/or mum? They are just as valid as any other career or job that a woman chooses to take on to fulfil her identity of who she is. Because let’s face it, being a mother isn’t just a job that they do until you are 18 and become an adult — it's a lifelong career. Mums will worry and care for you for eternity.
As a shout out to our multitasking mothers, whatever form they come in, here's a list of just some of the many careers and skills they take on when they attain the title ‘Mother’:
Up until the age of four or five, you probably cannot do many things for yourself. She will bathe you and wash you. She will change your nappy and teach you to use a toilet. She will dress you. She will tuck you into bed. She will take you anywhere you want to go for day activities (Mum's Taxi Company were always the most reliable). You're not a cute elderly lady who she supports in a home. You are her child, and she does this to make sure your basic needs are met.
You may contract a lot of illnesses as a child. Trust me; I was always ill with tonsillitis or ear infections and colds, so nearly every month I was being nursed back to health by my mother and two nans. She knows what the illness is and exactly how to treat it, whether that’s with horrid TCP, good-tasting Calpol or a trip to the doctor’s surgery to demand Penicillin. And she always seems to have the right equipment in the house, like thermometers and bandages. So prepared for the next war with a virus.
3. Dietician and caterer
Whatever her eating habits before motherhood (no judgements), suddenly she has to learn about what foods you can feed a baby and toddler and portion sizes and timings and allergies and how to boil an egg. Buy the baby food from a shop or make it yourself? Will the other mums judge my bad cake-baking skills and sugar crafts? Is that spaghetti going to end up on my babies head and I’ll have to make more? They have to learn on the job to be an amazing cook and an amazing dietician to make sure you're well nourished.
Not only teaching morals and values, but literally becoming a teacher when you bring homework back from school and she helps you with it, despite not being an expert in the subject. She may hate maths or science, or wants to cry at the thought of history, but she'll help you to understand it so that you can have a good quality education.
She is probably managing all money for the home, herself and you. She has had to quickly understand how to budget so that you can have clothes and school provisions and have money to do activities, as well as work out how much the food shop is every week, taxes and bills for the house and any other necessities are on the list.
6. Stylist and seamstress
She chooses your clothes when you can’t dress yourself. Your behaviour as a child determines whether she puts cute dresses or trousers on you, or whether you wear slogan t-shirts determining how much of a brat you have been acting like lately. Plus, there could be photographic evidence. She also may make all your costumes for Halloween or World Book Day or fancy dress parties, or even just sew up that hole in the seam of your trousers. Gone are the days in the '90s when a black bin liner passed as a cape. Don't forget she's a top hairdresser too.
The house is always spotless, until you're a tornado wiping through the house with your dirty hands and shoes or want something to eat. Without question, she is following after you making sure the house is a clean and tidy sanctuary for you and your family members to live. And then there’s the laundry too. Do her a favour and for heaven's sake: put your dirty clothes in the basket!
8. Life coach
She will guide you through your ups and downs; your arguments with friends, helping you learn about your emotions and guide feelings and learn to not take it personally when you're moody and shouting at her. She will love you and help you regardless of your mood.
She doesn’t necessarily get paid for doing all of this either, and just does it out of pure love. And some mothers are juggling part-time or full-time jobs while doing all of this too, so kudos to them! Shout out to you badass mothers, and Happy Mother’s Day!