Late-night YouTube surfing with my husband recently, we came across this gem from Bill Burr.
Bill's take on motherhood being called the most difficult job on the planet: "Really? Oh yeah, all those mothers who die every year. Black lung .. from inhaling all that coal dust."
By the end, Dave and I were chortling, crying from laughter. Because it was ridiculous, right? "Mothers are bending over at the waist .. putting DVD's into players. I don't know how they do it!"
Bill believes that any job you can do in your pyjamas .. is not a difficult job. "Dude you're thirty-five years old playing hide-and-go-seek. YOU'RE LIVIN' THE DREAM."
The next day Dave rang me from work, still laughing about it. "Morning hon ... just want to see how the coal mines are today?" I laughed back, told him my black lung was sore.
Then I got off the phone and really thought about. Everybody knows that motherhood IS hard. But why? Like seriously let's cut the crap .. why's it so hard?
Well, because you have to wipe every orifice of every child until they grow old enough to wipe their own. That's a lot of orifices. You're in charge of the laundry, cleaning, nutritious meals, annoying playmates. Silent farts, silent screams, forgotten dreams. When your kid wants toasted banana bread, you cut him a slice and put it in the toaster. It burns and disintegrates. You turn the toaster off at the wall and use a knife to stab the pieces out. Your kid cries harder as you turn the toaster upside down in anger and out comes the banana bread. Followed by a mountain of toast crumbs.
You eat it angrily, because your kid sure as hell won't.
You can't blast a music DVD at midnight like you used to. Have sex properly. Go to a museum when you want. Drink a cup of coffee. Take a piss. You try to live up to some idealistic expectation and fail .. always with the failure. You never feel "proper." You worry that your child will be taken by a pedophile. You worry they will be picked on at school, bullied. You don't let them ride their bike by themselves, even though you rode your heart out your entire childhood. What is UP with that? You hate their homework just as much as they do but pretend to be all official-like during the supervision.
Some parts of motherhood are boring as batshit but you're never allowed to admit it.
It's hard. Just today my three year old son had to do an emergency wee while out in public. Do you know how embarrassing it is, to feel the stares and the tsk tsks of people? Do these people think for a second I want to be standing in a car park next to a kid taking a piss in the wind?
If the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, then the hand that wields the toilet brush cleans the skids. We wipe mice shit from behind fridges, we wipe faces, we wipe arses. There is no trophy. No lifetime achievement award, no glittering career. We put all our nit eggs in one basket, and we must live with that.
Motherhood has helped forge the person I am today, strong and fearless. That person would now like to reach for higher, more amazing things, but I can't. I have to look after my children. That's my choice and I'm fine with it. Doesn't mean it doesn't sting a little.
Some days I envy the man who leaves home every day. Swapsies - give *me* a roofing job in the middle of summer. Let me sit down at smoko and scratch my balls and feel all worthwhile and important.
Because the truth is, stay-at-home mothers can do this job in our pyjamas if we want to. That's what makes it suck so much, because obviously it's not a proper job, right? Just killin' time, babysitting until these pesky kids turn 18 and we can have our lives back?
Or do we have minds to shape? Spirits to nurture, hands to hold. Eyes that pierce your arseholish ways with lightning speed. It's not right to just think, well, they have a house to live in, food to eat, clothes to wear .. they're fine. We are in complete charge of HUMAN BEINGS. The responsibility makes me sick with panic, worry, awe. We guide and lead, let them shine, look them in the eyes and mean it. Tell them they can do anything. Parent them better than we were parented. THAT'S our job. It freaks me out every day. Every goddamn day I think I'm not doing it right.
So Bill Burr is completely right, motherhood is not the most difficult job on the planet.
It's the most important.