Motherhood comes with a lot of responsibility and is often referred to as "a full-time job". Yet, there are many people who downplay the importance of the position and disagree with that title. While I understand that everyone caters motherhood to fit their specific lifestyles, and views motherhood in different ways, I have to disagree. Jobs take a lot of time and energy (among other things), and so does motherhood. There are so many similarities between the two and, for that reason alone, I think we need to refer to motherhood as a job.
When I had my daughter, I was still in college. I was a full-time student with a part-time job and, now, I was also a new mother responsible for another human being. All the time and energy I had spent on classes and organizations prior to having my daughter, was suddenly redirected towards my daughter in order to care for her to the best of my ability. I was used to having a job, so in a way I was already used to being a mom; even though they were very different and, honesty, being a mother required even more work. I mean, it's time consuming and energy consuming and creatively consuming and, in the end, it is a full-time job.
There will always be a debate as to whether motherhood is truly a "job" or not (after all, you don't get paid time off and you don't get to clock in or out or "leave your work at the office), but to me, there's no question about it. When you look at the things you do in a "working job," whether they be efforts put into a task or the tasks themselves, there are too many parallels between a "working job" and motherhood to deny that motherhood is a job all on it's own.
You Get Up Super Early
I don't know any mother who wakes up late unless their kid is older (like a teen, maybe) and willingly sleeps in on their own. When you're a mom caring for a newborn or a toddler, you tend to get up early. And by early, I mean the crack of dawn.
On a good day, you may be able to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00, and you'll inevitably consider this "sleeping in". The same can be said for having a job (especially if that job is outside of the house and you answer to a boss). You won't get to haphazardly walk into the office whenever you want; instead, you'll have a start time and you'll have to (probably) wake up early in order to make it. The alarm clocks might be different, but the early morning wake up call is pretty much the same.
You Are Always Being Watched
In a job (if you're not the founder or owner) you're probably being watched and under someone else's scrutiny, potentially unsure of whether or not you're doing a "good job" or performing to the best of your ability. Now, stop me if you're a mom and that sounds at all familiar.
When you're a mother, you're under the constant, watchful eye of your child. Whatever you say, they'll say. What you do, they'll probably end up doing. You're being examined on a daily basis and, as a result, you'll often be left wondering if the example your setting is the best example possible. Self-doubt is the name of the parenting game, and people who work in offices with not-so-understanding bosses no that feeling all too well.
You Hardly Have Any Time For Lunch
When you work, in most situations, you have a thirty minute lunch break, at best. Sometimes, it's an hour, but I don't know very many people who take full advantage of that hour.
When you are at home taking care of your child, thirty minutes to eat is pretty generous. If your child is anything like my daughter, they don't think you need to eat in order to have energy to play and do things with them and for them and keep the house they live in relatively clean or work or do one of the many things you do on any given day. I often either have to eat quickly or eat when she's asleep. Talk about a rushed lunch.
Motherhood Is An Investment...
When you become a mom, you are not only taking care of your child, and protecting them and loving them; you're also teaching them. Every day, you teach them about behavior and manners. Every day, you teach them about colors and shapes and animals. Every day, you make an investment in your child and their future; an investment like the one you make when you go to work and give our time and energy to an organization (whether it's yours or someone else's) for the betterment of your future.
...And You Get To See The End Result
Like a job, you get to see that all of your hard work pays off. Hopefully, you're rewarded at your job when you do something correctly or surpass a goal or do something worthy of praise. Hopefully, you're getting the same treatment at home, as a parent. However, even if you don't get verbal recognition for your efforts, you get to see the fruits of your labor. When your kid learns something you've taught them or says something you've said or just continuously evolves into the person they're mean to become; you feel rewarded.
It Takes A Lot Of Creativity And Imagination
How you tailor motherhood to fit your child and your life and your personality, is entirely up to you. There is no "one size fits all" model to parenthood, and there certainly isn't a "one size fits all" career for everyone, either. You get to decide (hopefully) what you do for a living, and you get to decide what kind of parent you'll be.
Usually, this means thinking outside the box. This means being creative and finding new and different ways to accomplish the tasks at hand. Whether you're behind a desk in an office or taking care of a kid at home, creativity and imagination will come in handy.
Motherhood Takes Up Just As Much Time...
When you have a child, you are are "on" twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. You're constantly "working," and while this undeniable fact may be a reason why we shouldn't call motherhood a job (because there is no time off, let alone paid time off) I think this is exactly reason why we need to call it a job. In our society, having a job is one of the quantifiers of "adulthood." It's literally what we measure people by. When you meet someone, one of the first questions you'll inevitably ask is, "What do you do for a living?"
When a woman answers, "I'm a mom," it should be held up with as much regard as if a woman answered, "I'm the CEO of this top-rated company." Especially because that mom doesn't have a day off. She doesn't get lunch breaks or weekly vacations or bonuses or raises. She is working constantly, and that deserves just as much respect as if someone has a traditional job in a traditional setting. Until our society doesn't pay so much attention to what a person does or how much a person makes, I say we continue to call motherhood a job.
...And Just As Much Energy, As A Job
Before I had my daughter, I could get five or six hours of sleep and be good to go with plenty of energy for the day. After I became a mother, however, I was forced to face the fact that I needed a quality amount of sleep if I was going to survive. The energy that I used to use to get me through my day no longer was sufficient for what I need to keep up with my schedule and my daughter's.
Like any job, at the end of the day, you're spent. You don't need to be stuck in traffic during a horrible commute or deal with meetings or even put in some manual labor, in order to be tired. Motherhood is just as exhausting, if not more so.
Like A Job, It's Worth It
Despite all of this, however, it is well worth it. When You're a mother, you get rewarded: maybe not with a holiday bonus or a pay raise, but with a lasting, loving relationship with your child. That makes this job more important and more special than any other job you could ever have.