The 7 unwritten job descriptions of all mums.

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New mum? Get ready to multitask like you’ve never multitasked before.

Being a mum involves being highly skilled in a vast number of different areas. And the worst part? No training is provided, and the pay is lousy.

Here are just some of the jobs I have found myself once I became a mum.

1. Cook.

Preparing nutritionally balanced meals for my children? Hard enough. Preparing nutritionally balanced meals they will actually eat? Even harder.

My son has been known to stare critically at the squares of bread on his plate and insist one of them is actually a rectangle, and therefore cannot be eaten. There was also the time he cried because I hadn’t burnt his toast. Okaaay, then…

“There was also the time he cried because I hadn’t burnt his toast.”

2. Singer.

I think I sang more in the first year of my daughter’s life than I’d sung in my entire life before that (and I used to be a bit of a karaoke fan). I would sing nursery rhymes to her during the day, and I would sing to her at night when I wanted her to go to sleep.

Some nights I was so tired that I would sing whatever song came into my head: “Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger…”

3. Doctor.

Before I had kids, my most pressing health concern was how best to deal with a hangover. Now it’s like I’m a doctor employed to work on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids’ Edition.

I have had to remove a snot-covered piece of Lego from my child’s nose. I have also had to check through my child’s poo for a tiny plastic eye swallowed in art class. Happily, my kids have been lucky with avoiding infection outbreaks. Regardless, I’m always on the lookout for symptoms of worms (itchy bottom, restless sleep, loss of appetite), especially during the back to school periods, and I know it’s a problem that can be fixed with those medicated chocolate squares.


4. Chauffeur.

I drive my tiny VIPs from home to school to playground, enquiring after their welfare, adjusting the internal temperature according to their requirements, opening the doors for them, carrying their bags… and I don’t even get to wear one of those cute little caps.

“…and I don’t even get to wear one of those cute little caps.”

5. Project manager.

As in, I oversee the projects my daughter is supposed to do for school. I could sit her down at the computer and leave her to do it all herself, but I would probably come back to find she was trying to buy kittens on eBay and hadn’t started her work. So we do projects together.

Got any questions on Suriname? Or the white-spotted puffer fish? I’m your woman.

6. Occupational health and safety officer.

When my kids were toddlers, I would enter a room and immediately be aware of all possible risks to their wellbeing. I would scope out items small enough to be a choking hazard, furniture with hard edges and pets that might not enjoy being treated as ride-on toys. Of course, that didn’t stop my kids from finding new and original ways to injure themselves, day after day.

7. Art connoisseur.

I’ve become such an expert in art appreciation: “What a great painting of a ballerina. Oh, sorry, it’s a dinosaur? What a great painting of a dinosaur.” “Oh, wow, a piece of wood with sparkly things glued on it. I love it. It’s so… sparkly.” “Is that a picture of me for Mothers’ Day? I love that you’ve drawn me with a wineglass in my hand. Really realistic.”

Number 7: Art connoisseur.

Anyone else relate? What’s part of your unwritten job description?

For a little bit of fun, here are some of the most notable mums from TV/Movie Land:

Want more? Try these:

Group Therapy: ‘Toilet training? My kids just aren’t into it.’

The Mamamia DIY Mother’s Day Gift Guide.