By BERN MORLEY
Position Vacant: Stay at Home Parent
Fulltime, permanent position.
Exciting job opportunity for long term, team player. Candidate must possess excellent communication skills and be able to manage an often chaotic work environment. Outstanding organisational skills necessary. A willingness to work variable hours including evenings and weekends necessary.
To be the successful applicant you must:
– Be on call. For the term of your natural life
– Possess the physical stamina of a pack mule
– Be prepared to be intensely disliked, at least until someone needs $5
– Be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next
– Be a walking dictionary and thesaurus
– Have the ability to distinguish between a scream in the backyard that is legitimate and one that is simply ‘crying wolf’
– Be willing to overcome stimulating technical challenges and small gadget repairs such as stuck zippers.
– Maintain calendars and co-ordinate multiple homework projects to deadline
– Cook meals that will take many hours and be met with nothing but scorn and disgust.
– Be able to outsmart a 3 year old
– Have the expectation and understanding that you will never sleep in on a Sunday morning. Ever again..
– Always be hoping for the best but prepared for the worst.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:
Get this, NONE! There is however, on the job training.
Zero dollars. There are however, after a trial period, endless sloppy kisses.
The above there is of course in jest. But imagine for a minute, if there was an actual wage for a stay at home parent. I’ve been both a stay at home Mum and a working parent. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The one thing I do know with all certainty is that one is much more difficult and exhausting than the other. And it’s not the one where I get to pee and eat in peace.
See when I go in to my job, crunching numbers and on some days, writing, I know EXACTLY what I will be paid for these services. It gets deposited into my bank account on a weekly basis. I am rewarded, in monetary terms for performing my set duties. This is apparently, my worth.
So then, if we laid it out, dissected it, what would a parent that stays home full time with their children, in real world terms, hope to earn for their services?
Let’s make a quick calculation:
Housekeeper/Cleaner: 21 hours @ $20 p/h $420
Cook: 14 hours @ $20 p/h $280
Day Care Teacher : 15 hours @ $21 p/h $315
Psychologist: 3 hours @ $120 p/h $360
Laundry Operator: 14 hours @ $18 p/h $252
Van Driver: 8 hours @ $18 p/h $144
Coach: 4 hours @ $40 p/h $160
Bookkeeper/Banker: 3 hours @ $30 p/h $90
Mediator: 7 hours @ 40 p/h $280
Grand Total of $2,301 p/w
Annual Salary of $119,652
I’m not suggesting parents believe they should be paid to parent however it is fascinating to calculate in monetary terms, how much is being contributed each week.
It also needs to be recognised that staying home and parenting, full or part time is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. It can be incredibly thankless, often lonely and extremely difficult.
Ask any CEO of any major company and I bet you they’d say negotiating a multimillion deal is easier than dealing with a toddler that has been denied a lollipop at the supermarket checkout.
To all parents out there, working in or out of home, I salute you.
Footnote: Can I also suggest that being “a mind reader” is also a great attribute when the teenage years roll around.
What essential requirement or experience would you put in a job ad for a parent?