We are currently living in a time where it often seems those words are no longer respected. Moms perform their duties with little pay and little recognition. We are not famous or have cult followings. We certainly don’t live lives of grandeur. But I believe moms have more in common with high-level jobs than previously thought. Here are some high level skills:
- Contract NegotiationS
- Transportations Logistics
- Multi-Party Conflict Resolution
- Recovery of Valuable Asset
As a mommy, I can list all 4 of these skills on my “resume”. Here is my version of the skill sets and how they apply to mothers.
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS: What mother hasn’t perfected this skill? The perfect example is at dinnertime: What mommy hasn’t said things, “If you eat one more spoonful of peas, you can watch 1/2 hour of television.” Most “experts” will tell you not to negotiate mealtime, and we have tried to eliminate the need for negotiation by the standing rule in the house. “You must try a biteful of any food we are having. If you do not like it, you can politely spit it in a napkin”. There is nothing worse than making children gag down food that sometimes comes back up at the table. This rule worked with 3 of my 5 children. I had one child that believed that pickles were equivalent to toxic waste. If a pickle came anywhere near his plate or surrounding 300 mile radius, he screamed and wailed as if his skin and nasal passages were being eaten away. There were also several other foods that would cause the same reaction.
I also have another child that can determine the taste of food by “how it looks”. When presented with a food that does not meet his look-standard, he politely declines with “no thanks” in the most adorable little voice you have ever heard. I have tried to enforce my rule, but it rarely works. Enter contract negotiations – “if you eat 2 bites of the other offensive food on your plate, you won’t have to eat any of the vile disgusting stuff mommy is slowly trying to poison you with”.
Another fine example of contract negotiations, is when faced with a child performing any unpleasant task.
Child response: But why do I have to?
Mommy: Because I said so.
Child: (whines) That’s not fair.
This is where my tough negotiation skills come in. “Just do it and get over it.”
RECOVERY of VALUABLE ASSETS: A person involved in recovery valuable assets may be dealing with valuables, but there is nothing so valuable as a security blanket or favorite toy. This is one area where most mothers have it all together. Who among us hasn’t searched high and low for the coveted blanket, pacifier, toy, sock, shoe, pajamas, etc? You know that your child will not eat or sleep until you find the item. Mothers definitely have skills that would rival any top-paid expert.
The majority of my time as a mother is spent looking for something of great value to someone. Most of the time it is the precious television remote. Someday, someone will develop a remote that beeps if it leaves the room. Remotes have been found in remote regions of the house – the bathroom, the bedrooms, and the sunroom. If they manage to stay put in the family room, they are under the couch, in the toy box, and stuck between the cushions. Ask any television special agent if they think anyone would be watching any of their shows without the mothering life-skills necessary to recover the remote!
MULTI-PARTY CONFLICT RESOLUTION: How many children do you have? If you have answered anything over 1, you have mastered the art of multi-party conflict resolution. In fact, I am going to list my credentials as having a Masters in MPCR. I have 5 children ranging in age from 29 to 12. I have been known to employ such tactics as:
- The 2 parties shall stand facing each other and hold hands until Mom is satisified that they can get along with each other. This particularly exercise helps to ensure that they will not fight again for a long while. No brothers past the age of 6 ever want to stand and hold hands.
- Another favorite of mine is to send one of the parties outside to play in the snow, rake leaves, etc. It won’t be long before the other child wants to join their sibling, and before long they will forget about the offense that caused the conflict anyway.
- A final tactic that works like a charm is never being their friend. As a mom, you are the enemy. The children will employ the philosophy of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. They will bond with the sibling and torment the mother. That is fine as long as they have resolved their conflict.
TRANSPORTATION LOGISTICS: Does anyone really even need an explanatation of how a mother successfully deploys 3 children to 4 different destinations and also stop at the Post Office, library and grocery store? Mothers have been pros at this for generations. It gets a little more difficult when 1 of the 2 family vehicles has been attacked by a deer crossing the road and is in the shop. Then Mom drops Dad off at work before beginning her day of 20 stops while trying to save time and gas.
We have just touched on a few of the skills of moms. There is also “the bringing in all the grocery bags in one trip”, “the having eyes in the back of your head”, “opening DVD’s, CD’s, and dismantling the impossible toy packaging skills”, and a favorite of mine at Christmas, “buying an equal amount of presents for each child while spending the exact same amount of money.”
Navigating the intense world of mommyhood may not “pay” in a traditional sense, but the huge rewards are worth it – hugs, kisses, and fistfuls of weed bouquets. There are plenty of jobs where people may be saving lives, but mothers everywhere are ruling the world.