Congratulations with a new job: Mother

Some time ago I added my new position to the Linked in profile. Job – Mother, where – at the Family, type of work – Full time. I added a description of the necessary characteristics as well. And I am not kidding. This is the hardest job I’ve ever been doing so far. 

Remember all these postcards on the Mother’s Day about mom being a superwoman, magician and top manager of the family? They are not a crazy fantasy of the postcards makers. I’m sorry, being a mom – is making impossible possible. 

DSC01565I am 27 years old and I am working as a mom for last half a year. Before that I worked as a journalist, yoga teacher, project coordinator, communications and PR officer, intern at the institutions, server and an entrepreneur. Whenever any of my female friends would get a baby and get married I would see them as someone choosing cozy easy going stay at home with the baby instead of a battle field of career struggles.

Ow my, how wrong was I…

I thought, office work, business trips, emails, deadlines, early wake up to get ready for work day, lunch meetings are not easy. But now I know that the true “not easy” is waking up every second hour every night for half a year, breastfeeding for twelve hours a day, not having time to go to the bathroom, take a shower, eat, carrying this god-knows-why-it-is-so-heavy stroller everywhere and especially trying to understand what someone wants, when that someone only screams into your face as loud as he can. 

All that may sound as if I am complaining about the job, that is too hard for me. Maybe. 

The main reason why am I writing all this is to show those moms that I know they are there and I know how damn hard their life is. At the same time, since I had no idea what mothers do, I am sure there are other people who can tell about someone “she is JUST a mother at home” with a sign of contempt on their face. I want these people change their mind.


1. Breastfeeding is the killer of a gender equality

Before I became a mother I believed that man and woman can be equal but now I see the only way for them to be that is where woman has to become a man.

You got a baby, but want to work? No problem. Here is fake milk made from powder which you can stuck into your baby. And here is a daycare where you can leave your baby from when he is 3 months old. You can use pacifier and medicine if he becomes “needy” in the evenings, nights and mornings.

He doesn’t sleep at night and you need to wake up to work? Do “cry it out” technique where you leave him cry in the evenings and at some point he will understand that help will never come, he is abandoned and eventually he will stop crying. Great, huh? 

In the meanwhile you can wear office pants and play political games with other man. 

I am writing this not to criticise mothers who choose to use any of pathways above. I am writing because I feel pain from this choice which every woman has to make. I feel that it is not right when woman needs to leave a child at first year of his life, when he needs her the most in order to earn reputation, money and social appreciation. 

Of course, one can say, mothers are very much appreciated in the society. Where? And When? On a Mother’s day? Is there a good salary for working as a mother anywhere in the world except Scandinavia? Can you save up money to invest in buying an apartment or a car when you are a mom? Is it easy to find a better job than before after being a mom? No. I am sorry, but all these lame things like “motherhood is a great chance to find a new profession” or something from ancient wisdom like “man goes out and fights the war while women fights her war behind the closed doors of a household” don’t work on me anymore.

What if I don’t want to jump into man’s pants and leave my baby to the social care and fake milk industries? And what if at the same time I am very ambitious and I want to be able to invest into buying a house before I get 30 years old? 

Here comes the main thing. If you want to raise your baby naturally meaning breastfeed as long as he wants, sleep, walk and play with him as much as he needs (which is a great investment for his mental health) you need to stay at home for year or more. And even if you have very feminist husband, he can’t breastfeed for you. One of you has to earn the living, so in the end, that would be him. That is why I call breastfeeding – “a killer of the gender equality”. 


2. What does it costs to start working

Since I became a mother, an entire new world opened to me. I look at the working mothers with an open mouth and filled with awe. Simply because I can’t understand how and when shall I start working. 

Milk. A newborn child eats 10-12 hours a day first three months. Do we all understand that it means about 12 hours from total 24 hours per day sitting with a baby on your lap and staring at his face? 

After that he will continue eating 10-12 times every 2-3 hours. Which means, a breastfeeding mother can’t leave him away longer than 2 hours. 

Seriously, no-one told me that in advance. Yes, you can pump some milk out, but since you are not a cow, you won’t pump enough milk to leave your little one for a full working day. No matter how much you pumped you will constantly hear from your scared husband/nanny/babysitter: “IS THAT IT???”

Breast and mama’s smell. My child gives a non-stop tragical cry every evening if I am not there to hold him before he falls asleep for the night. He doesn’t need food, he wants to smell me, to feel the breast, to hear my voice. And nobody else’s. He needs reassurance that during a cold and dark night hours, his buffet, guard and pacifier will be next to him. This is a primal instinct. 

To say in other words – I need to be with my child every evening between 8 and 10 pm. Which means, no private time that I could use for a drink with a friend or for whatever normal people do before going to bed. 

Sleep. As said before, right now I am still waking up every second hour at night, because my son needs to eat or just to be carried around. Every third night, he wakes up at 5 am and doesn’t want to sleep anymore, so I play with him for hours and hours. 

Now. Imagine after this kind of night, I need to drive to work at 7 am. You will see a true zombi at your office. 

All this said, there are still a loads of mothers working and managing all described above. I adore them. 


3. How does the outside world looks like for moms? 

If you ever hesitated to help to mother with a child in any public space – don’t hesitate and ask. Even if she says: “it’s okay” it would only meant that this particular mother doesn’t need your help. All other moms still do. 

Busses. To get the trolley onto that bus. Holly Molly! Sometimes I have to skip one-two busses and wait for 20 minutes on the stop to just manage to get inside. The heigh of the bus is sometimes so significant, that no trolley can “jump in”. I also noticed that in some countries people are more helpful than in the others. Luckily in Brussels, I usually get help. 

All right. Once you got on the bus. You see that those special seats for the wheelchairs and trolleys are, of course, taken. And people sitting on them often give me that kind of look: “you’d better get out from this damn bus cause I am not letting go of that seat so easy”. First when this happened I was very surprised. Where else am I supposed to hang out with that huge stroller? Now I just take passive-aggressive attitude and ask them to leave. The I stare at them until they finally (very slowly) give me space to park.

Once you got on the bus and conquered the parking spot for your trolley you need to survive the drive. Most of the bus drivers in most of the countries do their work like maniacs, so this task is harder than the others. 

I am not mentioning the moment when you need to check in your transport card. For that I need to wait for a perfect moment: bus is not moving and no one is getting in or our. Which is: never. That is why I already rehearsed the speech about the difficulties of the motherhood I am going to give to those ticket controllers. 

Shops. Did you know, there is a special kind of shopping: mama-shopping? That is when you walk by the windows of the shops and try to look inside cause it is too complicated to get inside. Before I became a mother I mostly liked small vintage shops. Right now they are a no-go because of the tiny stairs and the risk that I will break everything inside bringing in the baby on a wheels. So, my wardrobe is unfortunately getting full of H&M and other bad and environmentally unfriendly clothes producers. 

How does the supermarket shopping looks like? You only had time to put bananas and tomatoes into your basket when baby wakes up because he is too hot in the stroller. You undress and take the baby in your arms, somehow pushing the stroller and the basket at the same time as you pick things to buy. Suddenly your phone rings, you pick it up, hold phone in one hand, baby on the shoulder. With the other thing you push the trolley, basket and keep on picking things. Multitasking taken to the next level.

Cafes. All of a sudden I have a loads of requirements to the cafes before I get in. First thing I do – I google the cafe and I make sure they have soft comfortable chairs preferably with arm support which are so comfortable for the breastfeeding. Sofas are the best. 

Once I am next to the cafe, I look through the windows and finally find that best hidden corner where I could seat peacefully, where Leo can play and where the trolley can be parked next to us. Imagine my frustration when I enter a cafe and a server forces me to take another table, cause the one I like is for more than 2 people!

All right. We sat down, I undressed my son, made an order, started breastfeeding. I am quite radical about breastfeeding in public. If you eat here – my son will eat here. When I breastfeed, I don’t try to close or cover anything. At the same time I don’t look at other people. This is the time which me and my son share together and it is sacred. 

After eating, I need to change him. Now. Those changing tables are usually hanged in the toilets. Toilets are usually the nastiest places in public space. Would you want to bring a tiny little creature to the nastiest place? No. Especially if the toilet is in a cold basement where trolley would never get. That is why I like sofas. I just put my jacket all over it, put changing mat, towels and do the thing. My husband always tries to pretend he doesn’t know me when I do the changing in a public space. But what is more important – comfort of the baby or people who would see him naked for 2 minutes?

Mamma’s happy hour. To complete mission impossible with all the busses, finding perfect cafe and get into the supermarket I need to get out of the house in a perfect hour – around 13:30 and come back around 16:00. These are empty hours at the busses, shops and cafes and very often I face the situation when the kitchen is closed. May I give a nice suggestion to those cozy vegan cafes? Can you please create a Mamma’s happy hour when you make late lunches to tired moms who can already be proud of themselves for just getting out from the house? Thank you.

The “angry, tired mom’s list” is much longer. But my hands are busy with feeding, cleaning, cooking, packing, walking, driving. They don’t get so much typing lately. Maybe there will be a second part of this article. Maybe not. Depends on my boss. For now I finish with this beautiful definition of the word “Mother”. Love you wives, mothers and sisters.


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