I worked in recruitment in various guises for several years. I always found that the more honest a company was with their job advert, the more successful they would be in finding the ideal candidate.
And yet, for the toughest and most important job in the world, you never hear the truth before applying.
Job description part 1 – Pregnancy:
- Responsibilities: Grow a small person inside you for nine months whilst taking plenty of rest.
- Uniform: Immaculate maternity clothing.
- Appearance: Blooming.
- Hair: Thick and healthy.
- Size: increasing steadily for nine months.
- Drawbacks: You may feel slightly nauseous first thing in the morning for a few weeks.
- Responsibilities: Grow an unexpectedly large person inside you for near enough ten months whilst getting virtually no sleep.
- Uniform: Ridiculous trousers with an elasticated waistband that fall down constantly. Enormous tops that still look too small. Dresses that resemble four-man tents.
- Appearance: Overweight with enormous bags under the eyes and hideously swollen ankles.
- Hair: Unkempt, you are too exhausted to brush it.
- Size: Weeks 1 – 20 increasingly lardy looking. Weeks 20 – 38 increase rapidly from lardy to obese. Weeks 38 plus – enormous. Can block out sunlight just by standing up.
- Drawbacks: You will probably be physically sick all day, every day for the duration of your pregnancy.
Job description part 2: Birth
- Contractions: Will start naturally some time around your due date. Will increase in intensity steadily in a manageable way in the lead up to birth.
- Giving birth: Will occur in water in a relaxed manner. Pain will be controlled using water alone.
- Umbilical cord: Will be cut easily by your partner who is fresh as a daisy after the short, peaceful birth.
- Placenta: Will be delivered naturally with minimal pain.
- Post birth: Your clean, pink baby will be wrapped up in a beautiful gown and handed to you to immediately latch on and start breastfeeding.
- Contractions won’t start. Two weeks after your due date, you will be induced. Four days later contractions will hit you like a train and have you screaming blue murder for an epidural.
- Giving birth: Baby will eventually emerge sideways, ripping you a new arsehole in the process. Even with an epidural, there will be no controlling the level of pain you are in.
- Umbilical cord: Will be cut by a midwife whilst your partner is picked up off the floor having fainted at the sight of all the blood and sh*t that came out of you along with the baby.
- Placenta: Won’t come out despite being given an injection to try to eject it. Will be physically removed by a hairy male doctor sticking his hand up your chuff.
- Post birth: Your blue baby, covered in blood and poo will be unceremoniously dumped onto your chest. Here begins the painful and lengthy process of trying to get said baby to latch.
Job description part 3: Mother to a newborn
- Recovery: You will recover quickly from the birth, regain your figure and continue with your former life with your new addition fitting seamlessly into your little family.
- Breastfeeding: The most natural thing in the world. This will be learnt easily and will help with immediate weight loss.
- Instructions: Not needed, people have been fulfilling this role since the dawn of time, you’ll take to it like a duck to water.
- Drawbacks: You may be woken up once or twice in the night early on. This will soon pass.
- Recovery: You will never recover. You will not regain your figure or get rid of cellulite and stretch marks. Life as you once knew it will never be the same again.
- Breastfeeding: Agony. There will be blood (yours), tears (yours) and tantrums (yours).
- Instructions: You will buy at least eight parenting books and read them cover to cover before realising that your baby hasn’t read them.
- Drawbacks: You will never have a full night’s sleep again.
Job description part 4: The growing child
- Baby: Will soon start to sleep through the night. Will easily learn to crawl, walk and talk in accordance with all written milestones.
- Toddler: Will socialise with other children and learn to count, read and write. Will be naturally polite and pleasant to all and sundry.
- School child: Will skip off to school each day where they excel at every subject. In their spare time they will be a musical prodigy and a successful athlete.
- Teenager: Will work hard to achieve top grades in all exams. Most spare time will be used for revision but there will be a little put aside for winning Commonwealth sporting medals and performing solo piano concertos.
- Adult: Will attend university, leave with a first and snag a dream job. They will then keep you in the manner to which you have become accustomed.
- Baby: Will not sleep through the night until you have another baby to take over the role of keeping you awake. Will learn everything at their own pace. This will look nothing like the development charts being waved under your nose by professionals.
- Toddler: Will throw a tantrum that will last for two years. Will pause only to eat, drink and behave immaculately for other people.
- School child: Will refuse to get out of bed in time for school every day for their entire school life. Will hate all subjects except for one, in which they will excel. Will decline to take any exams in that subject and give up studying it at age 14.
- Teenager: Will throw a tantrum that will last for six years. Will pause only to eat, drink alcohol and grunt.
- Adult: Will live with you until the age of at least 40. Will never earn enough for you to retire and stop subsidising their lifestyle.
Job description part 5: Your colleagues and remuneration:
- Colleagues: Other mums. They will be supportive, helpful and become lifelong friends.
- Remuneration: Your partner will earn enough for you to give up work and look after your children. Remuneration will not be required.
- Retirement: You and your partner will both retire early and move to the South of France.
- Colleagues: Other mums. They will be competitive, critical and become sworn enemies. You will become a recluse.
- Remuneration: None. You must be awake for at least 20 hours a day until the age of 70 to earn enough money from menial jobs to feed yourself and your family.
- Retirement: You will never be able to afford to retire. You’ll probably have to serve the drinks at your own funeral.