This new video is going around called “People Interview for the ‘World’s Toughest Job.'”
Everyone’s been sharing it like crazy and raving about it when they do.
I think it’s bullshit.
We don’t have to make motherhood out to be the winner of every hypothetical pissing match for it to be valuable. Oh your job is long hours? Well mothers NEVER take a break. Oh you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night? Oh well mothers NEVER sleep ANY DAY and that’s ALL THE TIME.
It’s not necessary to make motherhood important, and it’s simply not true.
In this fake ad posted for “the world’s toughest job” — surprise! it’s motherhood (did I really need to watch the video to know that was the punchline?) — the applicants are told that they will be required to work pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week and that they won’t get any breaks and won’t be paid.
They are told that they will work at least 135 hours a week but that the hours are pretty much unlimited. OK, let’s break that down: 135 hours a week is a little over 19 hours a day. That means that you have about five hours to sleep each night, not to mention having absolutely zero time to do anything for yourself like shower or read a book or see friends.
That’s bullshit. If you slept five hours or less per night for years, you would die. Or at least become extremely ill. It’s not a sustainable way to live. Beyond the newborn time and those times when your child is ill, you are going to sleep a lot more than five hours a day. Maybe it won’t come in one big chunk, but you’ll get it. As sleep deprived as I am trying to take care of a child and work full time from home, I still sneak in naps and get about 6 hours a night. Also, somehow I manage to do things like go to dinner with friends or watch the new Game of Thrones. (Seriously, when the fuck is winter going to get here?)
You do not have to “give up your outside life.” You do not have to exert constant effort or be “standing up most or all of the time.” I hate to tell you how many hours a day I spend sitting down while my daughter watches videos, or runs from room to room grabbing things and bringing them me, or sits next to me coloring or “making” things. And she hasn’t even started school yet — when I will be free to sit on my ass for a glorious six hours a day if I feel like it.
You can only have your lunch after the “associate” has finished eating? Uh, no. I make Quinn lunch, put it in front of her, then eat what I’m going to eat. Sometimes she eats, and sometimes she barely gives her plate a glance before she jumps down to run off and do something else. I don’t fight her over food. I eat mine and move on. When she’s hungry, she’ll eat.
The most laughable part of this ad was where they say the candidate — the mother — needs to have a degree in medicine, finance and the culinary arts.
Let’s skip over how insulting it is to medical professionals who spent 12 years getting their education and training to compare what they do to a mother who Googles everything from fever to bee stings. In no context is a mother just like a doctor or her understanding of common illnesses in any way comparable to advanced medical training.
A degree in finance? I hate to count how many mothers I’ve known who are so fucking terrible with money that they couldn’t keep the lights turned on (my own mother among them).
Culinary arts?? I don’t know any women who are whipping up gourmet meals for their toddlers, so unless Kraft mac n’ cheese counts as “culinary arts,” then this is total bullshit.
Yeah, yeah, I get it: They’re being hyperbolic to make a point. Motherhood is hard, y’all!
The point is that we don’t need to make motherhood seem like the worst thing ever to show how important it is. It can be hard and it can be meaningful without being the worst. You can have time to sit down and still feel like it takes everything you have to get through the day. You can get a full night’s rest and still feel you’re exhausted.
We don’t have to break down the role of motherhood into quantifiable parts in order to measure the quality of what we do. You are molding a human being, for Chrissake. Isn’t that enough?