Moms and dads, do you know how amazing you are? And talented? There is no other job like yours, where you have to do – and be—so many different people/jobs. I spend a good deal of time while coaching helping to reaffirm what should be obvious to most parents, but we tend to be an under-appreciate group on the whole, and this can color how we view ourselves and our abilities. You think you’re ‘just’ a mom or dad? Let me tell you what else you’ve accomplished today.
Conductor – Not in the train sense. You have to get all people and required items to points B, C, and D, and everyone has to have been fed/watered/pottied. Unless you want to make repeat trips, you need all items (i.e. permission slips, sports equipment, lunch bags and snacks, homework, etc) included in one go. Tickets may not be required but you also need to ensure people are in their proper seats, and seat belts fastened before the ride and begin to move. All arms and feet must remain inside the vehicle at all times. No purchase necessary to participate.
Manager/CEO – This goes hand in hand with job #1. You are in charge. You need to have a good working concept of what all members of your organization are doing at all times, and what the general goals for accomplishments might be. You don’t need to know every little nitty-gritty detail but a thorough summary is important. In order for all parts to mesh well, holding a general meeting on a regular basis is important.
Referee – Teams need to focus on unity, esprit de corps, and everyone playing their part in order to get to the goal. Everyone gets their time on the field; it’s important to remind eldest/strongest/pushiest/most opinionated that they are not the sole members of the team. Not all of your team players will be able to keep their hands and/or feet to themselves. Unsportsmanlike conduct reflects poorly on the players as well as the coach. So good luck with that.
Chauffer – If it has a driver’s seat, you can drive it. This goes hand-in-hand with Navigator (see below). The amount of time logged wearing this hat will be inconceivable, and increases exponentially when more offspring are added and alsoas they age.
Life Coach -- You can put a positive spin on any situation. You can help various ages and both genders through life crisis after memorable moment after big celebration. Your people come to you for help with money issues, stress-related problems and relationship situations. You know can help a person see the light in any situation big and small.
Chef/Nutritionist – If you cook it, they will come. Only you know just the right way to grill that cheese sandwich. Only your boiled eggs will be the proper hardness. Only you know how to arrange the broccoli just so. You are THE kitchen guru.
Craft Specialist – You know how it goes. It’s raining/snowing/sleeting/(enter unpleasant weather phenomena here). Here is comes, wait for it. ‘Mom, I’m bored.’ And that is your cue. What can you come up with today that has never been done before (in your house) that will keep little bodies and minds occupied for the next couple of hours?
Nurse – Band-aids fix many many problems. Sometimes, though, a cut/bang/owie is bigger than a band-aid so triage skills are a must. Knowing the fastest route to a good ER with proper pediatric care is a well-honed skill. Even better? Knowing when it is necessary to use said route. Ability to assess and treat even medium-level owies is a good thing; knowing limitations of skills is a must.
Navigator – your GPS is your friend. Most of the time. You will need to use the spare 45 minutes you have to run 4 errands, so configure your list, get your seat belt on and go go go. ‘Recalculating’ is not a bad word; your GPS doesn’t know about that short-cut through neighborhood X that can shave off 4 lights from your route.
Mind reader -- Deciphering toddler-ese is your speciality. You can decode any sentence, regardless of the age of the speaker. May it be the grunts of your beloved requesting the next chilled beverage, or the wild gesturing and manically-uttered gibberish your youngest is currently using as a form of request; you get it all.
Event planner – That playdate, birthday party, or child’s barmitzvah won’t just happen. They need to be PLANNED, people, and you are the one to do it. Food, drinks, the dreaded good bags, party games, … it’s time to start googling ‘games with the theme of (fill in the blank here)’ and get to it.
Look at all of these things you do. Every day. See? You really are just amazing.