Pro-Tip: If You Say Being A Mom Is A Hard Job Everyone Will Think You’re Stupid And Make Fun Of You

shutterstock_134968358__1373735902_142.196.156.251Parents magazine recently conducted a poll. One of the questions asked respondents to agree or disagree with this sentence: “There’s no tougher job than being a mom.” 92 percent of the mothers polled agreed with that statement. Any time a mother agrees with a statement like that, she is opening herself up to ridicule.

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There are so many “mom” stereotypes that exist, I really don’t think we could disregard them long enough to look at a survey like this objectively. Anytime you say anything is the “toughest” job you are opening yourself up to disagreement, right? Why is it so much worse when it’s motherhood we’re talking about? I don’t know for sure – but I have a theory.

We haven’t come a long way, baby. That’s my theory. The image of the smiling mother, seamlessly and effortlessly keeping a happy, spotless home is burnt so vividly into our psyches – whether we realize it or not. No one really believes motherhood is a hard job – unless they’ve done it.

Work is a pain in the ass. Who doesn’t like to play hooky? Who doesn’t feel like they’re getting away with something or having some kind of mini-vacation when they’re able to skip out of work for a day and stay in the comfort of home? The thing is, the comfort of home isn’t all that comfortable when you’re the one taking care of it all. It can be a monotonous and tiring progression of tasks and thankless chores. Taking care of kids and a household is hard work – add a full time job to that as well, and it becomes next-to-impossible. But don’t ever admit it if you’re a mom, because this shit-storm will soon come:

It was your decision!

Nobody told you to have kids!

Try answering to the CEO I answer to and then tell me how hard your job is!

Then there will be the requisite references to staying in your pajamas and wine-drinking.

The woman’s movement has given us a voice so we don’t have to suffer in silence any longer, but you wouldn’t know it if you’ve heard the avalanche of insults that come if we actually open our mouths and admit that motherhood is a really fucking hard job.

I’m not saying it’s the hardest job. I don’t have a goddamn clue what the hardest job is. I’ve only been a bartender, a waitress, a photographer, a writer, and editor and a art teacher. It’s definitely the hardest of any of those jobs, in my opinion. Being a sherpa is probably way harder. So is re-tarring highways in the summer in Arizona, I bet.

The point is – don’t ever use a superlative adjective when describing the level of difficulty of your job when you’re a mom. It won’t go over well.

(photo: Angela Waye/ Shutterstock)

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  • whiteroses

    So far- I find motherhood pretty difficult, mostly because since my son became mobile I spend 75 percent of his conscious hours trying to keep him from killing himself, ie. pulling things on his head/crawling toward the Tide Pods/ picking up random things from the floor/examining my knitting needles up close and personal. It’s not like being a rocket scientist, a miner, in the military, or being a doctor, but it’s no cakewalk either.

    I think it depends on each person’s personality, and their kid’s personality. My child is one of the easiest babies you’ll ever meet and always has been- but trying to turn another human being into a productive member of society isn’t easy.

  • Véronique Houde

    I take issue with this. First off, being a mom isn’t a job, it’s life for the people who take that route. I don’t personally think it’s the hardest duty one can take on – taking care of a sick or terminally ill family member takes the cake to that. So does raising a child with a serious disability. I find it insulting to those people for me to claim that being a regular plain old whitebread mom is hard. My best friend has an enormous brain tumour that has caused her paralysis to her entire left side. She has a two year old. Even with medicare, they don’t cover the costs of her chemotherapy and they have 5000$ worth of medication every month to pay. Now she’s in a long-term rehabilitation center after having had a seizure, leaving her with permanent brain damage. Her husband has to work his full-time job, take care of his wife who can’t even take a shower by herself anymore, take care of his daughter, and then find a way to pay for all of the bills that have to be paid. Would he laugh if I told him that I had the hardest job in the world?Categorically, yes.

    • Paul White

      well fuck my life seems better now, and I feel guilty for thinking about some of my problems. I hope his life gets better :(

    • Véronique Houde

      Awww I’m sorry… It’s not my purpose to make anyone feel guilty…. Obviously this is tearing me up inside to see my friend, who was so full of life, having her inner light dimmed down progressively. I guess I needed to get it off my chest, and hearing people say that parenting is tough just irks me in this case.

      To be honest, I don’t think it will get better… But I will keep praying.

    • JLH1986

      I am so sorry for everyone involved. It must be hard to have to watch that. I’m sending healing thoughts to her (and you).

  • simpleton

    Can we at least add the qualifier “good” as in “being a GOOD parent is hard work”. Because though I am constantly impressed by the great parents I know, it appears that being a sh*tty parent is pretty easy, and simply pushing a child out of your whatnot does not qualify you for sainthood.

    • Cee

      Being good at anything takes hard work, time and dedication.

  • Cee

    I think parenting is hard, after all, you are raising a human. But, its quite irritating to hear that parenting is the hardest thing ever and reading the constant essays about how it is just the hardest. There is no other person that holds a job that devotes their time to writing about how hard their job is as much as parents…to certain extent mothers. It is irritating because it devalues anybody’s struggle with their lives. Just look at STFUParents, apparently you know nothing if you didn’t spout a human from your vagina.

    Like I said, being a parent is hard, but you know what? Life is hard. A lot of choices that people make that they feel will fulfill their lives such as parenting, getting married, or having a career can be hard. If you personally feel that parenting is hard, well good. You are honest, but don’t get sanctimonious and rub it on everyone’s faces as if their choices are somehow less productive or daunting than yours. That is where you lose the potential support you can get from the community.

    • Laura Nelson

      Life IS hard…but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. That’s one of my favorite quotes a la Momastery.

  • EmmaFromÉire

    I appreciate being a mom is hard. It’s a really fucking TOUGH thing to do, raising other human beings and making sure they son’t screw up their lives. I’m not denying it’s a hard job- my issue is when sanctimommies belittle your job. I’m not going through this much schooling for some bitch to tell me that ebola is great and all but that’s NOTHING compared to what little timmy did last week.

    It’s a dodgy area to be in, this conversation, because it can cause bad arguments, and people can get so angry and upset. I suppose the moral of this comment is try not be an asshole to other people and they’ll appreciate what you do.

    • Cee

      Exactly! As someone that works in education, I appreciate parents. Dedicated parents that give a crap about their kid makes every educator, and to an extent the society that deals with your child, lives much easier. And, that came at a great expense of a parent or any other child care provider. But, no one is going to give you credit if you keep being an asshole and say shit like “I just created life, what did you do today?”

      Like I said, there is no other community or job that is as sanctimonious as parenting. When do you hear a doctor, teacher, social worker, police officer, fire fighter say shit like that? Where are the blogs of doctors talking about saving someone’s life? or the police officer saying they just stopped an armed robery? Be humble, contribute to the world and stop saying your job is the hardest.

  • jendra_berri

    I think what makes motherhood hard is the unending nature of it. I’m not a baby person. I love my baby, but I long for his childhood to arrive so I can properly enjoy him. I think also the fact that my talents do not lie in this area, so it’s a daily challenge to wear this motherhood hat. He’s going into daycare when he’s 11 months, and I can’t help but happily think that he’ll spent the bulk of his running around and getting into things hours at a separate location from me.
    Being an engineer, for example, is certainly harder than being a parent in that most in the population can’t do it, whereas the vast bulk can become a parent. I couldn’t be an engineer.
    Though, in a different sense of the word “hard”, I find it hard not being intellectually stimulated all day. I find it hard talking to someone who doesn’t talk back. It’s difficult for me emotionally. It drains my energy like nothing else has and there’s no quitting and I can’t choose my own breaks or know how long they’ll last. Getting out of the house has become a feat due to various logistics of where I live.
    Is it air traffic control? Pfft. No. But hard comes in many flavours.

    • sarahbregel

      yes, totally. agree.

  • Life-Sized Mommy

    I think my main annoyance is when a SAHM is complaining about how “hard” their “job” is because they have to run errands, cook dinner, chauffeur kids around, clean the house, etc.

    Yeah, I have to do all that on top of working my 40 hours a week. Do they think WOHMs just don’t clean their houses, feed their kids, or drive to doctors’ appointments?

    • sarahbregel

      i think whats hardest about being a stay at home mom/work at home mom is that when you do anything without a break from it, it becomes even more trying. i love my daughter so much, but when i am gone for even an hour or two to teach a class, im like OMG im sane again. the hardest part for me about being with my daughter all the time is its ALLLLL THE TIME. i wouldn’t say the “work” of being with her is harder. it’s just that when there is no break, anything becomes more difficult.

    • Justme

      But in fairness to the SAHM, I think there’s a different kind of “hard” that comes along with that lifestyle as well. It can be isolating, emotionally exhausting, incredibly frustrating, lonely and mind-numbingly boring…all things that could make some days of being a SAHM very hard.

      Neither side of the fence is greener than the other and each will have its fair share of piles of shit. You just have to figure out with pile of shit you’re willing to deal with on a daily basis.

    • Paul White

      I’m neither a mom, nor a stay at home parent, but yeah. I cnas imagine that. And it’d suck.

    • Justme

      Since I’m a teacher I kind of get to experience both worlds. Working and running a home can get hard, as can staying at home and playing tea party for hours on end.

    • MoD

      I see both ends of this. I’m working 40+ hours a week after being home with my baby for four months. I was going crazy – well, actually, going boring – when I was home with home. I so much prefer working. But, yeah, it’s way harder to have a job and also be a mom as opposed to staying home. But I like the working mom gig way more because I didn’t like being home all the time. So being a stay at home mom was hard for me because I’m just not meant to be a stay at home mom. I’m meant to be a working mom, even though it’s harder to juggle my time and get enough sleep and keep my house in order, etc., etc., because I’m happier.

    • Courtney Lynn

      I just recently became a SAHM after working part-time as a mom for a year. I’ve got it made now! I’m happy to be free of the work force and focus on my family! It’s MUCH easier. Being a mom is NOT hard. It’s stressful sometimes, but so is anything else.

    • allisonjayne

      THIS. It irks me to no end. I totally respect SAHMs and SAHDs. But seriously, my year of maternity leave was probably the best year of my life. It felt like the longest most amazing vacation ever.

  • MeLuRe

    Being a parent isn’t hard or a job…it is a stage in the human life cycle. Sure, it is stressful at times. Parenting (hopefully) makes a person more aware of some of the choices they make or have made in the past. I read once that in society the importance people (mothers or fathers) put on their “work” as parents is directly related to how much money it costs to have and raise children. I think parents (more often than not, mothers) need to talk about their time with their young children as a “job” to justify their place in society to themselves and the amount of resources (emotional, financial, what have you..) that are used up while parenting children from birth to 18. It is exhausting…but it is life and we have been doing it since we have been on this Earth. No one ever hears mice complaining about how hard it is to raise like 30 babies.

    • Véronique Houde

      I love you for this.

  • curiositykeeper

    The reason the job of motherhood is hard is because it is so damn boring. Cooking, cleaning, driving around doing errands, and generally being treated like a servant is boring. Being a cruise director for someone who doesn’t want to eat anything new, do anything different, and wants to watch the most obnoxious things on television – usually over and over – is boring. Having to have the same arguments repeatedly about routine things (yes, you have to brush your teeth again tonight), is boring. Boring, boring, boring.

    • SusannahJoy

      This is why I can’t wait for my son to be older. I mean, it’s nice to always be caught up on mommyish, but honestly… I’d rather be too busy going out and doing stuff. I want to teach my kid about how cool lizards are and go to the beach and climb the mountain behind our house, and he’s just too young for all that. So we sit in the grass and he stares intently at the tree and I check mommyish and wonder when he’ll start talking and walking and being more interesting!

  • Lou

    Parenting can be hard, but it’s not a job, it’s life. It’s the only aspect of life that people seem to want to turn into a job for goodness knows what reason.
    I find it strange, my girls aren’t a job, a job is something you do for pay in order to make a living, my girls are my family. Sometimes family can be difficult, and our roles in our families can be challenging, but family is not a job. I think it’s almost insulting to your children to call them your job.

    • Muggle

      You summed up a lot of things I’ve been thinking. Bravo, Lou.

  • Paul White

    My son isn’t a job; he’s more like a chore, but a mostly-fun but sometimes frustrating one. There’s no financial remuneration involved after all…

  • Alicia Kiner

    Being a mom IS hard. we’re responsible for shaping the next generation of people. It should be hard. It’s also, fun, funny, gross, sad, amazing, depressing. It’s everything all rolled into one. But like other posters have said, it’s not the hardest thing ever. But what people might be saying is it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done. There’s a lot of pressure out there to be the perfect parent. Plus there’s the kids on 16 & Pregnant, the Steubenville case, Facebook, Twitter, and all the BS wrapped in those. Yes, being a parent is hard. But as other people have pointed out, anything worth doing well, takes work. And parenting is worth doing well.

    • Faye

      “But what people might be saying is it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done.” You have hit the nail on the head. No one can take away from the difficulty of someone’s experience, nor should they try. I think that’s where the contention of the argument comes through, when people begin to compare.

  • Amber

    I admit that I roll my eyes when someone says being a mother is the hardest job ever.

    I roll my eyes at most people who make that claim about their jobs though. It’s a weird thing to announce to other people and I don’t know why anybody would ever say it unless they were attempting to invalidate someone else’s difficulties which is just rude and arrogant.

  • DMH

    It irks me when a SAHM complains about how hard it is. Honestly, I wish I could be a SAHM. My husband wishes he could be a SAHD. Will either happen? I don’t know. All I know is I work days as an Army recruiter, which is stressful enough as it is, and my husband works 3rd shift at a job that treats him like shit. Add taking care of our 1 year old son to it, managing a home, et cetera, and I’m in no mood to hear how hard it is having all day to take care of your child and cook dinner. My husband and I don’t go out together anymore. In fact, there are some days where I only see him in the morning between him coming home and me leaving, then me coming home to him sleeping then leaving for work. Lol, and forget weekends. Those are just days to recover from sleep loss and me doing public events to gain leads for my job to survive. Don’t come to me and say how hard it is being a SAHM. At least you have a freaking social/family life.

    Well… There I am, bitching…

    • Paul White

      I sympathize. I know that being a SAH Parent has its own challenges, but I see my wife one and a half days a week right now…I get off, I go pick up the son from day care and take care of him all night, wife gets home around 11pm (god willing I’m asleep by then).

    • Yves

      I agree! I don’t get it. To me, staying home would be a luxury. And then I think that some people actually COMPLAIN about NOT having to work!? Lol they can come take my my job. It blows my mind. If I didn’t work, we’d be in a homeless shelter because my husband doesn’t make enough money to pay for everything. They should be thankful that someone (i assume their SO) is able to financially support them – most people have to work to live!

  • SDA

    Being a parent is hard. It is one of the hardest things ever because you love this little person so much it freakin’ drives you crazy so you are constantly under stress on if you are doing it right or not! However, it is NOT a job. It absolutely drives me crazy when it is referred to as such. I like what someone wrote below…it is a path in life, not a job.

  • NYCNanny

    If being a mom is the hardest job, why are so many nannies paid and treated like crap?
    (Not I…!)

  • That_Darn_Kat

    For me, being a mom, especially a SAHM with a son on the Spectrum, is the hardest thing I’m doing right now. It’s also the hardest thing I’ve done so far. I will be starting school full time in a month to begin getting my nursing degree, and I have a feeling that just might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, at that point.

    I know there are plenty of “jobs” that are much harder than parenting. I know some parents have it much harder than I do. I would never say that being a mom is the “hardest job ever”, because that’s just rude and disrespectful, but it is hard. Should I get slammed by people saying I have such an easy life because I’m a SAHM? No, I think that’s incredibly rude, too.

    While I did choose to have children, I did not choose to be a SAHM for this long. If I had my way, I’d have a job. Unfortunately, my son can’t be in daycare, because when he has meltdowns, he gets physically aggressive.

    As JustMe said “Neither side of the fence is greener than the other and each will have its fair share of piles of shit. You just have to figure out with pile of shit you’re willing to deal with on a daily basis.”

  • Sophie

    I have worked as an RN and as a SAHM. I’m sorry, but having to work all day as a nurse, was harder than taking care of my kids and house, with no outside job. I still do all that regardless of having a paid job or not – that’s just called LIFE. Maybe I’m an oddball, and other moms hate me, but you can’t really compare being a mom (a relationship role) with working an actual job.

  • Sandy

    Isnt that poll just saying that no people dont think its the toughest job in the world? It doesnt go into anything than that. It doesnt say that being a mom is easy. It doesnt say that its a dance in the mist with unicorns. Just that its not the toughest there is.

    Personally; its not a job. Its a life choice to be a SAHM. To be a mom is hard and wonderfull and demanding but its not a job. You dont take an education, get any training or anything else. You dont get paid, you cant climb the latter, you dont get hired. You cant get fired.

  • Sandy

    Isnt that poll just saying that no people dont think its the toughest job in the world? It doesnt go into anything than that. It doesnt say that being a mom is easy. It doesnt say that its a dance in the mist with unicorns. Just that its not the toughest there is.

    Personally; its not a job. Its a life choice to be a SAHM. To be a mom is hard and wonderfull and demanding but its not a job. You dont take an education, get any training or anything else. You dont get paid, you cant climb the latter, you dont get hired. You cant get fired.

  • harold lloyd

    being a parent is a pain in the ass, and if it’s not, then you aren’t doing it right.

  • harold lloyd

    being a parent is a pain in the ass, and if it’s not, then you aren’t doing it right.

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