We all know the saying: Parenting is a full-time job.

And it’s true.

Parenting takes up time. It never stops and you are always on-duty. We parent long hours, 7 days a week. We are overwhelmed and mentally and physically exhausted. Our lives take a back seat and our health suffers. Yet every day we wake up and try to do our best.

Why? Because we’re suckers, that’s why.

We let these tiny humans walk all over our lives – and we believe they are the best things that have ever happened to us.  Master manipulators, I tell you.

But no more!

Let us treat parenting as a full-time job – and get the benefits we deserve.

How parenting is a full-time job

Think about it.

You work long hours

Generally, your working hours are the same every day. But sometimes you have to work long hours, odd hours or overtime. Sometimes you get stuck with the night shift. You might be woken up regularly throughout the night because your child is scared of their dreams. Your baby can be ready to jol at 4 in the morning (which means you get to too), but then sneakily goes for a nap at 8 when you need to actually do life.

Your KPIs keep changing

Most of the time you are tasked with the expected, like feeding the kids, making them look presentable to the outside world, and making sure they don’t kill themselves. But other times you’ll find yourself doing something that was most certainly not in the job description. Cleaning up your child’s vomit from your own hair. Shoving a suppository up your screaming child’s bum. Defending your name when your child drops the f-bomb at school.

You’re probably overqualified and underpaid

The majority of parents are well-educated. They have Master’s degree or even PhDs. They might be teachers or scientists or rock stars. And yet we are paid nothing for this work we do. We are literally bringing up our future presidents and Olympic athletes and MasterChefs, but nobody wants to give us a cent to help us do it. Instead, we get paid in hugs, kisses and I-love-you’s and we’re supposed to be happy with that.

Sick days are discouraged

Your employers and colleagues don’t care if you have the sniffles. They are not interested in your headache or stomach bug or period pains. They expect you to turn up for work the same way you do every day, come rain or shine or Covid.

Your food is not safe

No matter if you hide your BLT behind the lettuce, or put your leftover pizza in a Tupperware with your name on it, someone will eat it. You can’t even make yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit without someone asking for a bite. Your food is never safe.

No more, I say. Let’s rise up and treat parenting like the full-time job it is. Let us take back the benefits of our jobs.

How, you ask?

  • Dont’ forget your lunch break! That hour is in your contract for a reason. Take a break away from the dirty dishes and the fighting children.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential for optimal performance in the office. Nobody likes a tired, grumpy colleague. And let’s be honest, no amount of coffee can make you feel better about parenting when you’re exhausted.
  • Take those sick days! If you’re unwell, take the day off and rest. Nobody in the office wants you coughing all over their keyboards. Stay away from your colleagues until you are fit for human consumption again.
  • Annual leave? Yes, please! Okay, so this one might be a bit tricky but if you can swing it, take a few days off and get away from the circus.
  • All work and no play makes Karen a Karen. Don’t be that person that lives and breathes their job. You need to have interests outside work. What do you love doing that doesn’t involve your kids? Do that, regularly.

So, yes, parenting is a full-time job. Make sure you treat it like one, or you might want to resign.