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May 10 2011

Motherhood. The Hardest Job in the World, Really?

By at 2:19 pm


Ah, Mother’s Day. Personally, I celebrated by making brunch for 20 people. There’s a little bit of irony in there, plus a healthy dose of martyr complex, but irony, martyrdom and motherhood go hand in hand in hand, do they not? But really, my job is not so tough. Just ask Bill Burr, comedian in this video, where he disputes Oprah Winfrey’s characterization of motherhood as “the most difficult job on the planet.”

Burr says it’s a load of crap: after all, ever hear of anyone who contracted black lung or feared for their lives because of being a mother? “Women are just constantly patting themselves on the back about how difficult their lives are, and no one corrects them , because they want to f*ck them.” If you’re offended by that, just a warning, don’t watch the clip.

Personally? I thought Burr was hilarious.  “Thirty-five years old playing hide and go seek? You’re living the dream! No time card, no taxes – you’re off the f*cking grid!”

Okay, so the guy has a somewhat skewed view of motherhood in which motherhood equals staying at home without any other form of employment, living a life of bliss in which in between bon-bon eating, there’s popsicle-stick-hut building and DVD-watching. But that’s cool. I get the concept of poetic license…even though I’d venture that most women are doing something, whether on a volunteer or paid basis, beyond “just” parenting.

I’ll also take a second here to point out that this guy doesn’t have such a hard job either. This man stands up and tells jokes for a living. He does so in places that give him a microphone, people who will pay to listen to him, and free alcohol.  Dude, I can do that and skip out on a rough night of pipe cleaners and Madagascar Two. Say the word, babe.

Look–obviously, there are jobs that are more difficult than being a mother. Working in a coal mine, finding Osama bin Laden, giving pap smears to rats in a lab, or working as a cafeteria worker at a fat camp, to varying degrees, all leap to mind. I will point out, though, that in contrast to motherhood, with these jobs, you can actually go home at the end of the day. Moms have no time card, but also no salary, and you never leave the office.

But the fact is, if that bizarre combination of biological timing, wanting to have kids and being able to afford them come together for you? Well, then you really are living the dream, no matter what your economic circumstances. And next time I get pissed off or annoyed at my little live-in co-workers, I’ll try to remember that.

And sure, it could be the easiest job in the world to be a mother if you spend your days putting together trumped-up charges to send the kids to bed so you can have a glass of wine and watch TV. A much more difficult job is actually being a good, or even great, mom. The salary and bonus from that job are utterly intangible–and completely worth it. Now if only it came with health insurance.


Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on Kveller are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy

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