Position available: Full-time carer and nurturer for four children, must be able to multi-task between caring for young baby, creating arts and crafts from nothing for a five year old and take attitude from teenagers whilst making their favourite dinners. Must ensure that the home is run efficiently and that there is sufficient attention given to all occupants. Must make efforts for all children to recognise if not realise their full potential and introduce and encourage all opportunities. This is a 24hour, 7 day a week role, and the basic contract is for 18 years, with an optional 3–7 year term available.
Salary: None. However, there is a limited budget available which applicant will have to make stretch to cover grocery shopping, doctors bills, petrol, swimming, tin whistle, gymnastic, keyboard and Irish dancing lessons, also, haircuts, clothes, shoes, dentist, phone credit and maths grinds. Must make provisions during the years for Christmas splurge and extra over can be spent on coffee/wine, as required, within reason.
Notes: Your toughest critic will be yourself and other mothers. If you can maintain a sunny outlook, a good figure and hold down a 40 hour week job to run concurrently with your domestic responsibilities, your application will be viewed as favourable.
This is roughly how the role of motherhood would read if it were advertised and if it was presented to us like this, how many would apply?
Historically mothers were seen solely as child-bearing, homemakers. Mother first, woman second. But times have changed, so too has the role of the mother, while the standard duties apply, the whole child rearing and homemaking is more shared with the father (more shared not entirely shared). Women can maintain their careers and enjoy motherhood and not (entirely) lose sight of their sense of selves. Motherhood became just a string to the bow, not the whole bow so to speak. Many Irish mothers living in Doha will mention that being able to stay at home when children are young is the biggest benefit of emigration because being able to afford any quality of life in Ireland for a young family is just not viable. Incidentally many others say that have the opportunity to further their careers in Doha, because of being able to hire a nanny to look after the children is the biggest advantage to emigration.
Either way it seems that life in Doha is made for the childrearing and home or abroad it’s largely agreed that mothers are in a better position today than they were 50 years ago.
But just when things were getting easier, we started to add on layer after layer of pressure. Who’s ‘we’? Women. No sooner were formula fed babies proven not to self-combust by the time they reached the age of one than we started slating formula. Preaching about the benefits of breast feeding and pressurising those who made that choice to keep their breasts for recreational use only. We all know that by the time the child reaches the age of three, the words, ‘finish your nuggets and leave the chips’ are spoken by just about every mother out there.
Disposable nappies arrived and they were lifesavers for thousands of mothers across Ireland, everything was peachy until once again—yes, some bright spark decided to get down and dirty with the disposables, pontificating about the environment etc., and would be believe we’re being encouraged to go back washing terry cloth nappies again, not a mention of the effect that washing 10 nappies a day would have a French manicure.
And then the holy grail of childcare arrived, it was mobile, it was educational and it kept kids captive for as long as it took to have lunch out in comfort. The iPad. Mothers were made up. But still there are moaners, ‘The iPad isn’t organic enough, children need to learn to occupy themselves’. Honestly, what 2 year old child is going to play with wooden blocks when there’s YouTube?
It’s about time we stopped being hard on each other and ourselves, because even with every modern convenience, motherhood is the toughest job around so I hope you enjoyed your Mother’s Day lunch on Sunday and I hope you brought the iPad!