Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Worst and the Best Job in the World

I have been thinking about how motherhood is simultaneously the best and the worst job in the world. Here’s why:

The Worst Job in the World?
  1. To start with, the job is completely unpaid. It is harder than any office job that I can think of and yet it comes with zero monetary benefits. In fact, if you want to take this job up full time, you actually need to give up monetary rewards altogether.
  2. Talk about jobs with irregular hours, this one sure does take the cake. Especially in the earlier months, you can simply forget about having any kind of regular sleeping hours. The job description also includes being prepared for night shifts without any compensating time off on the next day.
  3. We join our careers after some degree of professional training (e.g. MBA school), which is then supplemented by on-the-job training at work. All these combine to equip us with a fair degree of skills and confidence to handle our jobs. Not so with motherhood - you are simply thrown into the deep end of the pool without the benefit of swimming lessons. And you have to figure out your own way to survive.
  4. There are no vacations. There is no sick leave. Last week, I was down with a case of the flu. I didn’t go to office that day but I still had to go through Ayaan’s bedtime ritual and also wake up at a pretty odd hour in the morning to nurse him.
  5. The job also comes with stress levels much higher than your average corporate job. To add to the tough hours without leave, there is the constant worry and guilt – not a very relaxing cocktail.

The Best Job in the World?

  1. How can you even begin to compare the banality of walking into office everyday to be greeted by your boss and colleagues with a perfunctory hello to the smile that lights up your son’s face the minute you walk in the door? That very instant makes everything else seem worth the while and more.
  2. Sure there is no salary every month or a bonus at the end of the year. But how can you ever compare monetary rewards to a hug from your child or a smile when you least expect it or the way he puts his open mouth on your cheek (replete with spit) in his first attempts at a kiss.
  3. Here is one job where you are truly indispensable. You simply cannot be replaced. You are the mother and no one else can ever be.
  4. And what other job gives you the opportunity to create a human life and nurture your child into a person? What other job empowers you with the task of developing this little bundle of joy into an intelligent and caring adult?

In the final analysis, there is no doubt in my mind. Motherhood is the best job in the world. The rewards outweigh the responsibilties manifold...


  1. बिलकुल सही कहा आपने

  2. Honestly, and beautifully expressed!!

  3. Now you know how much I enjoyed bringing you both up. Still enjoy my aysk inspite of being called a NAG!!! Yes, this is the best experience for both of you.