A mother#039;s job description offers insight into life

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 12, 2003

Tribune editorial staff

Isn't it strange how rarely we stop and show our thanks and gratitude for the things we hold so dear?

It's a practice I've always thought was odd.

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Think about it.

We celebrate the birth of Christ once a year at Christmas. We celebrate America's independence once a year on the Fourth of July. And, once a year, we say "thanks" to one of the most important people in our lives - our mothers.

How in the world do we expect to adequately thank them for all that they have done for us with a mere one day of honor?

Being a mother is among the toughest jobs in the world. Imagine writing a job description for all the things they do.

Well, at least one mother tried to write such a description, Milena Christopher from Illinois. Her description, posted on a Web site, sums up the complexity of modern motherhood (edited for brevity):


Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy

Job Description:

Long term, team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.

Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

Possibility for Advancement & Promotion:

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

Previous Experience:

None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

Wages and Compensation:

Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Ms. Christopher's description is an apt one that speaks volumes about what mothers do each and every day. So on this Mother's Day, remember the long, often difficult job your mother does and tell her "thanks."

Thanks, Mom. I love you.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 ext. 12 or by e-mail to kevin.cooper@irontontribune.com.