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By A.B.Collier

Future career aspirations in the Collier children are eclectic at the moment to say the least. The eldest (nearly 7) would like to be:

A security guard ‘so I can watch screens ALL DAY to find Slenderman’

A chef: ‘so I can make pizza all the time, I love pizza Mum, can
I have pizza now?’

A surgeon: ‘the ones that take babies out of tummies like
I came out of yours’

The youngest (nearly 3) wants to be…’DIGGER! A DIGGER!’ Not a digger operator, an actual digger. I blame Rubble of Paw Patrol. Oh god. I’m humming the theme tune again…are you? SORRY.

If I cast my mind back to when I was younger, were my hopes for a job when I grew up so lofty or crazy? Well, I don’t like to brag, but according to my 12 year old self, I’m going to cure cancer and then write loads of books. I know, I know, I’m very talented. However, reality is such that I worked in life sciences for a few years (I wrote technical documents, never wore a lab coat again past the age of 21), currently work in business support and my blockbuster book still eludes me.

Now I’m nearly 40 (*internal screaming*), maybe now is the time to reassess what I want to be when I am a grown up and reapply myself to new goals? So where to start? I could take a proper personality test, but I fear the answer might be that I am a lunatic, sleep deprived, smut addicted, wine soaked, midlife crisis in waiting mother-of-two. I’m kind of not ready to hear that from an objective person and also not sure what applications it’d have in the working world. Unless…Loose Woman panellist?

So, being the science geek at heart that I am, I started to research.
I looked into personality types (I’m a ‘neurotic extravert’ if you’re interested –Google it, it really is a thing) and psychology, then I stumbled into research work that really caught my eye. It was a theory to teach people how to ‘become great at just about anything’. ANYTHING. Instantly I wanted to be an adventurer! A best-selling author! An actress! An activist…! My mind was buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing. However, when I got into the nitty gritty of the work that was entailed in this mind blowing concept, turns out you need to do 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. Crap. I barely get 15 minutes to do my nails these days. So I was stumped.

Until…

I dug out my phone and did some calculations (remember when your maths teacher told you at school that in the future you wouldn’t always have a calculator with you? Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrn!) 10,000 hours equates to 417 days, give or take an hour or two. So really, this practice period is 1 year, 1 month and 20-ish days. Suddenly I realised where my expertise was and, dear reader, where yours is too. We are all expert Mothers.

Think about it, from the moment of conception to birth, you’ve already completed 9 months practice, so in that delivery room as you’re screaming a baby out of you/having a child cut out of you, you’re already world beating, amateur level Mum status. By the time baby is nearly 5 months old? You are officially an expert. Hear me Mutha’s? You are EXPERTS.

Today, no matter how crazy the day has been, how tired you are, how demented your children may have made you….remember this. You are an expert level, professional Mum. No-one does what you do. You have likely:

Made food that small people protested against – yay, patient Mama, Michelin starred kitchens would be LUCKY to have you Calmed down a two year old having a public tantrum – well done Mama, you have negotiation skills the UN would benefit from. Went out into the world in an ensemble you threw together in 30 seconds – congratulations Mama, you’re a bold fashionista.

Cut the hair and/or nails of a wriggling child with the inexplicable strength of ten men – Mama, you could be a soldier, a body guard or take on World’s Strongest Man.

Functioned all day on broken and little sleep – I’m not sure what the application for this might be, so why don’t you come to my house and you can have a nap?

You are amazing. You are ladies that keep schedules running, houses operating, work stuff being done on time and little people alive. Whilst you might not get a job title for it or a certificate of graduation, you do get small people that you grew inside you and that look at you as the centre of their world. And that kicks the arse off any career.

Security Guard

‘so I can watch screens ALL DAY to find Slenderman’

Chef

‘so I can make pizza all the time, I love pizza Mum, can I have pizza now?’

Surgeon

‘the ones that take babies out of tummies like I came out of yours’