The Best/Hardest Job

In 2003 my friends had a baby. It was their first. Having no children of my own at the time I asked the new father what being a parent was like. He said “It is the best and the hardest job I have ever had.”

At the time I thought it was cute and also kind of scary and awesome. I understood it in theory, but I didn’t really ‘get it’ until I had children of my own almost exactly one year later.

This summer I am working with P&G as a member of their Blog Brigade. We are supporting the “Thank You, Mom” campaign and 28 US Olympic and Paralympic athletes during London 2012 Olympic Games. When they told me the first topic we were covering was their new Best Job/Hardest Job ad spot Aaron’s statement immediately came to mind.

Parenting is exactly that. I have never done anything that was so exhausting. I have never done anything that was so rewarding.

When my twins were born I didn’t sleep much. When I say I didn’t sleep much what I mean is that I got about 2 nonconsecutive hours of sleep each night. I would finish nursing Claudia and I would lay her back down and what seemed to be the moment my head hit the pillow, Ian would begin to cry. That happened over and over for about 8 weeks. It is the only time in my life I have ever experienced auditory hallucinations. If you have never had any of those consider yourself fortunate. Hearing things that aren’t there is scary and it also makes you  feel crazy.

Did I ever think “Why the heck did I want babies again?” OF COURSE I DID. Did I ever think “If I leave right now, I could go to a hotel and sleep through the night just one time and then I could start over and have another family later when I am more rested.” I am ashamed to say that I did, but I never actually left and a mere two and a half years later both kids began sleeping seven hours in a row on a regular basis.

The beginning was hard but it paled in comparison to the time they both got rotavirus.

Oh yes they did. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

I will talk about the time I went to a parent teacher conference and my daughter’s teacher called Claudia a role model. I was shocked, but I was also proud. I am proud when I watch them sing, or read or do math. My heart almost burst during their first swim meet or when he scored his first goal or when she got her first hit in baseball. Their first steps rocked my world – in a good way.

None of that is anything compared to the feeling of two little arms wrapped around your neck with that warm breath right your eye whispering “I love you, Mommy.” I am also a total sucker for a snuggly little thing climbing in to bed with me in the morning.

Of course we all fit better in my bed when they were two years old. Now that they are almost eight it is a much tighter fit. They also seem to have more elbows and knees than they used to, but they look normal when they stand up so that can’t be right.

P&G knows that being a mom is the hardest and best job. I woke up this morning to a child that was crying because he stepped in cat vomit. The very first thing I did this morning was wipe cat puke off of my son’s foot, but 30 minutes later he hugged me and told me I was the best mom in the world.

I couldn’t agree more so it is no surprise at all that this ad my me cry like a baby.

P&G wants to recognize the moms of athletes and ALL moms around the world for doing what we do every single day. Please share this video with your friends and if you “like” the Thank You, Mom page on Facebook P&G will will donate $1 to the USOC P&G|Team USA Youth Sports fund, so please do that too.

And if you can, go thank your mom.


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Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my work with Proctor & Gamble but these words and these stories are my own.

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  1. It’s so rude to make me cry while I’m working.

  2. Your rotavirus story reminds me of the time my boys got a 10 day vomiting virus when they were 3 months old. I haven’t cried like that… EVER. I will cry like that when they pack up and leave home at the same time :(

  3. Am I getting residuals for this?

  4. …Glory lasts forever.

  5. Beautiful and true

  6. When mine were little I seriously considered taking them to a firehouse so I could get sleep. I probably would have if I was sure they would give them back.

  7. Lori Landeen says:

    Having a little girl with a cough that kept her awake at night this weekend, who only wanted “Moooooooooooooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyy!”, I considered the hotel option. Yes I did! But then she snuggled with me in bed and I couldn’t stop kissing her little neck and face – and I decided the hotel option could wait.

  8. Funny how a good couple of snuggles can make you forget all the other stuff. Even rotavirus.

  9. and my husband is still right… it hasn’t changed.. it’s STILL the best and it’s STILL the hardest… we’re never going to sleep again, are we?

  10. That video made me sob like a little baby. That might be because I haven’t slept more than 5 hours a night in the last 6 years. The best/hardest job indeed.

  11. Ugh. That made me cry and it is only 6 am. It and your post also made me want to kiss and cuddle my kids too. Thanks!

  12. Love this. As a twin parent I can totally relate (they’re 3 now). Ours ended up with RSV. And so we’re very grateful now, even for the hard times.

  13. Okay, that totally made me cry. As the mother of kids who are active in Science Olympiad rather than sports, I don’t think we’ll ever has a moment as dramatic as those in the videos. I should have signed my boys up for travel soccer when they were younger.
    RSV with twins? Can not even imagine that.

  14. I don’t think people will ever understand unless they have themselves experienced it first hand.

    It is the hardest job from the sleepness nights and 24 hour routine – especially when they are young. At least with a 9-5 job you can leave the issues until the next day.

    Equally, Most of your memorable moments will be with your kids and also with your parents when you were a kid!

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