News |  18th Aug 2019

Parenting Job Description

Parenting: the job description 

By Wendy Golledge (Associate Editor,

Some say it's the toughest job in the world, but it's also the most rewarding. You don't get any training, there's not much in terms of pay or holiday allowance and yet thousands accept the position each year. If parenting came with a job description it might look a bit like this ...

How many times have you wished parenting came with a how-to manual? And a list of magic cures for teething, tummy aches and scraped knees, and perhaps a PowerPoint of failsafe sleep solutions ... 

But what about if before all you were given a parenting job description. Would you apply?


None (sorry about that). 

In fact, you pay them. And they'll expect regular pay rises and bonuses.


24/7. Successful candidates are allowed a few hours snatched sleep per night for the first few years, increasing to slightly more as you remain in the position. 

Even during night time hours, successful candidates will be expected to wake and resume normal duty at a moment's notice. There are 'bathroom breaks' during the working day but you may be accompanied by small people who you will be expected to chat to and entertain, possibly allowing them to sit on your lap while providing answers to any pertinent questions they may ask.

Candidates must be willing to work variable hours, including evenings and weekends, and be on call for, well, life.

Note: there is no pension scheme or set retirement age. 

Holiday allowance

Basically, none. 

There is one allocated day per year (it is marked in the calendar as Mother's Day) but don't expect a massive break. On this day you will also be expected to eat cold toast in bed. 

On other national holidays such as Christmas you will be expected to work longer hours.

There will be periods marked as 'holidays' in the early years but please do bear in mind that these will often require you to work twice as hard to keep the equilibrium – just in a different place with a higher temperature.

In latter years, travel to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends will often be allocated as holiday, despite being less relaxing than normal working hours.

Previous experience

Alarmingly, none required.

Essential skills required

Physical demands

Please note, this role requires a certain degree of physical strength. 

Successful candidates must be able to carry a heavy weight in a car seat up flights of stairs and put up or unfold a buggy using one foot and a knee alone in under six seconds. As the role advances, this procedure may need to be carried out with a child held under one arm while stopping another running into the road.

Be aware that there may be bodily injuries from scratching or biting, and you will need strong shoulder strength to carry a small load for a mile back from a long walk.

Candidates must be proficient in giving piggy backs and shoulder rides.

Your immune system will be routinely tested with numbers bugs and infections passed on by your charges.

All applicants will be tested on their ability to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat, in case an incident arises in which the the screams from the garden are a bonafide injury and not someone just crying wolf.

Advanced skills required as you progress in your role

Desirable skills

Preferred candidates will possess the following skills:

Possibility for advancement or promotion


In fact you must be prepared to step down a notch the longer you hold the position and fade into the background, while still providing basic care and handing out lots and lots of money. Oh and lifts.

You must be willing to be indispensable one minute, and an embarrassment the next.

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