Earlier this week, I wrote a post about the careers advice I got at secondary school. Looking through the responses I gave in the questionnaire, it struck me how much I’ve changed as a person.
This isn’t a great surprise, of course. I was not quite 16 when I completed it and nobody’s the finished article at that age. However, I think that I would have mostly given the same responses well into my 20s.
It’s only since becoming a parent that I’ve really changed. This got me wondering which jobs the admittedly limited mid-90s algorithm would suggest.
I’ll never know, of course, but there’s no harm in speculating. Here then are five unlikely jobs I can almost certainly do since becoming a parent.
I acquired the necessary skills for this role in the days after oldest was born. I used to be too nice, but soon learned to be abrupt when required. If people on our doorstep weren’t family, close friends or the community midwife, they weren’t allowed in.
I reprised this role twice more and although it’s no longer necessary, it’s really rather useful for swiftly dealing with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Tory canvassers and door-to-door chuggers. It also works with cold callers on the phone.
Leaving aside the inconvenient facts that I’m an atheist, alive and that it isn’t really a job, I think I’d make a rather good saint. Why? Purely because of the old adage about patience, to be honest.
It’s taken a long time, but I can now get all three kids to bed by 9pm. This, of course, isn’t impressive but I think the fact I can finally achieve it without shouting or breaking down in tears is commendable.
I was never particularly physically strong before having kids. Since they’ve been around, though, I’ve become familiar with carrying increasingly heavy, eccentric loads – yes, them – around.
In fact, I’ve got so familiar with carrying small people who look like me, that I can do so one handed while completing other tasks. Lugging a load of bricks around is surely a doddle in comparison. They don’t wriggle or kick you in the groin.
I’ve become an expert at carrying out private investigations. This isn’t just another Dire Straits reference thanks to finding Mark Knopfler in my old room though. No, it’s down to finding things my kids have lost but can’t live without.
From youngest’s dummies at bedtime to her brothers’ missing LEGO Dimensions figures. I’m also adept at sussing out who started which argument and their motives. I’m basically Cormoran Strike now.
Over the last eight years, I’ve found myself doing some truly weird things to get my kids to eat, sleep and brush their teeth among a great many other things. I was a fairly creative problem solver before they were on the scene, but not on the surrealist level that I am now.
I came up with some pretty fast thinking on print deadlines during my days working on magazines, but none of it involved spontaneous dances, pratfalls or invented languages. More’s the pity.
Which otherwise unlikely jobs could you do as a result of parenting?