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Raising Children as Successful Business Model: Not So Much

Posted May 11 2010 5:59pm

Last night, Guy came over to hang out and finish up some office and legal work while I wrangled the kids through dinner and homework. We didn’t say one word to one another for four hours, but it beat the snot out of doing our respective work alone. After the last child was in bed, I flopped down on the couch and said, “Anyone who complains about having to do homework with just one child, in front of me, will be shot.”

He replied, “I notice you spend a lot of time convincing the children to do their homework.” Read: “As a manager, you task your workforce and set expectations to perform.” He didn’t actually say that, but that is what I heard. Granted, he runs a global sales, marketing, and manufacturing operation, and was knee-deep in pivot tables at the time. But I still didn’t let it go until… um, just now, I guess.

“Please. Until you have done it, don’t imagine that it can be done so efficiently. I may spend a lot of time talking them through it, joking, cajoling, and reminding them to stay on task, but what they see and hear is that their mom is right there, paying attention and available to help if needed. Also, she loves them.” He apologized profusely for offending, assuring me that he sees all the effort and time and love that goes into it, and the exponential payback in character development and school performance. Also, comedic timing. I can’t begin to tell you how many times my eldest muttered, “That’s what she said.” during Math and Response to Literature.

It reminded me of a piece I wrote four years ago for when I was still an executive and embedded in a continuous-improvement, optimal-budgeting environment that clashed mightily with what awaited me at home every night. I remember that my parent co-workers found it much funnier than my boss did.

Youth Manager Position

Job Description: Responsible for managing mostly small humans (1 to 10 at a time) within the constraints of scope, quality, time, and cost, and working within established Child Protective Service policies and guidelines, to nurture and groom offspring for acceptance in society at large. Also, anything else the wind might blow your way.

Primary Duties:

  • Work directly with the child, family, and the Holy Spirit in hopes that expectations are real and clear to all family members, and education and social objectives are being met within the constraints of the space-time continuum and according to the laws of physics.
  • Report on progress of physical, emotional, psychological and Disney-fetish development, forecast maturation, manage practically-impossible-to-nail-down details of the transfer of charges from one place to another, including communication, assembly and delivery of Superego, and documentation and coordination of end-user interface. Ability to mind-read and teleport a must.
  • Oversee resource allocation and task delegation for all family members, and ensure timely and accurate assessment of task participation to avoid tearful accusations of being SO, SO, SO UNFAIR.
  • Complete all tasks within budget and time projections no matter how many hours you must “forget” to sleep. Emotional compensation will be provided in lieu of actual monetary remuneration, provided you supply it yourself and do it in private.
  • Participate as a member of the family, providing suggestions, feedback, and requests from individuals to the group and to other mommy friends while having no illusions about the amount of control you have (none) and responsibility you carry (all).
  • Keep abreast of and share issues with reference to your family and social obligations. Do not under any circumstances become familiar with how “others” do things or how “they” might inform your practices. La la la la la, I can’t hear you.

Position Requirements:

  • Three to five years zoo-keeping experience
  • One of Hermione Granger’s time-fixey-thingies
  • Formal child development education and/or progress toward certification of competence (provided this takes place solely in your head and does not disturb other moms; they are very busy finding their own way, blindfolded and handcuffed, through a minefield in a blinding snowstorm. Barefoot.)
  • Good knowledge of toilet “learning” and hygiene implementation practices and better knowledge of psychological manipulation practices
  • Experience managing budgets, schedules and resources (must be fluent in Classroom Flyer Analysis, Newsletter Decoding, Non-vocal Communication, Armenian, and Klingon)
  • Track record for managing projects on-time, in-scope and within-budget without laughing
  • Must be goal-oriented, have good discipline, and be able to keep family members motivated to tackle days one at a time, with medication if necessary
  • Must enjoy a fast-paced dynamic culture with challenges, opportunity and excellent benefits, masochism, humiliation, confusion, and making breakfast for everyone you hope to avoid until school lets out
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Telepathy and Omniscience a plus.
  • Excellent analytical, troubleshooting and problem solving skills. You’ll need them.
  • Highly motivated, organized and success-oriented. Also, crazy.

Being a mom offers:

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter explaining how your background could possible match and prepare you for the job requirements to

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