As the internet bubbles up with heart-warming mush about mothers this Sunday, this is me jumping on the bandwagon. But, differently. Like, with just one hand. Maybe a leg hanging out. Or doing a somersault. You get the picture.
At first, I wanted to write about how my mother and how all her awesomeness made me feel scared of being a mother myself. Because, seriously, how the hell was I going to bake cakes for Pookie’s birthday, while keeping a fulltime job? How was I going to take her for swim class and summer camp, and teach her to ride a bike and enroll her for kathak and do the million odd things my mom did for me all through my life? No, sir, this is a note excusing me from motherhood, can I just sit on that bench now?
But no, this is not that post, though god knows Aai deserves one. This one is dedicated to companies who think twice before hiring mothers. People like Axis Bank and ICICI (that’s right, I’m taking names), who give female candidates pregnancy tests before hiring them, because dear God, what if they decide to reproduce and we have to give them paid maternity leave? Oh, the horror! What else? Oh yes, mothers are tired, frustrated and angry often (the rest of our employees are happy, relaxed Care Bears). And they have to take leave every time their child is ill or the nanny doesn’t show up (the others leave their pets and spouses to rot by the side of the road when they’re unwell). And they always expect special treatment as if we asked them to procreate, as if they’ve done something magical by producing a living, breathing human being from thin air and a traumatized uterus.
No, man. Better just to hire someone single, preferably someone who has no social life, right?
Here, take a deep breath, guys. This is where I tell you why hiring mothers is a good thing.
One. Mothers multitask. We’re champions at it. Yesterday, for instance, I fed Pookie a banana, while changing her diaper and singing three verses of her favourite song, and making sure she was biting off morsels small enough to not make her choke. Your eight-item joblist doesn’t scare me, boss.
Two. Mothers adapt. Have you ever started wearing eyeliner and then had the mirror move back and forth, because your toddler is playing with the door to your wardrobe and any second now, her finger is going to get crushed in there? Oh, the client wants the creatives two hours earlier? Yawn.
Three. Mothers don’t lose their shit in a crisis. The milk is close to boiling on the stove, you’re on the phone with the cook, who’s just had a minor accident and won’t be showing up today, the husband is in the loo with a case of the runs, the baby has done a surreptitious potty and has that smile on her face that suggests that any moment now, she’s going to wallow in it, and in two hours you have a pitch meeting halfway across town. Tell me again how stressful it is for you when Powerpoint shuts down?
Four. Mothers get things done on time. Nothing teaches you the value of time, like a baby who generally refuses to nap, suddenly falling blissfully asleep. Nothing teaches you to meet deadlines than a baby screaming for milk at 3:00 in the morning. Nothing makes you rush like a baby threatening to pee on your brand new memory foam mattress. And absolutely nothing makes you power through your day’s jobs, than the mental image of your child, waiting anxiously for you to return home from work.
Sure, there will be those who take undue advantage of the ‘mother’ tag and use it as an excuse for incompetence and inefficiency. But most of us don’t. We don’t have the time for it. So hire mothers, India Inc. It’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made.