A few years ago, an interesting piece of artwork came home with my then five-year-old. The task was to draw and write about "Mummy's job". The teacher helped document the answers and I dare say muffled a few laughs as she heard about the colourful cohort of mothers and their assorted roles.
I was expecting my child to list the banal things I do - cleaning, driving kids around, buying groceries and maybe he'd even acknowledge that I "write stuff". I prepared for the ruthless honesty that may have appeared in the answers "yelling" or "drinking wine" too. None of those were mentioned.
Instead the caption was, "Mummy enters competitions" alongside a drawing of me holding a golden ticket to … something?
By way of explanation, for a short period of time, I spent an evening or two on the couch entering 25-words-or-less competitions. I know, I know. It's sad. My family were convinced I'd end up on A Current Affair with 1000 cans of dog food laid out in front of me as I spent hours filling out competition forms to win a free dog kennel. That was not the case. We don't have a dog.
I won a few things, including $500 worth of chocolate (a vital food supplement), a year's supply of skincare (anti-ageing, to boot), VIP concert tickets, AND an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Peru. Stick that in your cake hole, family! Oh, and so it was reasonable that my son thought this was my job.
Because kids are hilarious even when they don't mean to be, and sometimes unbelievably cutthroat, I thought it would be fun, in honour of Mother's Day to ask our little gems what they think we do all day (it may also be interesting to survey partners, although that could end in divorce proceedings).
Here are some of the brilliant and brutal answers:
Five-year-old Reed think his mum, Karlie "shops for toothbrushes and talks to her friends" while he slugs away learning his ABCs. I'm presuming the kids have very clean teeth in Karlie's house. For the record, Karlie runs her own jewellery business.
Kristy works in real estate but according to her four-year-old, Zara, spends her days "shopping for grown up stuff." I decided not to probe further.
Lots of children didn't actually know what their mums did while they were busy at daycare or school. A few shrugs and vague answers of "making beds", "shopping" or "exercising" were common. It's so comforting to know our vital role doesn't even hit the radar of our young children's minds.
Nora, four, thinks her mum, Trudi, "drinks cups of tea and watches Netflix." Trudi is an accountant who works from home, and she may or may not have a cup of tea and a quick flick of the 'flix in her lunch break.
"Mummy's job is going to Myer all day," as well as "getting all the food and presents because birthdays are a job."
Leesa's children Archie, five, and three-year-old Stella came up with these gems and I think they are on the money about preparing for birthdays. Leesa is a primary school teacher, however, not an event-planner or retail employee. They also said, "drinking is a job," which made me wonder how hefty these birthday parties are that Leesa has been planning.
Nikki works in medical records for a major hospital, it even comes with a uniform that says so, but her four-year-old, Georgia, thinks she "gets her nails done" all day. Nikki has very nice nails but they work hard on a keyboard for the bulk of the week.
Jodie is a copywriter who has trained her sons well. When she asked them what she did all day, Ethan, seven, proved he'd been listening by repeating her job title back to her. When she investigated further by asking what that job title actually means, he said she "copies other people's writing". He's off the PR team. Her younger son, six-year-old Angus, had a better explanation: Jodie apparently photocopies all day.
Michelle works in retail but does nothing there, according to her five-year-old son, Alex. She was happy to take that on the chin, relieved he didn't mention "gin club".
If it's not clear enough that our kids think we womenkind just hang around during the day doing as little as possible, let this be the deal-sealer. That same project my son completed detailing my job, also had a section for "Daddy's job". My husband runs a small IT business but according to our son, his father is "the boss of Apple."
Now that would be a Mother's Day present I'd enthusiastically welcome.