Nine months sounds like a forever long time when you’re pregnant. Without the comfort of booze, sushi, caffeine, or soft cheese, it’s as if your life is in a holding pattern. A holding pattern of watching your body become the less-purple Grimace from the Ronald McDonald gang — and let’s all take a moment to thank the cheese gods that Big Macs are still on the table (thank you, processed cheese gods!).
But in reality, nine months is nothing when you’re gearing up for a new job. And that’s really what motherhood is. A full-time job, without pay, health care, or a benefits package, and, after having the baby, you aren’t even the boss. You’re more like a lowly member of middle management. Why? Because your baby thinks he’s the boss — just like the cheeky little brother in the new movie The Boss Baby (out 23 March) — and acts accordingly 24-7 by doing these things.
1. He makes a mess. You have to clean it up. When your boss at work makes a mess out of something, the burden falls on your shoulders to clean it up. With your baby, instead of redoing a flawed purchase report (which, of course, needs to be filled out in triplicate), the mess is undoubtedly more graphic, exponentially smellier, and cleanup will often be met with great hostility.
2. She interrupts you. Constantly. Whether you’re striving to tie up some loose ends about a shipment to Singapore, attempting to make dinner plans with your closest friend, or just trying to have a successful solo trip to the toilet, the boss will never grant respite. And neither will your baby. Frankly, I haven’t formed a complete thought without taking a moment and writing it down since my first kid left the womb.
3. You never know what he actually wants. Let’s face it: Your boss isn’t great at asking for what he wants because he usually doesn’t even know what he wants until you produce it. Babies operate in the same way, which means that life as you know it has become an endless game of charades.
4. She demands that you feed her. Your boss expects Thai food on Wednesday (hold the radishes), Italian on Friday (but no red sauce, because it gives him heartburn), and a vente, double-shot, iced green tea latte, every day at 2 pm. This is pretty much like your baby. Except it’s your boob from now until he decides he’s over it and mashed bananas that he will enjoy once and spit in your face every other time until he’s old enough to throw it at you.
5. He never lets you rest. Yes, it’s technically your break time and you’re attempting to do some transcendental meditation at your desk, but that won’t stop your boss from barging into your office to complain that the pre-ordered Starbucks delivery is late by 38 seconds and it’s up to you to “FIX IT.” This is tantamount to your baby waking you up every hour, on the hour, for three weeks straight.
6. You have to schlep all of her crap. For a demanding boss, you might find yourself with a satchel full of protein bars, unsalted almonds, eye drops, aspirin,16 different types of ball-point pens, three digital methods of communication, and a stress-ball. With a baby, you can add nine nappies, a package of wipes, two changes of clothes, a blanket, and a teething toy to that list. Basically, you’re a human camel.
7. You are at his mercy. If the boss needs you to collate 795 pages of documents at 6 pm on a Friday night, that’s what you’re doing with your Friday night. If the baby wants banana pancakes with rainbow sprinkles at 3 am, it’s all on you. Face the fact that you’ve got 18 years at the hands of your very own Miranda Priestly.
8. She is always watching you. While praise for a job well done is relatively rare, you can bet a week’s salary you’ll get reamed out for coming back from lunch 5 minutes late or showing up to work with a hangover the size of Queensland. Similarly, your baby won’t be able to correctly pronounce the word “socks” for the better part of two years but will successfully manage an inappropriate four-letter-word in a particularly embarrassing venue after you accidentally let it slip from your lips, that one time.