When coming back to work after having kids, some strange people think that being a mother is a bludge! It’s Oprah and Dr.Phil everyday, naps in the afternoon and sunny days smiling peacefully as your child plays. What qualifications can a mother bring when re-entering the so-called ‘real’ world?

* Problem solving: such as toilet training, fears (darkness, water, animals, people dressed as ducks, men with facial hair, women with facial hair, tall people, jumping, bike riding, red or green food, falling),

* Managing a schedule: What to commit to? Soccer, cricket, dancing (hip hop, tap, ballet or jazz etc!), drama lessons, piano, netball, swimming, football (not my son no never, poor little necks and noses). How to fit compulsory play dates in with family time, down time, play time, dinner time, bath time, work time…?

* Emergency co-ordination: You have to be ready at a moment’s notice to tack a disaster. Falling down stairs, off bikes, off walls (this morning, good catch by me!), falling over. Assessing blood loss, psychological breakdown, sprains, knocks, bruises, burns, rashes, temperatures, coughs, spikes and bugs (ticks! grrr).

* Educator: Read, read, read! You have to love reading to your kids even if you hate the book they’ve chosen (ALICE IN WONDERLAND). You have to teach them to read, to count, to know their colours, not to read too early, to draw, to cook, to eat, to walk, to be kind. Talk about underpaid teachers!

* Entertainer: You have to dust off your teenage dance moves (you know the ones you practiced in your bedroom?) and get them to join in. Even if you cannot hold a tune, you have to be their first musical tutor. It is a joy to listen to the Wiggles (sarcasm) but even more fun to get them into music that YOU love (a little self-centred but there’s nothing wrong with clean Alanis and Bon Jovi and U2).

* Counsellor and all around go-to person: You must be reliable and available. You must be a good listener, even if it means listening to a story about Star Wars for the umpteenth time or an invented story about rabbits hiding from monsters on the trampoline. Eye contact is desirable, patience a MUST.

So, to all those fancy pants people in the so-called ‘real’ world who think that motherhood is all ‘feet-up-in-front-of-the-tv’ think again bucko! Mothers are over qualified. We know about pressure. Dude, try 24/7, try vomit and poo and urine and tantrums and whinging and evil stares from old people in shopping centres and no money and cleaning toilets and kitchens, and floors and doing the washing all while keeping in contact with friends, spouses, family and your own inner child.

Motherhood is the best job in the world. Cliche? But true. Hard darn work, but the payoffs are those smiles, cuddles, love, words, sparkling eyes, moments of success where all the planets align and you feel a moment of peace before the next challenge. It’ll drive you crazy but would you want to live any other way?