Whose job is it, then?

A few days ago I was having lunch with some friends, and mentioned how little miss S (who is 8 ) complained to me that no one had taken a day off to spend it at school with her. Have to explain this better: in Sweden, parents can and are encouraged to spend a day at school with their kids, so that they get to experience what it is like to be at that school, the activities in the day, etc. Some sort of (from my perspective) school propaganda directed at parents (“come and see how amazing we are… we eat 100% organic too). Anyway, little miss S complained that no one had taken the time to go to school with her, hoping that I would jump in and volunteer. I told her that it was probably because when she is at school, her mom and dad are actually working (note: mom works shifts, so in theory she could… however, I don’t blame her if she doesn’t jump up and down with excitement over the idea), so it is hard. And she asked – as expected – “what about you? Don’t you want to come?” I explained I work full-time office hours, and that it is not that easy to just take a day off to go to school with her (come one,  I have very few holidays and I intend to spend them in Mexico).

So anyway, there I was telling my cute little story about how sweet it was that little miss S actually tried and pulled some very good arguments as to why I should take a day off and come to school with her, when one of the people at the table so naturally replied “bah, that’s  not your job.” At that point I could not mutter any more words (which is actually very rare for me). There was nothing to reply. I could not agree, and I could no disagree. Instead, I have been giving a lot of thought, and all I can do is formulate the actual question in my head: “what is my job, then?”

Everyone knows what a mom does (if you don’t, watch this). There are some debates about what a dad does – depending on where in the world – but it is also pretty  straight-forward. What grandparents, uncles and aunties do is also widely known. The role of cousins, friends, friends that become cousins, cousins that become siblings… all is very clear. But who can explain the job of a bonusmamma? a lot of smart cookies out there seem to be able to… however, after 2 years, I still wonder.

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