America’s Most Stressful Jobs . . . Whatever

Photo: jfairone/iStockphoto

It seems that the people down at have looked at 200 professions and decided on America’s Most Stressful Jobs for 2010. I read the list twice, and didn’t find “parent” on there. Weird.

Sorry, public relations officer (Really. Number 8.) but I think I can trump you. I mean, you DO get to pee whenever you want, don’t you? Alone? That’s what I thought.

My paid job has stressful times–I’ve been called an idiot for what I’ve written, been thrown out of a plane (okay, I jumped), I’ve written obituaries for people who aren’t dead–but since having a kid, work mostly seems like a vacation. If I were a stay-at-home mom I’d be rocking in the fetal position in the corner of the kitchen most days. I can’t handle the stress, the pressure, the constant “Mommy? Mommy? MOMMY? SUMMER!” Parenting is a freaking hard job.

Now, most of the jobs on this list are totally worthy of being there. Highway patrol officer ranks No. 7. I get that, it’s dangerous. The report says “They face many hazards, such as high-speed chases. . . .” I’m just arguing that parents face many of the same stressful situations. Last week I saw a dad bolt like lightning after his escaped 2 year old, catching him 18 inches from a downward-bound escalator. Now that is a high-speed chase. And he couldn’t even arrest the culprit!

Commercial pilot also tops the list. Those cockpits do have a lot of buttons. Not to mention your office is called a cockpit. Clearly there is something bad about that job the rest of us aren’t privy to.

Number 3 is taxi driver. Parents are taxi drivers. And nurses, and maids . . .

Number 1? Firefighter. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love firemen (particularly the ones I met during my bachelorette party, but that’s a story for another day), but here again the humor of the ranking is in the details. The report says “Firefighters frequently work irregular or unusual hours, or remain on call throughout the night.” Yesssss, very stressful, isn’t it? Especially when it’s EVERY NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE.

So clearly the true winner of the most stressful job contest should be Firefighter Moms. But just for kicks, let’s evaluate parenting on a few of CareerCast’s 21 criteria.

Hours per day: Uh, 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days per year for at least 18 years.

Physical and emotional environment: Well, let’s see, most of my time is spent on the floor. There’s quite a bit of crying. Sometimes the girl “clients” very dramatically hate boys at preschool. Will there be a separate question for lactation?

Income: I just laughed so hard I snorted.

Opportunity for advancement: Is this counted in number of kids? Or quality of Mother’s Day gifts? Let’s just say the opportunity is low.

Stress (ie, confinement, tools used, lifting required, stamina required): Yes on all counts. Don’t forget completing homework; wondering if kids are getting good nutrition, sleep, education; administering eye drops; rectal thermometers; dating; driving; college admissions. Whew, let’s all take a panic attack break.

Perceived Risk of Unemployment: You’ve got us there, CareerCast. Pretty sure nobody wants to take over for us. Though if we do our job well we do eventually work ourselves out of a career.

Okay, add them up, divide by 7, carry the 1 . . . Oh look! We win! The most stressful job in the world, according to Mom-Colored Glasses, is parenting. I feel better now.

162 responses to “America’s Most Stressful Jobs . . . Whatever

  1. Abso-frickin’-lutely! Thank you for the smile today!!! As a mom of 3 (thankfully the youngest is now 11), I can say, yes. Yes. YES! It’s a full time, low-paying, stress-inducing, eye-twitching, hair-pulling, teeth-clenching, loving, snuggling, book-reading, lullabye-singing, laugh-causing career that I wouldn’t give up for anything on the planet. And I’m happy my kids are well-adjusted, and sad they’ll all fly the coop too soon….

  2. YES! Brilliant! I have been waiting for this. Good job Bummer. Oh, and those firefighters were awesome in so many ways!

  3. Hilarious! Made me snort as well…thanks!

  4. colin L beadon

    What is the point in adding anything?
    By next day, after our addition has been held back for ,…. The whole site has gone. What a waste of time.

  5. Well I am a retired herpetologist and getting chased by an angry cottonmouth moccasin in the middle of an alligator infested swamp was pretty stressful!!

    ~Ramona Kent~
    Author of Anomar’s Journey

  6. Very funny, and true. AWESOME POST!!!!!

    My mom always tells me to think twice before having kids, because I won’t know what I’m getting myself into. I’m sure she’s right. I can’t even imagine…

    I praise you for having the hardest job on earth!

    Wow.. I love you site! You might like mine too. Here’s a link to my latest blog:
    Leave a comment if you stop by!

    God Bless,

  7. Thanks for a wonderful Topic

  8. Pingback: Full Life « Jenny Schneider Illustrations

  9. colin L beadon

    Who has the right to moderate my writing ? Is it being moderated because it does not suit the politics, the business criteria, or the green program ?
    Look. Next month I’ll be 75 years old, and I’ve worked around quite a bit of the world, and had a very strange un-natural upbringing. So what, does my experience not count ? Does it not fit into the lives of refugees, drug trafficers, or starving citizens of Mugabe’s destruction ?

    • thefrenchchick

      Comments are moderated because the author of a blog may have had some experience with rude individuals. I have no problem with my comments being moderated. It’s not my blog and I respect the author’s desire not to post poeple’s rudeness. Hope that helps you understand moderation in a different light.

  10. Being a parent is not a job, if you can’t handle it – don’t procreate!!! Don’t make such a big deal out of it, everybody has kids and most people end up being decent parents. So calm down soccer moms!

    • You clearly don’t have kids.

      • Okay, FYI having children is not necessarily easy, but it can be – and most often is – a joy and a blessing. My mother is the mother of 6 kids, with number seven on the way. I’m the second in line at the age of 15 and the younger 4 range in age from 8 yrs. to 2 yrs. and one unborn. Me and my big brother do provide a lot of help to my mom, and she’s said many times that we help her a lot, and when we leave she’s not gonna know what to do. Most of that is tongue-in-cheek, but there is a certain amount of truth to it as well. I do agree that being a mom is the most – at least one of the most – stressfull jobs in the world. Just because someone says that, does not mean that they are incapable of dealing with it! And by the way, my mother stays at home ALL DAY LONG with us crazy kids! So really, I would argue that stay-at-home mom is actually more stressful than just being a mom.

        To the moderator of the blog: I enjoyed this post a lot. I have my own blog, and try to offer similar practical, slightly humorous interpretations of life.

  11. It’s probably the most undervalued career but mothers are wonderful.

  12. First time mom of 7 month old girl and I already feel like a lunatic!!! Never thought that parenting was such a difficult job, until I became one! Your sight makes me laugh every time…Keep up the FANTASTIC work!

  13. Why is it that no one else understands this but us Moms? I had someone ask me once what I did. I said, “I’m a stay-at-home-mom.” They said to me, “Must be nice.” Thanks for posting this. I feel like I got paid for my ‘job’ today.

  14. Jobs are stressful if you don’t enjoy what you do.

    If you do enjoy your job, than there is no stress. Only fun, fun, fun.


  15. very interesting.but you sure are right.

  16. i dont think being a parent is a job.

    A job is something you do and get paid.
    If parenting is a job, then your family is a company. How wierd is that.

    You husband is the boss, and you are his employee and your children is your bussiness project??

    sorry for my english that not so good

  17. Along with parenting there are a lot of jobs that are stressful for their own reasons. Some jobs actually won’t let you pee when you want to and maybe even time you when you use the bathroom. It’s impossible to pick 10 jobs and say they are the most stressful. I agree though…parenting can be considered a job because it is a lot of work…but…I think you have to agree…the rewards of being a parent far outweigh anything a paid job can provide.

  18. This just made my eve — I’m tired of people condescending to me as a stay-at-home parent. It’s a lifestyle choice, and it’s valid! (The person who said “being a parent isn’t a job” misses the point, but… since they don’t have kids, and hopefully will not, I forgive them their naivete.)

  19. Stellar set of thoughts, echoing my own inner sentiments most of the time. I even giggled, and it takes a lot of wit to get me to do that!

    Who knew being a mama would be so all-encompassing and amazingly life-affirming too? As for the people who say motherhood isn’t a job… HA. Don’t think they’ve ever been down this particular road.

  20. I agree that parenting is the most difficult thing to do. Just imagine you’re responsible for another human being beside yourself! But I do think if you’re successful at it, the reward is priceless. So, have a nice day at “work” moms 😉

  21. LOL!!!!!!!!! Absolutely hillarious . . . and absolutely right!

  22. I meant hilarious.

  23. Another brilliant post friend:).

  24. Love it love it my fav

  25. So, where the position of bloggers? whether this is one cause of job stress?

    Nice article…

  26. I just emailed a friend the other day about this-telling her exactly what you said (or the gist of it anyway). Corp Exec was in the top 10 somewhere and my reaction to that was, yes, it is stressful trying to backdate your options &/or fire a few hundred folks and yet feel good about your out-of-this-world bonus. Indeed a tough gig. Perhaps that’s why “parent” didn’t make the list. Our salaries (at $0 per annum) disqualifies us.

  27. You’re good at writing and parenting. Very funny!

  28. Please no more Mothering Is So Hard But So Rewarding blogs! Getting really boring.

    • Jim, I’d like to point out for the record that I’ve never said mothering is rewarding. Thanks for reading!

  29. All I can say to this is BRAVO!
    Brilliant post!!!! 🙂

  30. Love the entry Summer and some great come backs too. I agree, getting to pee when you need is a luxury for some jobs. (I, as a teacher, who has to train her body when and when she can’t pee- can vouch for that.) Having a two year old stare at you while in the bathroom, on your period, is another one of a kind mom moment. Just one of the things you never think about before you have kids.

  31. Great post! I love the spaghetti covered baby. I can only imagine what my mom went through. She was a rad tech all my life. Stressful job stressful home life.

  32. haha@”carry the 1…”
    I say that all the time 🙂

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  34. I didn’t get to pee whenever I wanted when I was standing in the middle of the Iraqi desert hoping I wasn’t going to get sniped at any given moment.

    Coming home to my family…not stressful at all.

    If you’re having so much stress being a parent, then you’re not doing it right.

  35. Totally agree. Mothers are great, more so in Asian countries. A lot of mothers don’t go to work as in western countries and they get a raw deal. They do all the work at home, kids, busy with social engagements (which is a chore most of the times) and they dont ever get a holiday.

  36. Hate to be the douche, but you don’t need to be a stay at home mom.

    There’s always the opportunity to get one of the “other” high stress jobs, and your children will still grow up.

  37. Mehreen Kasana

    Oh my God. This sounds so tough and I’m not even a mom yet! Wow, you mothers do deserve the top ranking in the most tedious professions ever. How many children do you have?

    Anyhoo. This post was amusing nonetheless. 🙂

  38. Loved this…posted the link to this blog entry on my facebook 🙂

  39. lol your writing style is brilliant, I loved this even though I’m a 17 year old who has jack to do with parenting and can’t relate to anything you said haha..The sheer amount of sarcyness in here guarantees a smile :p

  40. Hard job, tough days, demanding “clients”, but still, you love being a mother, don’t you?
    It’s nice to read your posting. I might visit it again sometimes. 😉

  41. This completely put a smile on my face- and put things into perspective for me. A week ago, my occasionally literally almost 24/7 job in the finance industry was tough. Now it just seems like a piece of cake.

    Mums indeed do not get enough recognition, so here’s me taking my hat off to you for doing the world’s toughest job! 🙂

  42. Nice post to read 🙂 🙂 Even though I am not a mom yet (and I am not ready to be one yet), I am sure that it is very stressful, especially in the first years. I hope I’ll be able to cope and deal with it well!!!! 😛

  43. Love it! Thanks for the humor. I am amazed when I hear non-parents say things like, “It must be so nice to just be able to stay home.”

  44. I think you are not interested in parenting so you have done this. Any way try to find happyness in the hard(stressfull) job you will think that is easiest. I think you are very creative.

  45. ABSOLUTELY golden. And OOOOOOOO so true. Great commentary within the article. I loved it.

    Now, if only we could get the mass media to recognize this. 😉

  46. it bugs me that people feel they need special recognition for properly raising the children they choose to beget. parent hood is not some cross bearing martyrdom, if you have kids ITS WHAT YOUR SUPPOSED TO DO.

    i mean really. i understand that this is a tung in cheek fun poke at the stressful jobs list but come on…

    if you dont want to be over taxed by the emotionally crippling responsibility of raising kids then DONT HAVE ANY! simple as that.

    furthermore until anyone has changed a diaper in a burning building or bathed an infant while a meth addict puts a gun to your head do not compare yourself to cops or fire fighters.

    know your roll soccer moms and stay at home dads.

    off topic: did enjoy the way the piece was written and read back through 02/10

  47. Just have to say this is some of the most funny, professional, and true writing I’ve seen around the blogosphere in some time.

    Thanks for the chuckle and the inspiration to bring my writing up to this level consistently.

  48. I LOVE it! Thanks for sharing!
    Stop Pinching Your Sister! (Practical Parenting Tips Based on My Columbia MBA)

  49. We’re totally unappreciated. Women’s work at women’s pay. The hardest jobs in the world are those where we’re constantly interrupted. That sums up motherhood.
    I don’t like the terms for what we do, either, so I invented “domo-guru,” gender neutral, too, for all the mr. moms out there.

  50. Pingback: Funny and Too True Observations « Dispatches from the Spare Bedroom

  51. You humorously state what I am sure most parents on the planet feel and would want to express so well.
    Congratulations on your being on the home page of wordpress!


  52. You humorously state what I am sure most parents on the planet feel and would want to express so well.
    Congratulations on your being on the home page of wordpress!


  53. thefrenchchick

    Saw this on the Freshly Pressed page. Glad I stopped in. Thanks for the humor!

  54. very nice!..makes me value my mummy even more…:)

  55. Very funny! Thank you.

    I have six children ranging in age from 4 to almost-12. I miss peeing when I want to. Alone . But, of course, when they’re gone, I’ll miss them more. I suppose. And then I’ll probably pee when my body wants to, like when I cough or sneeze, instead of when I want to. But that’s probably TMI.

    Anyway, thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  56. Be encouraged!
    The scriptures says in Galatians of the New Testament to “be not weary in well-doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not!”
    Our parenting reward, like in all things we manage diligently is coming!





  58. Hardest…and the most rewarding job I have ever held…

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  60. Ah! This is hilarious and it’s so true that the job of parenting is probably harder than most jobs out there. I feel like if you add in the fact that in the young years of a child’s life you probably have little to no contact with peers/colleagues who engage you in intelligent conversation because you’re busy hanging out with a toddler, that takes it up another notch!

  61. Congratulations–job well done!

  62. I needed this today. Something to put a smile back on my face. After a tiring, frustrating, screamy day with my four kids (and expecting the fifth), I was wondering if I chose the right vocation or ‘profession’. Thanks for the post. Glad I’m not alone.

  63. nolastcallforcake

    Ha! Where is “substitute teacher” on that list? Try managing 30 kids at once- all of which think of the day as a fun vacation from behaving properly. From obnoxious fourth graders to surly teenagers to junior high kids that refuse to listen to you at all.

  64. It’s so true!! Such a lovely post and well written too 🙂

  65. I’m officially crossing ‘parent’ off of my ‘possible jobs’ list.

  66. Totally understand how parenting is a tough job, but you can’t compare it to other occupations. Everything has its ups and downs. And a job is a job, so do matter what you do, it proabalby has some level of stress.

    I thought this post was hilarious, but just wanted to let you know that my boyfriend is a firefighter and I am an EMT. Let me tell you, when things get stressful, IT GETS STRESSFUL. Changing diapers and breastfeeding would seem like a vacation while you’re doing CPR on a cardic arrest patient or running into a dark smokey building that is on fire. Sure it’s not an every day thing, but I’m sure motherhood isn’t crazy 100% of the time either. As for the irregular shifts, yes you wake up in the night to feed your infant, but imagine waking up in the middle of the night to loud tones and having to jump out of bed and doing everythign at full adrendeline. And you do have a life dependent on you. Now imagine having every life you encounter dependent on you. And you should try driving an ambulance with a bunch of idiots on the road, not to mention that what you’re driving is verrryyyy expensive and heavy. As for not being paid?? Did I mention we are volunteers? So we don’t get paid either. Why do we do it? Same reason you’re a mother. For the love of it and nonmaterialistic rewards.

    Great post though, it was hilarious and hopefully it was all in good clean fun.

  67. If it’s so hard how come you are all on the computer instead of raising your kids. That’s what I thought. None of you are acomplished by having kids. If it is a job let me be the one to tell you to get back to work!!!

  68. Being a parent is the hardest job. Your post was well thought- out funny, and true.

    Moms ( and stay at home Dads) have an incredibly stressful job and it’s the hugs and kisses that although are not monetary act as the best payment of all ( not to mention the I love you mommy).

  69. those are some tought jobs! I would be so tough! I wouldn’t know because I’m not a parent so…ya…this is my blog and

  70. Very funny. I love iy.

  71. motherhood is not a job
    it is just a consequence

  72. ahhh, i love reinforcement of my decision to not have children. thanks!

  73. How is being a mother, a job? Does that mean you babysit your own kid? Then wouldn’t being a wife, sister, auntie be a job, too? I don’t deny it is extremely hard, stressful and all the rest, but it is a lifestyle and mother’s invite this when they choose to have a child. So, I do not see it as a job. I don’t say this to undermine motherhood, but to clarify terminology.

  74. On the tail end of raising four children (two flown, two to go), I now enjoy the privelege of babysitting my granddaughter a significant amount — and now I know remember why I didn’t have a lot of hobbies or outside interests for many, many years — no time, and no ability to concentrate.

    You bet, kids are a lot of work — but they are so very very worth it. The process of raising them, loving them, protecting them, worrying about and for them, and being the one person in the world who is unconditionally crazy about them, transforms you into a better, more rounded person.

    I like your tongue-in-cheek humor and your positive outlook on life. Don’t let the cranky, imagination-free people get you down.

  75. In addition, I think it is martyrdom to want a child, have one, and then complain about how hard it is. It’s like putting on a show of attention. I want a baby, I want to raise a child, give me this… I can feel sorry for myself about how hard it is and try to get extra credit for doing a normal, biological process-having and raising a kid. I mean no disrespect, but I feel many people want children for the wrong reasons and are not competent to deal with the outcome of their “wants”–the child. Talk to older women, they do not see raising children this complicated, dramatic way–they just “did it”.

    • I have to say that I agree with this. You’re behaving like you deserve sympathy or pity, when you don’t

      I don’t understand why people find this witty or well written, since it is neither.

      Parents complaining about their own children = not new.

  76. the whole article about stressful jobs cracked me up… I mean really, highway patrolmen? What about military being shot at, or airtraffic controllers. Just confirms the fact that news articles are junk.

  77. There are only three possibilities: either the NET (overall experience of being a mom) is positive, negative or neutral.

    If it is negative, then you screwed up and I am sorry for you and your kids. If it is neutral, you screwed up and I am sorry for you and your kids.

    If the overall experience of being a mom is POSITIVE, then you whining about the negative parts is just annoying selfish stupidity.


  78. This post proved quite the “job hazard” for me. I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants.

  79. Love it! This is hilarious and all true! Thanks for this.

  80. PLEASE!!!!! While what you say may be true – being a mom is tough and probably the most underrated job in the world – I would trade places with you in an instant! Oh, to not have to be away from my son for 11 hours every day (commute time counts, too). You don’t know how fortunate you are!

    • Hi Colleen, Thanks for reading. I think a lot of people are assuming I’m a stay-at-home mom. I’m not. I work, and also commute 2 hours each day. I was simply saying I think being a stay-at-home mom would be even harder (for me, at least. I need to go to work to stay sane!)

      Hope you’ll return to the blog! Summer

  81. This is a great blog! I laughed and I am not a parent nor did I take it as a complaining parent. This parent obviously has a great attitude. However, to those rude and angry people who leave comments…I think you need to take some happy pills. This is a light hearted blog. Save the tone for the political blogs. For now, let’s just all get a good laugh as the author meant. :o) Great job! In fact, I’m going to share it with a few of my parent friends.

  82. Great post.

    For those of you who are arguing whether or not being a parent is a job, look the word up in the dictionary before you make your statement:

    Job (noun): a role served by a person or thing…. (including) where a person is serving the role without economic gain.

    If that doesn’t work for you, then you need to get a sense of humor. A definition here might help some of you also:

    Sense of humor: the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous.

    Stop being so literal and enjoy yourself for five minutes.

    I was a stay-at-home mother for eight years. My son is wonderful, but being a mom is beyond stressful. That doesn’t make it bad or unrewarding, it just means is extremely difficult. The extremely difficult things tend to be the most rewarding in the long run, but usually you need a good view from ten or more years out to get the reward, should you live through the stress.

  83. I stumbled upon your blog by accident and am unlikely to follow it since I raised (past tense) three children who now appear to be fully functioning adults and I don’t need to relive the experience. I will, however, say to you what I tell frazzled parents of young children who come into the library where I work: They grow up and move away. And additionally: Start brain washing them now so they choose to move somewhere you want to go on vacation but can’t afford.

  84. Summer…my cousin decided to print it or something. Anyway, she absolutely loved it. Winnie, you are too funny!

  85. And Jill…great response!

  86. Pingback: Reading America’s Most Stressful Jobs…Whatever « Cleveland Mom’s Weblog

  87. are you kidding me? yeah you’re a taxi driver… 5 times a week when you pick your kids up from school. you’re also a nurse… twice a year when your kids get sick and you have to give them dimeatapp. and you’re on call every night? after your kids are what, one, they usually sleep through the night. once your kids go to school, a stay at home parent pretty much has the freedom to do whatever they want between the hours of 730 am – 3pm. and then your kids come home and do homework, which most kids do self sufficiently, and maybe have a question or two. and this is if you’re a good, loving, attentive parent. a surprisingly large percentage of parents pay absolutely no attention to their children whatsoever. i see 8 year old children wandering the streets in my neighborhood all the time, completely unattended. it’s not that hard being a parent. all you really have to do by law is get knocked up, feed em till they’re old enough to feed themselves, not beat the shit out of em, and make sure they go to school.

  88. I do not have children, and probably will not in the near future; however, this post made me simultaneously smile and wince.

    I wish you luck in your future years as a parent, and hope that you keep up the great sense of humour!

  89. I went from being in the United States Air Force to a stay at home mom of two very rambunctious girls. I do find myself in the fetal position occasionally and have become a chronic insomniac. I guess it is rewarding…but should be number FREAKING one on the most stressful job list. Thanks for your post. It brightened my day.

  90. Parenting is not a job. You can’t quit. You can’t get fired. You don’t get paid. Comparing parenting to other (note, I didn’t say “real”) occupations only serves to belittle parenting. It is not a job. It serves a much greater purpose and is much harder.

    I’m a parent of 2 boys. Parenting them is not “my job”…it is my life, my joy, my greatest responsibility.

    • Exactly. It’s not a job and you can’t quit and 99% of society’s problems come from people who had kids and then got tired of parenting.

      I think we need to stop celebrating how cute and fun kids are are realize that parenting is not about the fun stuff, but about raising human beings.

  91. I love it! Let me tell you what, after over 6 years of active duty and a couple of other jobs I finally have the ability to stay home with my girls. There are so many days when I think that if I just went back to the Army I would be able to take a break on occasion! Dont get me wrong, I love being home and I would not prefer to get a “job” so someone else or a day care could raise my kids. Love being a mom, but unless you intend to let the tv babysit your kids, it is a lot of work.

  92. I would agree…although I’m not a parent. I worked as a nanny for 7 years, and 3 different families. My hours were roughly 50 a week and I was never so exhausted after every day then when I carried for kids and a household! And I got to go home at night!!!!

  93. I’m not even a parent, or anywhere near that, and I totally agree. I mean, I feel sorry for my parents. I’m a lot to handle. I 100% agree!

  94. I agree parenting seems very hard and stressful. But I think the list was targeted at jobs that you get a paycheck for:) You seem to be very stressed out about your present condition just remember your job may be the hardest out there, but it is also more rewarding than any other position being offered in corporate America.

  95. Yes…. I love my mom….. she is a great hero!!!!!!

  96. You seriously need an award for this excellent post, a big shiny gold one! I’m so glad I found your blog, this post made me laugh out loud at the end of a long hard day!

  97. What the jobs on the list and parenthood have in common is that the people who choose to add the label of “firefighter” or “mom and dad” to their resume do so out of a passion for their vocation and want to make a difference in the world regardless of the risk or reward. Great post. From a mom who did not shave both legs at the same time for 10 years, it was all worth it. My “babies” are now 22, 19 and 18 and payback is better than I ever imagined – especially since there were times when I was certain there would not be any 🙂

  98. Awesome post! And I just have to say, don’t listen to the haters and synics out there trying to tell you “don’t complain about having kids. just don’t have any”. A firefighter and cop choose to be those things too and that’s life. Parenting is the MOST iportant jobs because if your job is done right then maybe we wouldn’t have so many criminals and arsonists to begin with.

    Keep up the good work and feel free to check out my blog at:


  99. I’m still wondering why social work/therapy didn’t make the list. Low pay, long hours, dealing with life or death matters… yeah. I’m finding SAHM-hood a bit easier. Or rather demanding in different ways. (And I love it… and your post!) 🙂 There are definitely days that I think escaping to work would be nice though.

  100. Rock on Summer!

  101. You know parenting is not job, right? But in all honesty, if you’ve been a good parent, the problems as a parent should end when your child becomes 13 or so. And until your baby lights you on fire, drives off in a car, or pulls a gun on you, I think that Firefighter and Highway Patrol trumps parenting…

  102. “I didn’t get to pee whenever I wanted when I was standing in the middle of the Iraqi desert hoping I wasn’t going to get sniped at any given moment.

    Coming home to my family…not stressful at all.

    If you’re having so much stress being a parent, then you’re not doing it right.”

    Could not agree more. :]

  103. OK, so being a member of the active U.S. military deployed in a foreign country probably IS the most stressful job. But suggesting parenthood is “not stressful at all” is kind of like saying peanut butter doesn’t really taste anything like nuts. Amen to this post, Summer. Great, funny stuff 🙂

  104. True. But Who’s to say that those Taxi Drivers aren’t parents as well? or those Pilots? the police officer? 🙂

    Still it makes sense though

  105. Brilliantly written – and here I am contemplating another child at 44. Phew feel absolutely petrified as all you say is so true!

  106. Yeah, but … when you’re putting in those 24/7 hours, it feels so right, so good, like such a privilege because the alternative would be – not to be a mother at all.

  107. A Comment on Censorship:

    You’ve got to appreciate my sister for the egalitarian she is; considering the range of comments towards her thoughts, there wasn’t much censorship on her part. When you look at what she left for the world to read, you can see that anything edited would be because it was in extremely poor taste.

    • Thanks, Kristy. I haven’t deleted any–well, except the spam ones that had nothing to do with the post. It’s freedom of speech. When you’ve worked at a magazine, you get used to seeing negative letters to the editor. Besides, it has all made for very interesting conversations here in the comments…

  108. Very well written. Good read.

  109. Good one… I know I gave a lot of trouble to my parents when I was kid.

    When I was young one day I came home with cuts to my almost new dress (including belt and shoe. Full house :-D). Upon investigation by my mom (the Indian way, spanking) my reply was “I cut my finger (I donno how), it bled so I wanted to check if dress does bleed. When it didn’t I tried my tie, belt shoes etc”. … rolz.

  110. I once read that it doesn’t matter what you do for a living, as long as you feel useful.
    Parenting doesn’t make you feel useful. Instead, it makes you feel needed. Essential, even. That’s a good feeling.
    The article was true, and funny because of that truth. But I wonder; would we find it so funny if we didn’t know our own worth?
    Kudos to all you mothers out there. You are the grease that keeps the world spinning smoothly.
    Well, you and money. Which I hope my offspring will shower me with when they have their own kids and finally appreciate me.

  111. Indeed it’s the most stressful job and perhaps it’s the least appreciated one. Thanks for the laugh. Yet I wouldn’t dream to say I’ve got a better job than being a mother.

  112. I’m not a parent (delaying that stuff for the reasons you mention!) – but AM a classroom teacher. Why on EARTH aren’t we on that list?

    I mean – advertising people and PR people are on that list? I could gobble that stuff down with my eyes closed. In the classroom, I would never even think of closing an eye.

  113. I haven’t yet finished my life so I don’t know if I’m right or wrong. However having passed with 4 of these mini-destroyers I would say it was the happiest time ever I had in the life. Indeed it is hard cultivating them and indeed indeed it is stressful sometimes. But we all have been receiving gift in exchange from them at least since 6,000 years ago…and they who are currently mini-destroyers will receive it in the future too.
    This is a cycle we all have had, are having and will have till we become extinct or otherwise?
    This is so precious. It will be hard to understand how it is precious till it’s not there any longer.

    Instead this posting reminds me, by the way “again”, that there are so many essential jobs people are working hard for our society and probably making just decent amount of money to live…while many people are thinking only to make much money in this material world.
    Are there still dignity and virtues in the human society?

  114. holy comments! It took me longer to find the bottom of the comment list than to read your post…which was awesome! and I’m not even a mom…..just a woman carefully considering it one day…..emphasis on one.

  115. Wow! I can’t believe all of the negative comments on here! I know that she was being humorous! I did not sense that she was complaining at all.

    My girls are 3 & 1. Of course parenting is very rewarding but it can definitely be more stressful than most (if not all) jobs. It’s not like that all of the time but a lot of the time it is. A person is not a bad parent because they vent about the things that go wrong. Sometimes we have to do that in order to relieve that stress. We talk about it and then move on! The stressful times make me want to pull my hair out (for example: like last evening when she buried her $250 pair of glasses in the sand at the park and we spent 2 hours with flash lights searching the entire park before finding them). But the “I love you Mama!” and the cuddle times totally make up for the stressful times!

    Those of you who are parents but have said that it is not stressful; please share your tips with me because I would love to know how to live a stress free life of parenting for the next 18 years.

    (P.S. and I agree that military should have been on the list.)

  116. Being a mother is rough whether you are working outside the home,or a stay at home
    mom. Working outside the home is added stress
    because of babysitters,and lack of time. Being
    at home is rough because it’s 24/7. Once the
    little one starts walking Oh Boy!!! As a grandma
    who watched grandkids two days a week since
    they were 7 weeks old it can be much. They
    were only 18 months apart so at one point both
    were in diapers,walking and getting into everything. Now, they are 6 and 8 and they argue constantly. One is trying to be better than
    the other. The 6yr old just cant understand that
    he is younger and its natural for him not to be
    able to do thing as well as 8yr. old. A lot of
    rivalry, and arguing. But, I would not trade
    this grandma job for the world!!!!
    You need a routine,but dont add stress by
    thinking everything has to be perfect. Babies
    are survivors, and if a routine goes off base just
    move on and continue your day and dont let
    it get you all stressed out that you are off schedule.

  117. HILARIOUS ! The point of leaving a comment here is to say THANK YOU for such a great post it really made me laugh!

    some more: What about GUILT? I think Moms have the highest score on feeling guilty, especially when they enjoy doing other things than parenting such as blogging 🙂

  118. richard joseph


  119. Yay for us SAHMs. Thanks, great post.

  120. I love you for this!!!… you should add being a military spouse, and parent to the list of stressful things that just won’t go away!..LOL…please keep them coming!

  121. Great post, but I think a lot of people still devalue mothers work, which adds to the big walking ball of stress that you encounter on a daily bases. I did find a great book that has helped me to relax, Break Free of Parenting Pressures, I would recommend it to any parent.

  122. nice post,
    having a child is a gift from god, and we should nurture them and give them an unconditional love..
    because not every person in this world are given a great gift like that

  123. Pingback: America’s most stressful job-parenting « p3825, the duck project

  124. For the LOVE of Pete’s Dragon I just peed in my pants. All I can say is: After taking care of my sister’s kids for a little over a week (well, actually, after doing it for only 2 days) I would have KILLED to go to work. Fetal? Heck, I think I melted on the kitchen floor.
    Summer, you’ve outdone yourself with this one. All non-defensive people know you were neither complaining nor bashing the jobs that made the list, and all the moms who laughed their asses off at your post are still thanking you for that little ray of healthy humor thank you for all you do acknowledgement.
    And that’s what I think. so there.
    Thank you!
    PS Now I wish I’d gone to the bachelorette party instead of (rather, in addition to) Mr. Embee’s bachelor party 🙂

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  126. Really proficient post. Theoretically I could write something like this too, but taking the time and effort to make a good article is a lot of effort…but what can I say….I’m a procrastinater. Good read though.

  127. ha ha ha !!!!!!!!!!!!! very funny post ilike it!!!!!!!

  128. Pingback: Mother’s Day Week « Heart Treasures

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  130. very very nice!..makes me value my mummy even more…:)

  131. hahahah!! i love your post! Well, besides, you also get depressed at times when you don’t have anything to do and mumbling around like psycho! haha ❤

  132. I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog – I totally get you. As much as I love my son, I totally respect my partner for spending all day with him 5 days a week, because I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to. I am just so fed up of all the women out there who ask me why I’m back at work. Not that it’s any of their business, but as my partner freelances and I get a regular wage, it made more sense for me to go back. If I were a man, this wouldn’t be an issue. So much for feminism.



  133. great post, thanks for sharing.

  134. maggieferry1

    This had me laughing so hard.

    Thanks! Shared with my mommy friends.

  135. Pingback: Mommy Brain (Mother’s Day Series-2) « Heart Treasures

  136. My husband is an American Soldier. Maybe you should try that job sometime.

    • Summer Embee

      I know quite a few people who have served and I, too, was shocked it didn’t top the list. Incredibly stressful job. Thanks for reading!

  137. Yes, I’m pretty sure whoever generated this list has no idea what they’re talking about. I mean some of the jobs here aren’t even that stressful. It’s only about an in-case-of-emergency situation based list.

  138. It seems wonderful that someone is acknowledging the undeniably impossible job that is motherhood. I certainly don’t have kids, hell, I’m not even out of High School! But to imagine the constant fear and responsibility for another whole human being as well as your other kids, if that is the case, and slipping yourself in the agenda as well. Though, thinking within the first years of your child’s life, get a micro-second of time for yourself, is a fantasy, I have yet to uncover.
    Even after the kids’ years of childhood, the painful-for-everyone-hood (teen hood) is yet to come. As a teenager here and now, to remind you lovely mothers out there how important you are, I promise there is no such thing as a kid who doesn’t love his/her mother. To steal a quote from “French Kiss”, Meg Ryan says, “Everyone loves their mothers, even people who say they hate their mothers love their mothers.” Lets all let our mothers know how very loved they are!

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