How To Train For Motherhood

People train for marathons and careers – but can you train for Motherhood? I say yes.

Nothing prepared me for motherhood like my first job – bussing tables at a pancake restaurant during the crazy summer tourist season. I was forced to think quick on my feet, work long hours for bad pay, was covered in food that was not my own, and dealt with screaming customers.

My uniform was a t-length bell shaped green polyester wrap dress, an orange polyester button up shirt with the crowning jewel – a bow around my neck. I wore nursing white shoes to finish off this hot number. This was not the last humiliating piece of clothing I wore that’s for sure. One peek into my closet now and you will see a collection of stained, non-flattering, out of style numbers that have been worn in public more times than I care to admit.

Humiliating outfit aside, bussing tables was perfect training for motherhood. Why? Well when you work in the food industry you have to:

Clean toilets – As bus girl I was relegated to public restroom duty. You don’t know disgusting till you clean a public restroom located across the street from the beach. Sand everywhere, wet diapers, pee, poop, and just down right GROSS. My kids also leave their bathroom absolutely disgusting, at least I know where those butts have been.

Clear tables – I was responsible for cleaning off and resetting the tables. I can wipe a table down with such swiftness you would be shocked. This has come in handy when cleaning up my own little one’s epic disasters. No mess they have made at the table could rival a party of 12 with multiple kids.

Pay – I got a cut of the waitresses take for the day. Sure they worked hard, but so did I – refilling drinks, cleaning tables, getting napkins, silverware and don’t forget the toilets. However they made 80% and I got 20%…sound like another situation?

Early Mornings – Working at a restaurant that deals in pancakes and eggs, the start time was 5:30 am. This meant getting up at 4:45 or 5 am and getting to work in time to be smiling and ready when the doors opened at 6. Now I get up at 6am with my kids, but at least I don’t have to smile and I can stay in my pj’s all day if I want too.

Smell Horrible – Being the girl that cleans the tables you end up smelling like a mixture of syrup, eggs, fried foods, and sour milk. By the end of the shift I stunk. Not unlike a day with toddlers, and even now I will find syrup on me and yet I haven’t had any in weeks.

Deal with Angry Customers – Almost daily there would be a customer vying for a free meal, because their $3 eggs were not done just to their liking even though they ate them all. Scenes would be made and management would scramble to pacify them with a comp of something. My kids have been known to throw a fit at certain points in their lives too. I can remember a mall incident that left me shaking outside my car and a woman following me to ensure I didn’t kill my kid – which I didn’t.

5 minute rule – Working in a restaurant you learn that if the cook drops the steak on the ground, the 5 minute rule totally applies and they can just pick that sucker back up throw it on the grill for a minute both sides and put it out to be served. This works in motherhood too. My kids would drop food and I would rescue it, wash it/blow off any obvious sign of dirt and feed it to them. No harm done.

So even though motherhood is hard work, it is not as disgusting or hard as bussing tables at a gross restaurant; silver lining, people.  You’re welcome.

Originally posted at Alyson’s blog. Photo courtesy of