I am a musician by trade. And yes, before you ask, it is a real job.
The job, as does most, comes with many highs and lows.
Highs include: Travelling to amazing places, playing at major venues, working alongside your friends, working with celebrities, playing on TV, having lots of days off and variety- as no two days are ever the same. Plus sometimes- and it's not often, but sometimes, you get FREE booze!!
Lows include: Airport check-ins at 5 am, erratic schedules, eating soggy boxed sandwiches from petrol stations for your dinner 3 nights in a row, spending a lot of time in your pants watching Jeremy Kyle waiting for a gig to come in, insane trouble getting car insurance, insane trouble getting mortgages (banks don't think it's a real job) and having to deal with people on the tube who say 'Gawd, that's a big violin'. (The most original and over-stated observation that is always said to a woman carrying a cello on public transport)
Being a musician means I have a very specific skill set and should I wish to change career paths, I know that my skills aren't hugely transferrable to other careers. There aren't after all many professions that require one to expertly stroke a chunk of wood with metal wires wrapped around it whilst crowds of humans bang their palms together. It's a niche career to be fair.
But then, HOLD ON! I am a mother.And it occurred to me that being mother means I have a HUGE selection of skills that I could transfer over to almost ANY career should I choose to. So, whilst I sit here in my pants watching Jeremy Kyle waiting for that call, I consider that perhaps it's time for a change.
Here are the top 10 careers that I and ALL parents are already practically qualified to do:
If I can I prepare and present three different versions of breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for 5 straight years, then I think I am more than qualified to be a top-notch chef at a bustling restaurant. I can handle the stress, the long hours sweating over a cooker and the difficult customers who inevitably complain and return their meals to the kitchen untouched. I have the patience and the creativity to really make my mark on the food industry. You want Fish Fingers served 3 different ways? ...No problem. I can do that. Mushy peas for one, garden peas for another and a combo of sweetcorn and peas that spell out the letters A-G?...No sweat- I can do this with my eyes closed. Gordon Ramsey- you need me in your kitchen. I am so skilled it's ridiculous.
2. Sanitation Officer
If I can remove and dispose of vile human waste on a daily basis, then I am certain that I have a strong enough stomach to handle working as a Sanitation Officer. It takes a lot to make me gag these days and standing in a river of shit wouldn't even phase me. Collecting hazardous waste and gases for analysis?...Shucks, I do this daily already- I may as well get paid for it. I could do this job with my eyes open and my nostrils flexed. No gas mask required.
If I can successfully coerce two small children and a fully grown man into sitting still on a chair whilst I trim their wayward locks, then I feel I have the skills to be a highly successful hairdresser. I offer entertaining conversation and I have a strong technical command of a pair of scissors. If you want your kid to look dumb or dumber even, then I'll be the hairdresser for you. My talent is here waiting to be discovered. Give me a job Nicky Clarke- you won't regret it!
4. Bomb Disposal SPECIALIST.
If (after years of sleep deprivation and significant stress) I can lift a sleeping child and change his nappy without waking him, then I feel I have the steady hands and the mental focus required to successfully dispose of live explosives and potentially save thousands of lives. My country needs me. I am ready and able to help.
5. Police Officer
If I can break up fights, enforce rules, negotiate with hostile youths and investigate alleged 'accidents', then I just know that I'd make a great Police woman. I am authoritative, fair and command respect. I could sort out our society's anti- social behaviour with ease. Plus, I'd look great in the hat.
6. Olympic Gymnast.
If I can contort myself into a ball and navigate my way around a giant climbing frame, through a treacherous ball pool and down a death slide at soft play, then I think I have the physical ability required to be a renowned Olympic gymnast. If not, I would certainly have the appropriate strength and flexibility to be a gifted pole dancer. The late hours would mean I could still do the school run, plus the cash would be great!
If I have the versatility to be a savage bear, a courageous lion, an evil pixie or a noble Fireman, then I could totally be an actress. If I can capture the attention of an unruly 3 year old with an electrifying performance of 'That's Not My Car' or turn the head of a screaming 5 yr old with a colourful rendition of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar', then I am confident that I have the talent and the charisma to capture the attention of audiences worldwide-both on stage and on screen. Move over Angelina....I'm coming to Hollywood.
8. Financial Manager
Being in charge of a family is like running a small business. Parents are responsible for managing the family's funds to cover life's absolute essentials like gas, electric, food, clothing and NETFLIX. If I can successfully budget our funds so that every young occupant of our household is well fed and watered and every adult occupant has an abundance of alcohol and top-notch entertainment to watch, then I am confident that I could work as a financial manager of a major corporation.
If I can tolerate sitting in a room full of dribbling kids garbling utter nonsense in my face, then I think I would make a great Politician. I could easily sit in the House of Commons and keep my eyes wide open whilst feigning enthusiasm for any bullshit that is blurted in my face. And if someone asks me a question, I could just simply nod my head like the dog off the Churchill advert: 'Yes. Yes. Ah, yes'. Easy peasy. The cash will be good plus there'll be significant perks. I'll get to claim for some fabulous expenses: Lunches. Taxis. A second home. I could even pay my husband to be my 'Office manager' and pay him handsomely (despite him being truly crap with a computer). Two birds with one stone and all.
10. WINE CONNOISSEUR
Being a parent means that I have become somewhat of an expert on the juices of crushed grapes. I have tasted A LOT and I can say with confidence that I could sample wine all the live long day without getting hopelessly mullered. I have developed a stamina for alcohol consumption and a sensitive palate that would put me right up there with the finest connoisseurs. I also do a marvellous posh English accent (thanks to my acting skills) and so I could talk convincingly for hours about hints of plum and mild detections of oak and vanilla. Hand me a case of wine and I'll show you my talents.
Truthfully, I am perfectly happy being a musician. I love the time off. I love spending my mornings with Jeremy. And I love the buzz of chatting to strangers on the tube as they enquire about my 'Big Violin'. This is a delight that few get to experience in their lives.I wouldn't have it any other way.
But if I ever changed my mind, it's comforting to know that I could be an overly dramatic, political, pole- dancing, law-abiding, hairdresser who has steady hands despite being full of wine and has the ability to serve fishfingers and chips three different ways.
The world it seems, is my oyster- thanks to being a parent.
If you fancy voting for me for 'Best Writer' in the BiB awards then just click below. Voters will find that their children will sleep soundly in their beds and eat all of their vegetables after voting. Serious.