How Motherhood Is Like Working Retail

Playing Chutes & Ladders with Eli

I could say that motherhood is like working retail because of…

…the long hours…

…the irregular shifts…

…being on your feet all day…

…how disproportionate the pay is to the work required…

…the sometimes disgruntled customers…

but that’s not why I think motherhood is most like working retail.

In retail, you often have a lot of responsibilities that have nothing to do with customer service: keep things tidy, track inventory, balance your register, etc.

During orientation at a retail job of mine many years ago, a wise manager gave us this advice:

never act like the customer is interrupting your job. the customer IS your job.

And there it is.

As mothers, we often have a lot of responsibilities that have nothing to do with our kids. Keep the house clean, make sure there are groceries, balance the bank account, etc. The details are different for each family, but it’s true – we have a lot of tasks that are tangential to motherhood that sometimes interrupt us from, well, being mothers.

And while those things certainly need to be done, sometimes I have to remind myself that when my kids need me, most tasks are not too important that they can’t wait for a chat, a hug, the answer to a question, or even a game of Chutes & Ladders.


  • This is why I love you so much. Thank you for reminding me once again that my kids aren’t an interruption, but a precious gift. Sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day, that I need the reminder!

  • Dimondliane

    Great post! I love it!

  • Heather Orr

    So very true. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Jenn

    So very true. Wonderful post!

  • Becca

    What a sweet post 🙂

  • Christina

    So true!