thoughts: 5 Reasons…I mean 27 Reasons Why Working in Retail Prepared Me for Motherhood

I had 14 years of retail management under my belt before I became a mama…and well, it got me starting to think about how the two are very similar…my previous career as a retail store manager & my current career as a stay-at-home-mama.

Being a SAHM has nothing to do with propping up your feet , eating bon-bons, or watching daytime television.

I was under the assumption (before I had kids, of course), that this job would be easy and it involved if not one, maybe all of those things.  Boy, was I disillusioned-HA!

Pre-kids/Pre-SAHM, I thought, “How hard can it be?”…well, to say that I was completely wrong is accurate.  It was a “Big Mistake….BIG….HUGE!!”, – quoting Miss Vivian Ward, (, (and yes, my favorite movie is about a working girl – don’t judge ;).

Lesson learned, don’t assume and assess what you think you might know about something until you actually know something about that said something ;)  Words to live by, my friend!

So here’s what I came up with!  These flowed out of me with no end in sight – HA!  I bet you have some to add, too.  I would love to hear them :)

27 Similar Job Traits: working in retail vs. being a mama

(Oh, and if you are even a little bit squeamish – don’t read #19)

1.  Both require you to be on your feet ALLLLLLL STINKIN’ DAAAAAAAY.

2.  Both require very, very long hours/days/weeks/months…………..

3.  Both kill your back:

retail mama
moving fixtures, clothing, racks lifting a 30+ lb toddler & a 25+ lb infant (sometimes at the same time!)

4.  Both require you to clean up someone else’s mess.

5.  Both allow you to have a super small (if any) break/meal time.

6.  Both require management skills:

retail mama
running a store with employees running a home with kids

7.  Both require you to get down & dirty.

8.  Individuals involved in both are very demanding:

retail mama
customers & employees children

9.  Both cause stress that keeps you up at night and are unable to clear your mind:

retail mama
store visits, customer feedback, store performance sick child, healthy child…this list could go on & on here…

10.  Both require teaching & learning.

11.  Both are frustrating.

12.  Both require financial planning:

retail mama
staff salary, store hours, ordering supplies grocery planning, coupons, activities

13.  Both require you to be socially extroverted:

retail mama
customers, recruiting moms’ groups, play dates

14.  Both require general safety knowledge & implementation:

retail mama
providing a safe and clean store environment for employees & customers putting up safety gates so that your toddler doesn’t plummet down the stairs & monitors so that you can hear & aid when your child plummets from their bed –there is a lot of plummeting going on ;)

15.  Both supervise and control merchandise & stock:

retail mama
clothing & supply inventory food, household goods, & clothing inventory

16.  Both require you to coach, counsel, and discipline.

17.  Both require you to plan, monitor, and appraise job results:

retail mama
completing a floor set completing a floor puzzle

18.  Both require patience….need I say more?

19.  Both require a thick skin when it comes to…let’s just call it “bodily functions”:

retail mama
peed on clothes in fitting room, leftover sanitary napkins in fitting rooms, gum under seats & on walls, boogers on fitting room walls & doors (just to name a retail few-I think you get the nasty retail picture) poop, pee, snot, dirt, play-doh, food…you name it, I’ve seen it!

20.  Both require knowledge in recruiting, selecting, and orienting:

retail mama
staff preschools, moms’ groups, parks, playgrounds

21.  Both require you to issue corrective actions:

retail mama
write-ups time-outs

22.  Both require you to balance many things at once (literally & figuratively).

23.  Both require you to meet someone else’s needs first & leave little time for YOU:

retail mama
the screaming customer the screaming children

24.  Both require quick thinking:

retail mama
shoplifter two-year old holding a permanent marker

25.  Both jobs require you to hang, size, & fold clothes…UGH!

26.  Both groups of people under you (your employees/your children) find you annoyingly overbearing and “want to do it themselves” without your help or hovering!

27.  Both require you to tell…”little.white.lies”…(I may, or may not, have told these falsities ;):

retail mama
those jeans look fabulous on you! sorry, honey, the chocolate bunnies are all gone!

And you know what, with all that being said…being a SAHM for me is the most important and rewarding job in the world; My proof is my kids!  And although this blog is very tongue-in-cheek, and it took me awhile to be at peace with this vocation, I would not want it any other way.  I am completely grateful & happy that I have the opportunity to do this.

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  1. This is so true. I use to work in retail too.

  2. Loved the comparisons. I am sure that a lot of people can relate. Great job.

  3. Hello! Found you at the Two in Diapers blog hop and love your recent post. I am a SAHM of 5 boys and love it so much (even when it’s hard!). Blessings to you and your family – Susan

    • Thanks Susan for your kind words – sometimes the more personal posts are harder to write & I appreciate the positive feedback:) 5 boys – wowzers!! Some days I want more kids & some days I am completely satisfied where I am, with my two beautiful babes – either way I am happy & sooo grateful that I am able to be a SAHM :) Thanks for finding me & stopping by.

      xx ♥ m

  4. Your blog is cute! Just came over from NatashainOz’s social media linkup!

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