Jobs for parents: 9 jobs parenting inadvertently trains you to do

At around 2am this morning, I was woken from a deep sleep and instructed to change my son’s bedsheets. What followed was not pretty. I walked into walls, I dropped pillowcases, I got lost in the duvet cover and I had to restart the process six or seven times.

Why am I telling you this? I’m not sure, to be honest. Oh, I remember. It’s because although changing bedsheets in the middle of the night remains one of the most difficult jobs for parents, I believe that there are some occupations that our crack training (read: dealing with a kid while suffering from severe sleep deprivation) would allow us to do in our sleep.

Jobs like? Well, careers like the following nine jobs, which I believe parenting has inadvertently trained me to do…

Father Hood’s perfect jobs for parents

1. Negotiator

“Son, I can see you’re upset, but we’re here for you, so let’s try to work through the issues and not do anything rash, okay? Good. Now, mummy and daddy regret opening the packet of crisps for you and have a question. Will you stop screaming, pull your trousers up and descend from the car roof for a hug and a still unopened packet of Pom-Bears? No? Okay, how about a hug, a still unopened packet of Pom-Bears and an also unopened fruit shoot? Still no? A hug, a still unopened packet of Pom-Bears, an also unopened fruit shoot and daddy’s phone? Deal? Excellent. I’ll source the merchandise, you sort your trousers and mummy will get you down.”

2. Lie detector

Police departments! Why spend loads of money on a fancy polygraph machine, when you can employ mums and dads who spend their whole lives investigating whether the explanation they are hearing accurately summarises what went on, or is their child’s imaginative interpretation of the truth?

3. Getaway driver

The clock reads 11.53 am, giving you seven minutes to drop your kid and partner off at a swimming lesson, and then another 15 minutes to get to your meeting/lunch/doctor’s appointment on the other side of town. There’s only one thing for it. Buckle up your seat belts, put on daddy’s Baby Driver playlist and refrain from eating any snacks, because things are about to get real.

Father Hood preparing to make his getaway

4. Holiday rep

As a holiday rep, your job requires you to zone out the naysayers, ignore the drunken idiots, forget about the people asking for their money back, disregard your personal issues and maintain the facade of happiness until you clock off, go home and cry in the shower.

As a parent driving your family on a long car journey, your job requires you to zone out the crying and shouting, ignore the variety of liquids seeping into the back seat, forget about the really crucial comforter you left at home, disregard the 4-mile long traffic jam and maintain the facade of happiness until you reach your destination, go the toilet and hide.

5. Treadstone Program assassin

To misquote Jason Bourne: “I can tell you the exact location of the four exits my son could potentially run out of. I can tell you that one radiator is hot enough to scold a child and the cup of coffee sitting on the table at the back right of the dance floor is a little too close to the edge. I know the party entertainer’s sound system features the sharpest edge in the room and that if my kid starts moving to his right I have three seconds to get to the bowl of gummy sweets before he does. Now why would I know that? How can I know that when I’m so tired I can’t even spell my own name?”

6. Cat burglar

Yes, yes, I hate crime like the rest of you. But, illegal or not, if you can extricate yourself from the bed of a sleeping toddler, make it across the land of soft, squeaky toys, bypass the creaky floorboards and sneak out the door without waking your kid up, then I’m almost certain that you could earn a pretty penny in the cat burgling industry.

7. Shoe salesperson

Picture the scene. You’re in Clarks, you have your ticket and you’ve managed to stop your kid destroying the place, wetting themselves or sprinting out the door in the 20 minutes you’ve been waiting. FINALLY, your number comes up. You get your little one’s feet measured and discover that, as per usual, the shop only has one pair that you even semi-like in his or her size. Do you say “thanks, but no thanks” and head for another branch to repeat the process? No, you do not. You seize the moment, and sell the colour, features and soles of those shoes to your kid as if your life depended on it.

8. Zombie

Wait a second – never mind jobs for parents, is this even a job for anyone? Well, I’ve seen experiences where you “get chased around a warehouse by zombies” advertised on my Facebook feed, so I am pretty sure that someone, somewhere is securing a bit of cash by getting themselves made up to look like one of the flesh-craving undead. This is good news for them, but it’s even better news for us. Why? Simple. As sleep deprived parents, we wouldn’t need to sport any make-up or learn how to groan in a manner that suggested every single muscle in our body was aching, saving the organisers money and time and making us perfect for the role.

Father Hood at 2am this morning. Photo taken by Bob Jagendorf

9. Food taster

Pick up spoon. Put in mouth. Digest. Shout service. Yup, this pesto pasta is ready to go, people.

The end

So, there you have it. Those are the 9 jobs that I believe parenting has inadvertently trained me to do. Can you think of any other jobs for parents that mums and dads would knock out of the park due to having kids? If you can, please join the conversation by commenting below.

Until next time…


  1. Being a zombie is definitely a job. I’ve been in post for eight and a half years and love it.

    • True. It’s a job for life. Maybe we can create a new industry – be zombie cat burglars by night and getaway drivers by day?

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