With some jobs, you work 8 hours for 5 days a week and then you're off 2. With my job, I actively work 4-6 hours a day, and am on call all the rest- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My work schedule is unpredictable: I can be just sitting down to relax and have something important pop up that can end up consuming the rest of my day; I just never know.
I have a project due every day at 6:30pm. I have to plan the projects ahead of time and ensure I have all the materials I need or else I could miss a deadline. The hands-on time for the projects is about an hour each day, but I often have to plan a little extra due to those unforeseen circumstances that so frequently pop up with my work.
I have other projects with their own deadlines ongoing at all times, and if I get behind on any of them everything at the office falls into chaos. Unfortunately, I am the only one at the company who is trained to do my job, so if I drop the ball then things can get out of hand pretty quickly.
I co-manage a team of 4 people, but my co-manager works offsite most of the time, so the majority of the day-to-day management responsibilities fall to me. I try to keep him aware of what's going on, but the rest of the team will always come to me first if they have a problem, even if he's standing right next to me. It can get stressful at times.
The 4 team members that I manage are all mentally and socially handicapped. They have frequent outbursts, they squabble constantly (occasionally coming to blows), and have to be reminded often to stay on task (hence the unpredictable nature of my job and the need for me to always be on call). They need constant, around-the-clock supervision. That part of my job never ends. (And did I mention there's no overtime compensation?)
We have no janitorial staff at the office, so it's up to me, my co-manager, and my team to keep it tidy. Because my co-manager is offsite so often, the majority of this falls to me and my team. And with their handicaps they often destroy more than they help. So really, the majority of it falls to me. When my co-manager is around, he usually just assumes we've (I've) done the cleaning or that we will do it, so he doesn't worry much about it.
It was laid out very clearly in my contract that failure to do my job in a professional and expert way could (and most likely would) result in the following:
1. The death of one or more of my children.
2. Mental and/or emotional damage to one or more of my children.
3. Loss of my home.
4. Divorce from my husband.
Needless to say, this makes this job pretty important to me. On the upside, I do get bonuses:
1. Daily hugs and kisses from my team members.
2. Pride in my team members' accomplishments.
3. The knowledge that I'm doing the job God wants me to do.
4. Daily lessons in patience and kindness.
And if you're reading this, you may have the same job I do: Mom.