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The struggle is real.

Just when you feel like you’ve got a handle on this being a mom thing: Boom! Something changes and you realize this is your circus and those are your monkeys.
Fear not, moms of the world!

Being either a zookeeper (or a mom) is a rewarding job. Even under the best conditions though, some days each job description is weirdly similar.

When researching this topic I found some extremely funny quotes about being a zookeeper that confirmed that some days I may really be a zookeeper and not a mom.


The priority of a zoo keeper is to maintain the welfare of the animals they care for and keep them happy.

Some people reading this might find it strange how you can substitute the title mom for the zookeeper title. To me it seems natural for the jobs to be so alike. The saddest thing is that often times there is a checklist for zookeepers to follow to know that their animals are being well taken care of, but in the Mommy Land Zoo there isn’t a checklist in how to do that!

The complication comes when you have a new baby or a toddler that like to change their minds. The things that will keep them happy and laughing 360 days a year inevitably do not keep them happy for those other 5-6 days a year. Sometimes it even can change from minute to minute: The best, and I say this completely scarcastically, is having a tantrum over a red cup versus a blue cup! How big of a jerk can your kid be?

…zoo keepers are also expected to get their hands dirty and clean out animal enclosures daily.

Deja vu anyone?

This is the part of the job that never ends! I can’t tell you how many days I think of myself in the staring role in the movie Ground Hog Day. Usually it’s when I’m throwing toys into the toy box again. I even speak to myself aloud, “Didn’t I just put this away five minutes ago?”

Animals don’t function 9-5 and neither will you. Zoo keepers often work in shifts including evenings and weekends.

I think I learned that lesson the first night we brought our oldest daughter home from the hospital! I distinctly remember saying to my husband in frustration as she cried for forty-five minutes straight: We have how many more months of this until she sleeps through the night?

Little did I know then that both my kids would be “allergic to sleep”. Don’t get scared, but I’m still trying to get my 3 and 5 year old to sleep through the night!

The good points…

“The job is very rewarding emotionally and when an animal shows it can trust you, you get such a feeling inside that there is no job in the world that can equal it,”

…and the bad

“Zoo keeping can be a demanding job requiring dedication, commitment and patience. Keepers must be prepared to work weekends, holidays, summer or winter when the ground is frozen and the enclosures are full of snow.”

One thing to remember is that you are not alone. All moms have it rough in one way or another. What are some of your funniest zookeeper/mom moments?


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