How Motherhood Has Prepared Me For Being On A Game Show

Parenting and Wheel of Fortune aren't so different: Heather Jones explains how becoming a mother has qualified her to be a contestant on a game show.

We have all seen the memes talking about how parents should have six-figure salaries because they hold down dozens of career titles. Parents are cooks, therapists, teachers, nurses, chauffeurs, CEOs, you name it. I have never felt like being a parent has qualified me for any of these vocations, but there is something in which I feel oddly confident owing to my experiences as a mom: Game show contestant. Let me break it down for you show by show.

The Price is Right

Every night, I sit with Flipp open, comparing all the flyers, deciding how to get five items to stay under $30. I can tell you what everything costs. Last weekend, my husband and I had a $125 gift card for Walmart, and including tax, we spent $124.34. As we walked out, he remarked that we had won both showcases. In addition to awareness of product values, our two children make us play WAY weirder games than Plinko.

Family Feud

We asked 100 moms a bunch of questions, and after they answered, we just went and asked Dad anyway. Survey says, 'Story of My Life!' I am used to my first answers being unsatisfactory to my children, prompting them to ask me the same question over and over until they get an answer they like. Would I clean up on Family Feud? Yes, I would. Good answer, good answer!

American Ninja Warrior

I train for this one daily just by walking through my house. If I can get past the Lego-Stairs, the Loud-Toy-Sensitive-Sensor-Nap-Trap, and the What-Is-This-Wet-Spot challenge, I can handle the rope wall no problem.

Fear Factor

I have wiped noses with everything from my own sleeve to my bare hands to a receipt I found in my pocket. Not just noses belonging to my own children either. I’ve done spit-up in the mouth, toddler soggy snack sharing, catching pee in a plastic bag in a fitting room, and countless games of “spit that out.” I can deal with some crickets.


I play Chopped several times a week, except I call it, “Forgot to do groceries, what do we have in the fridge?”

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Me. I do. Self-explanatory.

Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader

AKA what I ask myself every time I help my child with homework.


“What is in your hand?” “What are you still doing up?” “What is with this attitude?” “What are you supposed to be doing right now?” “What did I just say?” I’ll take Things I Say Every 12 Seconds for 500, Alex.

Deal or No Deal

“If you let me concentrate on this quietly for half an hour, we can watch Daniel Tiger after. Keep in mind, if you don’t let me concentrate on this right now, you run the risk of me getting frustrated and putting you to bed early. Deal or no deal?”

Hollywood Squares

I have flushing-out-truth-vs-lie down to a fine art. Think Whoopi Goldberg is tough? Try figuring out why the iPhone is suddenly low battery or why there are three cookies missing. Also, I play Tic Tac Toe like nobody’s business. This is not parenting related, I am just really good at Tic Tac Toe.

Forget chauffeur, therapist, and nurse, bring me Pat Sajak; I’d like to buy a vowel!

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