It honestly seems like a mom’s work is never done. I’m not just saying that– it really seems like, at least in my life, I go from getting the kiddo dressed to picking up toys to getting him dressed AGAIN after he’s stripped. While having a child and getting those hugs and kisses is the absolute best reward after a long day, it seems like a lot of the time, moms just go underappreciated.
Today is International Working Woman’s Day. I think a lot of times, we define a working woman as one who works outside of the home. While that’s a completely accurate description, obviously, it also leaves out a huge chunk of women who do the work at home, from parenting and guiding children full-time to cooking the meals and keeping things running smoothly. It’s clear that it’s in women’s nature to work really hard, whether they’re home or away.
I think it might have been the night that I woke up to check on Zach and found that he had taken off his shirt and diaper in his sleep, covering himself only in a Santa Hat, that I realized maybe being a mom was a ton of work most of the time. There was no break, just late nights and long days. I also thought my realization of this could have been the time when I said what I never thought I’d say as a mom– “Zach! Don’t sniff the dog’s butt!” I felt like, to some degree, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to squeeze in work, and cleaning up, and making sure my son was fed, clothed, and cuddled with.
Moms simply do a LOT of work. If anyone needs recognition on International Working Woman’s Day, it’s a mom. In fact, Salary.com does an annual Mom’s Salary survey, asking moms how they spend their time and finding out what they’d be paid in the working world for the tasks they do at home.
They broke down the tasks that every mom does, from cleaning to breaking up squabbles. Between housekeeping, laundry operation, taxi service, daycare teacher, and more, Salary.com determined that the value of a Stay At Home Mom’s 94-hour approximate work week was $113,568 annually.
For working moms? The 58 hours of “Mom Duty” they have on average would add an additional $67,436 on top of their regular work salary.
(For those interested, Salary.com allows you to plug in your own average hours spent doing each task to determine a salary more fitting to your life as a mom. You can find this total here).
So I started wondering… What’s in it for the moms? I mean, moms are pulling a work week that would basically bring in six figures if being a mom were a paid position, and moms make, uh, well, nothing, for being a mom.
Then I realized moms DO get paid. Sure, we may not be making over a hundred thousand dollars a year for our mom duties. But think about it. We get paid every time we see our children smile.
We get paid every time we hear “I love you!” or get a sweet kiss. We get paid by every sticky fingerprint, and every “Here, mom, I’ll do it!” We get paid in every homemade ornament, refrigerator art work, and breakfast in bed (even if it’s raw eggs and a pop-tart). We get paid with every bathtime bubble beard, every mastery of the alphabet or potty training, every feverish cuddle.
There’s a saying I’ve seen everywhere. A mom works from Son up to Son down. I think that’s true. Because honestly, a mom’s work is never done.
But I wouldn’t trade a Mom’s work for the world.
In honor of International Working Woman’s Day, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to take a break from my real-world paid work, and spend a little extra time with my unpaid work, the job I REALLY love. That means today, if you need me, I’ll be cuddling with my cutie-pie, reading stacks of books and playing in the mud. Now THAT is a job that pays in the most rewarding ways!