I heard an ad on the radio the other morning that if a day in the life of a mom was cost averaged, her annual take home pay would be the equivalent of one million dollars. I am definitely underpaid. As shocking as that figure sounds, it made me stop and think about all that I do as a mom and all that was done for me by my own mother. I had a stay at home mom until I was nine, and I had no idea how much I should have appreciate her until I had my own children (ring any bells?). She juggled three children, although my brother Chris was so wild he technically counted as twins, a dog, a traveling husband and was in charge of packing and moving five times before I was in third grade.
She sewed all my school clothes until I stupidly protested that I wanted the store bought stuff everyone else had, made our Halloween costumes by hand (the robot with the dryer vent arms and legs was my favorite) and seemed to be present at every school event possible, with tasteful red lipstick and a smile on her face. The crowning achievement (by my grade school standards) was the life size cutouts of the Flintstones characters which she painted for a school carnival bean bag toss. I am still in awe of her mad skills today. She always shakes her head and laughs when I tell people this, wondering why this is what I was really impressed by. I am curious what random things will stand out in my children’s minds someday as evidence of my love for them.
I don’t really remember her doing laundry, dusting or washing the floors, but our house was always clean. Maybe she did that when we were all asleep, since it was the only time the house was quiet and things didn’t move from where she carefully placed them. I do remember lots of love in our house, watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley on Tuesday nights squeezed between my mom and dad on the couch and dinners as a family almost every night (except Saturday, that was date night for my parents). I don’t recall her ever complaining, taking a sick day or not being exactly where she was needed, armed to the teeth with a needle and thread, bandaids and a snack, just in case. Her middle name is Prepared and she makes an Eagle Scout look like a slacker. So does a million dollars seem like an outrageous amount for all a mother does? Nope. Especially when it comes to my mom, it isn’t nearly enough.