I don't know if anyone can appreciate the true value of a mother. I certainly couldn't until I became one.
Before I had kids, if I was tired I could sleep-- imagine that! Even if I had work deadlines and didn't sleep for a few days (yes - I once pulled three nights of all-nighters in a row) I was guaranteed to sleep as much as I needed to once the job was complete. But with kids - forget it! The job is never complete, and always changes.
My firstborn slept great for a couple months of his life, then didn't sleep through the night again for nearly THREE years. Sometimes, he was waking every 30 minutes, all night long. I had no idea that my exhausting new role of "mom" meant that I would not only work hard all day, but also work taking care of a baby all night, too.
My girlfriends and I have often wondered over the years: why doesn't anyone tell you that when you marry and have children that your time will now be dedicated to endless piles of household chores just to keep everyone fed, in clean clothes, and with enough clean dishes for everyone to eat on - and that these things will happen each and every day - like the movie "Groundhog's Day"?!
You will find yourself in a fog, and wonder what became of the person you once knew. That independent, care-free, well-rested gal will seem like a distant memory.
The good news is that the kids grow, the household dynamic changes, and you will find free time for yourself increasing as the years go by. Then- much to your surprise- you may even miss it a little!
Losing yourself - including your self esteem in the process of raising kids - is also not often discussed. For me, it took a meeting with my financial planner to help me begin to restore it. He asked me if I had any idea what a stay at home mom (or working mom) is worth, in terms of dollars. He asked me if I had any idea what it would cost for my husband to hire out help to replace me if- God forbid- anything should happen to me. I was fully unprepared for what it would cost (strictly financially) to have others fill all the roles I played.
I think it's an amazing self-esteem restorer for any mother to see!
To all the mothers out there, I want you to see your worth. Even if it's strictly calculated as a dollar amount to illustrate a point, I think you'll be surprised.
Finally, let's not forget the tremendous value mothers provide that can never be calculated. Thanks for all you do that is beyond payment and beyond measure.
To read another extraordinary ode to motherhood by one grateful husband to his wife, check out this article: Fathers - You Can't Afford a Stay-At-Home Mom!
Estimated Pay a Stay-at-Home Mom Would Receive for Her Hours of Work
Estimated Pay a Working Mother Would Receive for Her Hours of Work
Click on image below to calculate the total of all your mom jobs!
(Infographics and salary calculator from salary.com)
Happy Mother's Day!
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