Just in time for Mothers Day, an article telling us that, if stay-at-home moms got a monetary compensation for the 90-plus hours a week they work, it would average $117,000 a year.
(Ninety plus hours a week, by the way, if she manages to get 8 hours sleep a night–big if–leaves said Mom with 20 hour of free time a week. Many mothers would question if they get that muchâ€¦)
I was a professional Mom for a number of years when the kids were small, although since my tools included hammer and Skil saw, probably â€œhomemakerâ€ was a more precise term. My husband made a decent salary, and thanks to the garden (plus freezer and canning jars), the sewing machine, and the handywoman skills, we kept outside costs down. In any case, it would have been tough to have a normal job, since as an academic, he figured summers were for travel.
Iâ€™m a believer in having an at-home parent, male or female, when kids are small. Kids donâ€™t need quality time, they need quantities of quality time. Obviously, some mothers have no choice but to work outside the home, and even La Leche League (which organization I love, and for whom I used to be a counselor) recognizes that not every mother can stay at home. Other moms find being at home all day, every day a sure recipe for madness, and although a few of those might have benefited by re-thinking the whole need-to-reproduce question early on, kids are tough and day care or nannies can also produce great human beings.
This is my first Motherâ€™s Day without a mother to greet with a flower or some chocolates. So to everyone out there who is, was, or ever had a mother, I say to you: Happy Motherâ€™s Day.