Monday, September 10, 2007

sometimes a pat on the back has to come from yourself

Steve and I were on track to probably each bring in $40,ooo a year, give or take. We could have had all of the outward trappings of modern-day middle class "success". 2 new cars, a stainless steel fridge, perhaps matching couches or a TV that was thin. Gutters and gutter covers. Go golfing, I dunno.

But then we had a baby and we wondered how it would all work out. Was the baby as important as the fridge, the gutters, the golfing, the flat screens, the couches? What about if we wanted more than one baby?

... then we heard about this fantastic invention: it is a person who lives at your house, full time, and does it all. She cooks breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She does all your grocery shopping, staying within budget, making healthy choices, catering to the various needs of all the family members. She cleans and cleans and cleans, even if you don't have a dryer. She does laundry and she gives the kids baths and brushes their teeth and hair and takes them everywhere they need to go. She makes appointments and keeps track of who needs what when and where. Throughout the day, she will feed your pets and clean them, too. She does toilets and stains and organizes closets and garages. she keeps up on your pool and your mail and your outside birds. She can take your kids to their schools and keep up with all of their school needs and expenditures and activities and field trips and friends and teachers and grades--or--for slightly less cleaning and slightly more money, she can teach your kids right in your own home--freeing you from worry about shootings and shunnings and failings and flunkings and lack of education and also the need for 4 minaiture trashy wardrobes. She entertains your children and keeps up with your work schedule so that you will have a hot meal ready when you walk in.

The only problem is, she costs about $40,000 a year to hire, give or take.

So we got the brilliant idea to just eliminate the middle man and have me do this job.

I don't care one bit if this post sounds sexist, in our family it was a MOM that we needed as a couple, and we both agreed that we wanted me to do this. In many families it is a DAD. In many families there is only one parent. Or two moms. Or two dads. Or Grannie and Big Ben and a dog. Whatever, I wanted to write this today instead of just cutting and pasting yet another one of those articles that claims how much what I do is "worth" in dollars. To Steve and I, me doing what I do was worth exactly one full salary of one person with a bachelor's degree in Psychology.

What is in store for our future? Possible midwifery, possible travel/relocation. Possible Dad does the homeschooling. Possible live in a camper and make our fortune doing some kind of internet based thingy which so far eldues us. House boat. Log Cabin. Downtown Loft. Who knows. But right now, I am a suburban mom, albeit a progressive one--and I know in my heart that the way we do things and the actions we make are much more real than any labels might make me or our family sound on the outside.


Trish said...

You are so fully deserving of a pat on the back!

How lucky your kids are to have you as their MOM. Since they've never had to endure school and a mom who's only home a few waking hours a day, they can't appreciate how great they have it.

I personally feel honored to be able to be a home-maker and mom. It's a noble undertaking!

Kelley said...

Here, here.

It's the hardest job in world some days, but always the one with the best benefits.

I'd write more, but I've got a son begging to go play "Mother, May I?"

mamalove said...

You're a rad Mama! This post puts a smile on my face.

Housefairy said...

We all deserve it--pats and smiles and the secret smile of hard work done and satisfaction at living the way we really really want to. Or at least being closer to our own ideals than being on Auto-Pilot and chasing the Jonses.