Recently G posed a question to me about what I would be willing to do everyday for no pay. In fairness, this question may pop up again as I believe G was really giving this some serious thought. I, too, pondered it for about 5 seconds and then started laughing hysterically to myself.
As I was saying, I pondered this question for about 5 seconds because I have been getting up and doing my entire life for no pay since 1995. Okay, yeah I have made a little money here and there, but I still couldn’t support myself. I could maybe support my little rescue dog, but only because she doesn’t eat very much and she lives mostly on love. I’d probably have to take out a loan if she needed any emergency vet care like last week when she pretended to sprain her leg so I would carry her the half mile home (that’s another blog). I definitely couldn’t support the parasites that we call our children. I remember when they were little and they used to beg for a $5 toy from the Disney store and now they have the audacity to ask for a trip to Disney…without us.
Alright, my hubby makes enough money to support all of us which has allowed me the opportunity to stay home and raise our children all these years. That being said, there have been many days and weeks I would have called it anything but an opportunity and I would have paid good money to NOT be home, but I do realize it’s been a privilege.
Now that I got that out of the way let’s get back to 1995. This was the year that I stopped being paid and started working. Honestly, like a lot of things over the years, I had no idea what I was actually saying yes to until I was knee-deep into it. Let’s face it, nobody is actually qualified to raise a child; we are all just winging it and hope that their therapy bill is less than what daycare would have cost by the time they reach 18!
We have all seen the articles about what a stay-at-home mom would be paid if she were actually compensated for all the jobs that she does each and every day. Now the estimated pay varies depending on the news source and the demographic that was surveyed. For example, moms do A LOT of different jobs and one of those jobs is to provide meals. Some people might say she is a cook while another would refer to her as a chef. Moms also clean the house and while some might say she is a housekeeper others might say she is a domestic goddess. You get my drift? A domestic goddess and a chef would clearly make more money as their job title would indicate far more experience. Now, obviously, I see myself as a goddess in every aspect at this point in my career as a mother, but that is not where I began. I would definitely say I started at an entry level position and would never have been so bold as to refer to myself as a goddess of any sort.
Now, I was 25 and flying by the seat of my pants so I clearly did not read the job description, the fine print or the part about the lack of pay. I just said, “yes, of course, it sounds lovely and this baby is so beautiful and intoxicating, I would do anything for her.” And I did. I mean who wouldn’t trade monetary compensation for the sweet smell of an infant in your arms? I quickly became the baby whisperer, the cook, the personal shopper, the housekeeper, the nursemaid, and everything in between. Just when I thought I had this whole motherhood thing figured out we went and got knocked up again.
Somewhere between daughter number two and three I realized that no amount of money was worth everything I had to do and at the same time I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s a job that seemingly has no end. It’s a role that just continues to evolve and you wake up one morning and realize you have become all things to those most important to you. You are the ring master of your very own little circus and just when you think you have it all figured out, things start changing again.
The reality is that it doesn’t matter what Forbes, Fortune or Redbook has to say about what moms should be paid. It doesn’t mater if you see yourself as a goddess, a rockstar or a ring master. The point is that a good parent will do anything for their kids because by definition it’s a labor of love.
So, I guess the answer to the original question is, “being a mom.” I would be willing to get up every morning for 23 years in a row (and more) and be everything I can for my girls for no monetary compensation.
Apparently, I would also do it for my dogs so I’m not sure what that says about me.
What would you do everyday for no monetary compensation?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G