is what I'm worth?
I'm sure you all heard Hilary Rosen recently say Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life" because she stayed at home and raised her 5 kids. I just have to comment on this, especially seeing a women made this statement.
First of all, when are women going to stop judging other women? Especially professional women judging us stay-at-home mom's. I like to call myself a "Domestic Engineer," my husband calls me a "Domestic Goddess." I have to say, the way some children act these days, I'm more apt to judge the professional women for "wanting" to work 40-60 hours a week and making the decision not to be a stay-at-home mom and raise their own children. God knows if more women stayed home, raising their children themselves (and not by some stranger in an over crowded daycare center) todays youth just might be a bit more respectful and possibly not be so apt to turn to drugs, gangs, drinking and run into other troubles.
I have been part of both worlds. From 1984 until 1998 I was entrenched in my husbands business. Being Vice President of his company, there was never ending duties which needed to be preformed. I traveled throughout the United States taking photos of finished jobs to be published in magazines to promote our stone products. Conventions were attended, sales trips taken and business dinners planned. I absolutely loved working all these crazy hours. I learned, listened and grew from the places I went and the people I met. At times I'd have to pinch myself because of the opportunities this wonderful job provided.
After 14 years of marriage, the business was a success, our home was built and it was time to have children. My husband and I both agreed when we had children, I would stay home and take care of them. Both my husband and myself were raised by mothers who stayed home and we remember what a wonderful feeling it was to have mom there for our every need. Neither one of us wanted someone else raising our children, influencing them or imposing their thoughts on life into their little brains. We wanted to nurture them in every way, shape and form.
I feel, and have always felt, one of the most important jobs a women can have is to raise their children and be there for them when they get off that school bus, pick them up when they fall and scrape a knee, encourage them when they have trouble with homework and listen to them when they have had a bad day at school with a friend or teacher.
When my boys are in school, I have always had tons of "work" to do. Most of it is thankless work that is performed day in and day out. When my boys were little they always came to me when their favorite toy broke, the training wheels needed to come off, a snack needed to be prepared, or they needed to be shown again and again how to dive into the pool. As they grew, they continued to come to me for help with homework, how to tie their tie, how to serve a tennis ball, how to start the lawn mower, how to coil a hose or what to use on the hub caps while washing the car. I'm not saying my husband cannot do any of this, but when you own your own business and work all the time, there really isn't much time for anything else.
Women can multi task very well and I've got it down to a science. As far as whether I'm worth $112,962.00 (according to Salary.com) is yet to be determined. I'm not sure what a seamstress, hairdresser, chef, plumber, electrician, carpenter, artist, teacher, gardener, psychologist, personal trainer, and mentor pays these days but I feel its a bit more than $112,926.00 - there are days I feel like I'm worth much, much more. I cannot put a price on how much my family appreciates all I do for them and you cannot put a price on love. All I do for my family is done from my heart, because I want to do this job, not because I have to. I love them dearly and when they come home, I want whatever bad day they might have had to be erased from their mind and have them step into a world where they can relax, have fun and recharge their battery for whatever tomorrow may bring.
My mother has often said, "I wish I had spent more time with you. I was too busy cleaning and gardening." My reply to her, "Mom, I couldn't have asked for a better mother. You were home and there for me whenever I might need you. I was off running around the neighborhood playing with friends, but whenever I walked in the house, or out of my bedroom, you were there. You made me feel safe, protected and loved. You taught me so much. I only wish I had spent more time with you."
The most important thing we can do as mothers is to make our children feel safe, protected, loved and important. No one can attach a salary for that kind of nurturing.