I know a woman (who will remain anonymous) who for years has been giving herself a private salary for being a stay-at-home mom. Every time she finds money in her house, be it laundry finds, winter coat pocket surprises, good luck pennies on the floor, or just a pile of change on the kitchen counter she will put the cash into her “Mommy Fund.” The only place off limits is her children’s piggybanks.
When she first told me of this, before I had children of my own, I said I didn’t think that was fair. She was stealing from her family and they didn’t even know it! She informed me she formally announced to her family her plan, and hopefully it was going to teach them to be responsible for their money. Whether or not this happened is to be determined, but she definitely stuck to her guns and cleaned up!
I wanted to get to the real reason of her actions. She worked a well paying job outside of the home and so did her husband. She was not short on cash and her children seemed to be the most responsible kids to come down the pike. Why did she feel she had the right to take their money?
I finally pulled it out of her. She whispered this secret as if the world would crumble if her actions were discovered, “As we all know, motherhood is the best job in the world, but it doesn’t always pay so well. Yes, the bear hugs and slobbery kisses are immeasurable, but sometimes you just want some cash to go with it!”
She broke it down into what she would be paid if every one of her services were compensated – these are approximations, but you’ll get the idea:
- Nurse – $60K
- Repairman – $45K
- Chef – $30K
- Project Manager $150K
- Teacher – $50K
- Housekeeper – $35K
- Psychologist $60K
- Mentor (aka Goddess of Love) – Priceless
Plus, you add in seamstress, plumber, laundress, mechanic, electrician, and computer technician, you have quite the skill set! Now I’ve never been a number cruncher, and I don’t plan to start during this post, so let’s just say she should be getting paid in the neighborhood of $300,000 a year for her efforts. Give or take a buck fifty!
So a few quarters and dimes, a $20 discovered in a pocket from last season, it can add up. Slowly, but it’s not the amount that is the reward. It’s knowing a little secret that you are contributing to something fun for yourself. It’s treating yourself to something special because you know you deserve it. So if you feel you are one of the overworked mommies of the world, find yourself an empty jar, announce your plan to the family, and start collecting for a new pair of fabulous shoes or those outrageous earrings you’re dying to have, or that pedi/mani you never find time to schedule. You deserve it!
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