"She's never worked a day in her life," is a comment that any mother would find hurtful. A recent remark made in the national political arena, it demeans and fails to recognize the invaluable role mothers play with far reaching effects into the future. Whether she's a mom who has chosen to remain in the home full time to raise her children or is employed elsewhere, she should be appreciated every day, for motherhood is a most honorable vocation that builds the foundation on which families and society stand.
As far as work, any mother will attest to how much work her job requires with countless responsibilities. It's work that starts out with the pregnancy itself and all the changes in her body. Then there are the days of sleep deprivation when she longs for more than a four hour stretch of sleep. It goes on, with each age of her child bringing on new demands in addition to many of the old ones. The mother is the nurse, nutritionist, cook, launderer, shopper, housekeeper, janitor, teacher, spiritual advisor, chauffeur, psychologist, financier, maintenance and repair worker, social director, and a whole lot more. In fact, if she were paid for the value of her diverse knowledge and accomplishments in the "outside world," her salary would exceed many "career jobs."
A fun website called salary.com under, "What's a Mom Worth," calculates her value based on current national salaries as reported by employers. The approximate 20 jobs a stay-at-home mother has with additional overtime is calculated at nearly $113,000. A mother who works outside the home has a value of nearly $67,000; this being less because she is paying someone else to assist and take her place while employed elsewhere.
A mother’s work is never really done and is priceless.
The site points out that a mother, particularly a stay-at-home mom, is comparable to the CEO of any company in that she plans and directs all the aspects of the "organization." All you have to do is substitute the word 'company' for the word "children" to see the parallels between the two jobs. It also points out that some things the CEO doesn't have to deal with are diapers and moody teenagers!
Obviously, a mother's value cannot really be calculated in monetary terms because the most important things don't have price tags. How can we measure love? How can we measure the continuous effort it takes to raise competent and caring children who in the future will take their places in the world as good people?
An article called 'The Noble Calling of Parents,' succinctly expresses this sentiment with, "Motherhood is the greatest potential influence in human society. Her caress first awakens in the child a sense of security; her kiss the first realization of affection; her sympathy and tenderness, the first assurance that there is love in the world. Thus in infancy and childhood she implants ever-directing and restraining influences that remain through life."
Seeing the grand scheme of motherhood, then why is it demeaned with comments as, "She's just a mother" as if it's a second-rate career of babysitting? At one time, in the "yesterdays," husbands and wives often worked side-by-side with responsibilities viewed as having equal value, particularly in agrarian settings. Every task to run a homestead was equally important. However, as time passed and men left the home setting for other work environments, the work that mothers did lost value because she received no paycheck. A book called "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters" describes this era beginning with the Industrial Revolution and the result of how work that was economically rewarded and valued meant leaving the home. The daily contributions of mothers were taken for granted and devalued.
So how much is a mother worth? Her work certainly never ends and there is really no retirement. It is a sad commentary of our "today's" society when anyone belittles the work and contributions of good mothers. Considering the many jobs she has and the skills needed to do them well, to suggest that because she is busy raising children that she might not be current in world or national affairs and her role is of less value than any other career, is both insulting and out of touch with the reality of what occurs. It doesn't matter if by choice or circumstance a mother stays at home or is employed outside; all mothers work and work hard. Mothers do what's needed because they know the most important work they do is within the walls of their own home. As Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." Success in other endeavors in the world doesn't make up for failure in the number one job. Mothers know this.
Make it a good week and just for fun, visit the website where a "paycheck" can be printed out to present to your mother for all her work this past year, even though she's really priceless.