Working Mom


Have you seen this article yet? According to research, if stay-at-home moms received a salary, they’d be making $138,095 per year! Wowza, right?

I have a problem with this “research” for several reasons. First off, I hope no one spent money to conduct this research. I mean, really. What’s the purpose? As if stay-at-home moms would ever get paid? Not likely. I guess if their husbands made a boat load of money, perhaps they could use this article to somehow convince them to be paid for staying home. Again, not likely. Unfortunately.

But the real problem I have is that it’s just silly. According to the article, the 10 jobs listed as comprising a mother’s work were housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist. They calculated hourly salaries for each of these professions and then determined that a typical mother puts in 92 hours per week … 40 hours at base pay, and 52 at overtime. What CEO makes $138,000 per year? Maybe in small-town USA, but the average salary for a CEO in the U.S. is much higher … so this research isn’t even crediting stay-at-home-moms properly.

Based on this logic, my part-time job as human resource manager coupled with my full-time job as mom would earn me over a cool mill per year. Because not only am I a housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, (car) driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, CEO and psychologist, I am also a counselor, attorney, trainer, compensation specialist, recruiter, writer, professional speaker, photographer, event planner, volunteer coordinator, and fund-raiser.

As in most professions, would the stay-at-home fathers earn more? And if so, why?

And actually, now that I think about it, this silly “research” didn’t even capture all of the jobs that truly comprise of a mother’s work, now did it? They certainly forgot a few … nurse, dish washer, event planner. Help me out here, I know you can think of others they failed to mention …

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Thankfully, I only work part time but it’s become increasingly obvious to me that I need to try to change my work hours. I currently work mornings and pick up V after pre-school. Side bar … my son is now in pre-school. How the hell did that happen?

Anyway, for years I’d get to work around 8:00am however I’ve found that these last few months I’m doing well if I arrive by 9:00am. You see, the mornings are my absolute favorite time with V. He always wakes up happy. He comes and crawls in bed with me and demands that I hug him. I have to take advantage of this as long as I can for before I know it, he won’t want hugs like I want hugs.

This kid is crazy fun for the first few hours in the morning and I just don’t want to miss out on it. Actually, I refuse to miss out on it. Lucky for me, I have an amazing employer who is unbelievably accommodating. And lucky for me, I do get my work done so even though I may saunter in an hour and a half late every day, my job performance doesn’t suffer.

It’s funny how I find myself eagerly anticipating mornings when for the first 38 years of my life I did everything I could to sleep through them. I guess having a child in our lives changes more about us than we could ever imagine. Lucky for me.

As the HR Manager for a single location company, I rarely get to travel. The one exception each year takes place in June when I get to attend that Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) convention for five days. This year, I’m headed to D.C.

I’m excited and apprehensive all at the same time. Excited because I’ve never been to D.C. before. Apprehensive because I hate to fly. HATE to fly. So much so that I have my very own prescription of Valium to help ease my anxiety. Having never taken Valium before I was worried about taking it for the first time on an airplane especially because I’m traveling alone, so I decided to take a trial run this week. Luckily, no problems – so I feel much relief because of the fact that I have this little bottle to carry with me that, I hope, will get me through the ordeal of flying with as little anxiety as possible.

The thought of being away from V and the Husband for five days has me both excited and apprehensive as well. Excited because it’s five days of no family obligations … I can take a nap every afternoon if I so desire!! Apprehensive because I worry that my husband will forget to change V’s diaper, or forget to feed him, or forget to make sure V drinks enough water since it’s supposed to be nearly 110-degrees here this weekend. I’m sure it will be just fine – and I’m also sure I’m not the only mom out there that feels no one can take care of her baby as well as she can. No one. Not even said baby’s dad.

So I have high hopes for D.C. I hope to learn a thing or ten in my convention. I hope to take a few good long naps. I hope to see some sights. I hope to spend uninterrupted time trying to get my blog completely moved over from blogger to wordpress. I’m not worried about the naps or sights. It’s anyone’s guess about the blog. We’ll see how that goes. Wish me luck.

My husband and I are not rich. We're not even comfortable enough financially to allow me to stay home with my son. We both need to work. It's our reality and we're okay with it.

Although we had never lived paycheck to paycheck, since having a child, we've found ourselves in new territory. In our late 30's and early 40's and suddenly living paycheck to paycheck so that we're sure to save enough money for education for our children and retirement for ourselves. Budget. That's our word of the day everyday.

One of the larger items in our budget is daycare for our son. As I've mentioned before on this blog, he's at a Montessori School and I couldn't be happier. It's not perfect – but I'm okay with that because I don't believe there's a 'perfect' option out there for those of us that have to send our child to daycare. But it's pretty darn wonderful. And V loves, loves, loves it there.

A few weeks ago we were informed that we would be facing 10% increase in fees for daycare services. Ten percent. Maybe it's just me – a first time mom who has never experienced this before – but ten percent seems like an outrageous amount all at once. Would have been easier to swallow in increments or something. Outrageous is the word that came to mind also because about a year ago we experienced a change in ownership. Upon meeting the new owners, one of the things she said to us was that we are paying premium rates at our school … and now we're paying premium plus ten percent.

This news has prompted me to look around and see what else is out there. Options. They're always good to investigate now and then, right?

I've now toured three different daycare options – none of which are Montessori. I'm going to tour two more, including the pre-school at our current school. So far all I've learned is that yes, we are paying a premium plus ten percent for the care of our child. But we are getting what we're paying for.

So, it appears that we are going to continue paying a premium plus ten percent so that our child can continue with premium care. No question it's worth it. And the Husband and I will cut back in other areas to make it happen. No question.