Mothers

Salary.com recently ran a story entitled "What is Your Mom Worth?".  You can read it here.  The purpose of the article was to estimate, based on all the work mothers do 'round the clock, what they would be compensated if they were hired to do so in the workforce.  The estimated salary, according to salary.com, is over $130,000 a year for stay at home mothers.  On its site, one can even access a salary calculator and generate a "mommy paycheck" that prints off a personalized check for all those services around the house that have gone unrewarded [non-negotiable, of course].  I suppose many mothers might feel a sense of vindication from arguments such as these.  That is understandable, I guess, since much of the work of managing a home goes often unheralded.  As someone who has never been a mother, however, I think the folks at salary.com severely have missed the mark, and have done mothers a disservice by so doing.  There is something inherently insulting to take something as noble and lofty as motherhood and equate it with money.  It doesn't validate the work mothers do.  It debases it.  

My mother sacrificed much to stay home and raise me and my siblings.  Following salary.com's rationale, she would have certainly surpassed Bill Gates some time ago in terms of wealth.  But the value of what she did was worth far more.  She made us peach milkshakes from peaches off the tree in the backyard.  She made us her fantastic pizza's on Friday nights, enough that there were leftovers to have for the BYU football game the next day.  She sang "When You Chance to Meet a Frown" to me when I was mad at something to try to get me to smile, and laughed when it only made me more mad.  She washed my clothes–something that, I'm sure she hated.  She did it all because of love.  She raised six children.  The value of that is not monetary.  It transcends anything worldly.

So this mother's day, and throughout the year, I hope mothers never think of what the monetary value is of what they are doing.  Even the rotten stuff, changing diapers, and cleaning up puke, all convey a mother's love.  While we don't recognize it enough, the message is received.  Thank you, mom, for changing my diapers as a baby, for being patient with me as a teenager, for helping me, now with my own family.  Thank you for your sacrifices.  You have given me a wonderful life.  Thank you.
And to my lovely wife, on this mother's day, I thank you also.  While you are tired from picking up toys and changing diapers, your boys will one day say the same to you.   You are wonderful.

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Published in: on May 14, 2006 at 1:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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