Here is a little window into how stay-at-home moms are paid.
Yesterday morning, after Helen woke me up at 6:30, I called my mom back (she calls my cell phone sometime after 6:30 every morning, to see if I’m up so we can go walking before it gets hot. This is an arrangement we have so that she doesn’t wake us if we’re still sleeping — the phone is downstairs in the kitchen and disturbs NO one if we’re sleeping, since the ringer isn’t all that loud), and Mom came over and kidnapped Helen to take her blueberry picking again. They came back with the blueberries, and then went over to Mom’s house for a while, and I picked Helen up at 10:20 on the way to Alice’s photography appointment.
Helen saw me as I got out of the car, and came RUNNING down the sidewalk, arms outstretched. “MOMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!” And then she attacked me with kisses. 🙂
I strapped her into her carseat and we drove away from Grama, waving and blowing kisses, and Helen said, “Mommy, I MISSED you today!”
I love my job. Hardest job I have ever had in my life, with overly demanding bosses that are close to impossible to please, but WOW. Moments like yesterday morning make it all worth it.
And then last night, while I was waiting for the water aerobics class to start, I sat next to a woman that lives on my mom’s street. She just retired after 25 years in Occupational Medicine (she’s a family practicioner that worked in industry, and goes on medical missions for 4 months to Navajo reservations… I used to babysit for her sometimes). She asked me what I was doing these days, and I told her. She said, “You know, I’ve been keeping my grandbaby most days recently. And I know now that I really missed out on a lot while my kids were growing up because I was so…. liberated…. I felt like I needed to work, in order to prove my worth. I didn’t need to work. I know that now. I missed too much.”
Like I said, I love my job. I’m glad that I knew when I was 20 years old and all that MCAT paperwork was stacked up in front of me that I didn’t want to miss out on the mundane things in my kids’ lives. And I am a lucky, lucky woman for having a husband that agrees with this philosophy.
(Confession: Even though she drives me up the wall sometimes, I missed Helen yesterday morning, too.)