>"Just" A Mom

>
When people ask me what I do its easy for the automatic response to bubble up, “I’m just a mom.” I try not to say that though out of respect for all the stay-at-home-moms out there. When I was pregnant and trying to reconcile the title of Stay-At-Home-Mom I had a friend who gently corrected me whenever I said that I wasn’t going to work anymore. She reminded me that I wasn’t going to be working outside the home.

I’m sure some of you envision stay-at-home-moms sleeping in until noon and lounging in the backyard sun reading People magazine. I thought I might be doing a little of that too before I knew better.

The reality is that I do a hodge-podge of things, have a calendar that is no stranger to my fine-tip sharpie, juggle the budget and the bills, and try to remember to put on mascara before I head out the door (which didn’t happen two days this week).

I’ve always heard people say that you couldn’t afford to pay a stay-at-home-mom. To see if this is true and to give all you curious and slightly incredulous people out there a glimpse into my world, I kept track of my past week’s activities and found the average cost for said activity in San Diego.

With a 15month old, my main responsibility is childcare. That alone is enough to take up my entire day and wipe me out. This week I also spent an average of 3 hrs a day cleaning the kitchen alone. I didn’t dare count the actual number of dishes washed. I also prepared 20 meals for an assortment of 12 people, washed 12 loads of laundry, rinsed out many poopy (cloth) diapers, took my baby to a pediatrician appointment, baby-proofed the pantry so my Little Miss Independent couldn’t help herself to her Daddy’s honey-nut Cheerios anymore, diligently checked craigslist for the perfect porch bench, planned a garden party, trimmed a hedge, raked 7 bags of leaves, washed the car, met to discuss the new curriculum of our marrieds community group, met to discuss the needs of set-up team for a mom’s group at church, paid the bills, got the run-around from our cell-phone company about getting my phone fixed, went to Costco, went to Henry’s, went to Target, went to Wal-Mart.

The days get busy, but the best part of being a stay-at-home-mom is that I get to make time for my baby and I try to make time for my friends. This week I watched Super Why with my toddler in our jammies. I played blocks and had my favorite companion, my daughter, go on “adventures” with me to the stores, library, and plant nursery. I went to a writing/art workshop with a friend (thanks Hillary!), saw a movie with girlfriends, and taught my daughter how to go down the slide. We had a picnic with friends in Balboa Park and had other friends over for dinner. I read a book during Selah’s nap and unsuccessfully eradicated ants from our family room.

According to average San Diego rates this is what I would have been paid if stay-at-home-moms got a salary.

Childcare: (We’ll just count a 5 day work week) 5 days = $500
Housekeeping: (We’ll just count cleaning the kitchen) 21 hrs at $10/hr = $210
Landscaping: 5 hrs at $10/hr = $50
Cloth Diaper Service: $20/week = $20
Essentials Shopping: 5 hrs at :$30/hr for personal shoppers= $150
TOTAL = $900 for the hours we counted.

Being there to watch Sesame Street reruns with my daughters soft blonde curls against my chest and fuzzy footy pajamas on my lap….PRICELESS!

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s