If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Friday, May 04, 2007

How to know when Mother's Day is coming...

I don't know whether to laugh or scream when I see these stories. I remember first seeing them five or six years ago, and they seem to pop up every May. It's great that people acknowledge the hard work moms do, and I'm sure it makes some moms happy to see it quantified. It made me happy when, living in Texas with a round budget (no more corners to cut), my estimated income could have been more than a hundred grand, and that wasn't figuring my teaching salary. I remember joking with Eric that I wish someone would actually give me some of that money--even 5% would have been a huge help then. 10% would have been a windfall.

That's the part that makes me want to scream--that it's all hypothetical. The media thinks it's giving us warm fuzzies by saying, "Oh, you moms work so hard, if you were paid, here's what you'd be making." It's cold comfort when it's been raining for three days, it's three more days until pay day, and while you really wish you could take your kids to Chuckie Cheese for lunch so they can run off some excess energy, you don't dare spend the $22.57 in your bank account for frivolities. It also doesn't help much to see that working moms could have made $85,000 in addition to their full-time pay; they've probably spent more than half that in child care. When I worked full time, one full paycheck a month--50% of my pay--went to day care and after school care, and that's with only two kids. Women with four kids would be working for free in that situation. Oh, and by the way, it's been a decade since I worked full time. I have no idea what child care fees are like now, and frankly I don't want to know.

Here's my plea to the media moguls. (Yeah, like they're reading my blog everyday?) If you're more than hot air, pony up some cash. We all know you have more connections and sources than the CIA. Hit up Bill Gates and his cronies and start a grant program for us over-worked, unpaid moms. If we're now worth $138,000 a year (or an additional $85,000 depending on employment status), put a chunk of change into an investment vehicle and start dispersing earnings. I don't know many women who would turn it down. Shoot, man, if nothing else it's gas money and an occasional massage, and what mom wouldn't want that?

Oh, and by the way, why don't they do this for dads in June? Admittedly, some men would be in the hole, but some dads work hard away from work, too. What about them, media moguls? Are you going to figure in coach/cook/taxi driver/lawn care/handy man/babysitter fees for dads next month?



Blogger Valerie Comer said...

I'm right there beside you! I didn't work fulltime till the kids were in high school. And because I gave up all those years in the workforce to be there for my kids, I don't have a huge skill set. I'm now doing retail work so still not precisely over-paid.

I guess that means I'm thankful for a strong TEAM approach! Hugs.

12:09 PM  
Blogger EJ said...

Yeah, I saw a thing on the news last night that staying home with your kids is pretty much career suicide. My philosophy is that my kids are more important, and it depends on what career one has. I never really stood a chance because I'm not a nurse or a teacher, and those are the only viable careers I've seen for military wives. Everything else you have to start over every 2-3 years. I guess if I wasn't secure in my marriage and determined to make it work I'd be a little worried about future income potential. As it is, I'm working toward making a living as a writer so Eric can have some down time!

2:27 PM  
Blogger Valerie Comer said...

Yeah. I gotta say I don't regret it either. It was a choice and we made it and we stand by it. And the kids appreciate it even now. Financially a bad choice, but there's more to life than money.

1:49 PM  

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