Sunday, May 8, 2011

What is a Mom Worth?

If you add up all the jobs a mom does, how much should she be paid? According to ABC World News Tonight, she's worth just over $61,000. But that is only for the very basic things that mom does: childcare, driving, cooking, cleaning, party planning, and a couple other smaller jobs. But for my mom, these tasks are only the beginning.

My mom is also a seamstress. She sews clothing for me, for my girls, for their dolls. And if I need anything mended, of course, I take it to her. My mom is also an interior designer. The only project I have done in my house without her help was painting my living room. And believe me, you can tell she wasn't there. She's painted a moon mural, a castle wall, a frog pond, and stripes...lots of stripes. She's hung wall paper and sewed curtains and pillows and bedding.

My mom has been a laundress. When I was first married and had a tiny washer and electric drier that took forever to dry a load, I would take my laundry for the week to mom on Friday. She'd have it ready when I got out of work. And later, when my appliances were big enough but my water was terribly rusty, she'd wash my whites weekly so they didn't become oranges.

My mom has been a nurse. Beyond the normal jobs of taking temps and dispensing medicines, when I was a kid, she'd soak my sunburns in ice water and vinegar. Her hands were so soft. And after I grew up, she came and stayed with me after each of the girls were born, being the one to get up in the night and bring them to me in my exhausted state. She also took care of me after two serious health issues: a car accident and a surgery with complications, putting up with not only me moving back home for short stays but also bringing the girls with me. She had to cook and clean for us and change bandages and help me shower.

My mom is not a 9 to 5 mom. She's an on-call, on-demand mom. She's there to answer questions and give advice and encouragement and comfort. She has a way of listening and remembering, thereby getting me the best presents for birthdays and Christmases. $61,000? I don't think so. My mom is truly the most gifted, generous, wonderful mom. You could pay her $61 million, and though I'm sure she'd accept it, it still wouldn't be enough. Even words aren't enough for my mom. While I can tell you all the things my mom has done for me, the power of what it has meant to me cannot be explained in words.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you.

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