When my kids were younger and I stayed at home to care for them, every waking hour was full of mom duties such as changing my baby’s diapers, chasing a toddler and homeschooling a preschooler. Having the privilege of staying at home and caring for my kids was priceless and I enjoyed it. However, there were times when I did not feel my work was valued. When asked by someone I had just met what my profession was and I responded with ‘mom of four blessings,’ I often got the impression that they thought I sat on the sofa and watched TV all day.
Some people I met were amazed when I told them if I had any ‘me’ time during the day, it was during the hour after everyone went to sleep. I would take a break to read my email or do my bible study homework, and then it was back to work getting any tasks done that were impossible to do with a baby in your arms. During the day, there was no ‘quiet time’ to use as I wished. When you have a preschooler who does not take naps anymore and it is quiet, you know he is drawing a picture on his wall or something equally as bad that you will have to clean up later.
Even when my kids were older and I went back to working outside the house full time, mom duties were still there. They changed a bit, since we no longer had the middle of the night diaper changes or feedings, but the new ones that come with older kids are also plenty of work. The mountain of laundry, cooking, and cleaning duties still exist and on top of them are added duties of driving to afterschool activities, helping with homework and being the logistics specialist. Every evening, I put in my hours to take care of my mom duties and they are done with love, even when I feel unappreciated. No, my middle schooler is not grateful I am doing the dishes so he can practice his math but he will thank me later when he passes his exam.
All that moms do for their children cannot be given a value, since you cannot put a price on a mother’s love. However, one time when I was sick for a few days and the house was a mess, I did wonder what it would cost my family to pay someone to take on the household chores if something happened to me. It turns out that Salary.com has done an interesting study involving a survey of both working and stay-at-home moms and how much time they spend on ‘mom tasks.’ For 2016, the study calculated that paying someone to do a stay-at-home mom’s work of about 92 hours a week would cost about $143,102 and that a working mom’s work of about 59 hours a week, including40 hours for the full-time job and 19 hours overtime ‘mom work,’ is worth about $90,223.
The list of mom duties in this study is a bit fanciful, since it includes jobs like ‘executive chef.’ I doubt my family would rate my cooking that highly, but the study does bring awareness to the amount of hard work that moms, who are the perfect example of servant leaders, perform in today’s world. Moms, keep up hard work. Even when you feel unappreciated, just remember that through your servant leadership, love and nurturing, you are forming the leaders of tomorrow.
By: Linda Ligon
Linda Ligon is the mom of four who lives in Harris County. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.