Thursday, November 12, 2009

Knowing Your Worth

What is enough?

Do I do enough?
Do I rest enough?
Am I healthy enough?
Am I social enough?
Do I work hard enough?

There are questions like these posed every nanosecond of the day, in every human mind. So, what is enough?

My plague is, do I do enough?

Presently, I am a stay-at-home mother. That means I am:
-The Chef
-The Maid
-The Runner of Errands – dry cleaning, groceries, household shopping etc
-The Mail Woman
-The Chairperson of the household reserve (I make sure we don’t go over budget)
-A Taxi Service
…among other things.

It made me think of my worth, since I am usually struggling with the question “Do I do enough?”. I am vying each day to bring more to the table, more bread, more dough, mo’ money. I feel guilt ridden that I am fiscally a failure of a provider. But digging deeper, I found that the worth of a stay-at-home mom is rather dazzling.

If I were to be paid for my services, I would make approximately $90,000. Factor in overtime, because we all know mommy is needed in the night, and that hikes up the salary about $25,000. We do not have sick days, or vacation. We have to work, hard, every single waking moment. We are often roused from deep sleep to comfort shattering nightmares, or to feed hungry newborns. We have to calm toddlers throwing themselves in fits of desperation in the grocery store, while others look on, judgmentally. We have to pick up the pieces of every broken toy, emotion, soul. We have to be strong and patient. We have to raise sane, secure, capable children who will one day be our, hopefully competent, workforce. And we do all this while others look down on us for, ahem, staying at home.

So, do I do enough? Yes, I do.

But it’s not a list that validates it for me. It’s not the salary. It’s the peace I have had to find within. I have had to transcend my own greed, my ego’s need for self-worth, to feel as though everything I do is worthy. And that peace never brings home a paycheck.