No, don’t worry. I’m not pregnant!

Quite a few of our friends as of late have been announcing their great news, so I didn’t want to throw anyone for a loop.

Now that that’s out of the way, once upon a time, David and I talked about having kids a couple of years after we got married. Seemed like enough time for us to get settled and spend time together before embarking on the journey of parenthood. Then God sent me a babysitting job for a then-three month old baby boy in August 2007. He’s a wonderful child, and at nearly a year old, has been a lot of fun to watch once a week.

That was not a realistic mothering situation, though. I watched that adorable baby boy once a week for 10 hours and got paid for it. How awesome would it be to get paid with a check to be a mom? Not the case, but…

According to a survey of 18,000 moms by salary.com, stay-at-home-moms would make an average of $116,805 per year based on hours spent in the 10 main job functions of mommyhood! And what, according to them, are those job functions? Well, in order of number of hours spent:

Housekeeper
Day care center teacher
Cook
Laundry machine operator
Computer operator
Psychologist
Facilities manager
Van driver
Chief executive officer
Janitor

Whoa. So there’s a lot more to being a mom than just feeding and clothing a baby, isn’t there? Motherhood is all about sacrifice. It’s about putting your child’s needs and wants far above yours. It’s about molding and shaping a brand new life.

I was fortunate enough to have a mom that performed every aspect of her “family manager” job with grace and ease, and she was always striving to be better at it. She absolutely deserved seven times that $116,000 salary!

I know my drive to work harder and always better myself comes from her. Let’s revisit those job functions again as they pertain to my awesome mom (including a few of my own):

Housekeeper/Janitor – I definitely got my organizing and cleaning skills from my momma. Even when me and my brother were little, she worked her hardest to keep the house in tip top shape.
Day care center teacher – My love for reading started with my mom and dad. No matter how many times I wanted them to read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, they kept it super exciting.
Cook – I’m still working to master this field without having any kids around. She did it with two wild ones! She made sure that we always had a great meals through the day and a family dinner at night with everyone at the table. I plan to continue that tradition when David and I are parents.
Laundry machine operator – Somehow my laundry hamper never overflowed. My mom always kidded that any money left in dirty pants pockets was hers to keep–her payment for doing laundry. It taught me quickly how to be sure to double check pockets before throwing clothes in the wash. Ultimately, I wanted to do my own laundry, and one of the first times I tried, I used far too much Tide and had to be taken to the hospital for some Benadryl. Who drove? Mom. And she encouraged me to keep trying with the laundry until I got it just right.
Computer operator – My mom doesn’t give herself enough credit in this realm, but she’s a tech-savvy momma. She was fortunate and didn’t have to worry much about computers until we had one when I was in middle school. Never daunted by a challenge, she took the computer head on and learned her way through the software of Microsoft Office (2007!) and the Internet. Now, we video conference like it’s no big deal. Go mom!
Psychologist – Mom has an advantage with this; she majored in psychology. I think her minor was in reverse psychology, but she has yet to admit it. She can really sense how I’m feeling and what it is that I need, and can “reverse psychology” me into doing what’s best for me, whether I want to or not. Love you, mom!
Facilities manager – This is sort of similar to housekeeping, but mom got to coordinate all the repair men visits to fix the plumming or steam clean the carpet or finish construction on the addition to the back of our house. She kept our house in great working order.
Van driver – Of course, I swear that I’ll never drive a van, but we’ll see. My mom got to drive a Dodge minivan with an extended roof–had to make room for the TV in the back for me and my brother. Oh yeah, we were advanced for our time! Thankfully, by the time I learned to drive, that van was history. Just a year or two ago, my mom said “goodbye!” to her van driving days and is now a suave SUV gal. Did anyone else have assigned days in the front seat of the car? My brother and I got every other day. Woo!
Chief executive officer – This is synonymous for my mom’s personal title, “Family manager.” As organized as she is, she made managing our family of five (until our cat died…) look easy!
Emotional support network – My first vivid memory of my mom supporting me through a tough time was when I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 13 years old. We hugged and cried together on my bed and vowed to get through whatever was going to happen together. Then there is the vivid memory of my complete breakdown early on into college (see my previous posts on sleep and my lack thereof and all the side effects)…I called my mom at a complete loss as to what I should do, and she left immediately, drove to Clemson, and took me out to dinner to get me away from everything. She’s just that awesome.
Wedding planner – Those of you married women in the crowd, could you have planned your wedding with your mom? I know I couldn’t have. David proposed in August, and we were married in February; that’s a pretty quick turnaround. My mom was there, though, 100% of the way and made the planning so much fun. I think we solidified our “best friends” status during those six months.
U-Haul driver – When I moved up to Pittsburgh in February ’07, I got to drive the Acura MDX while mom drove the U-Haul (with no rear-view mirror). Not fair for her in the least…add on top of that the horrible weather (snowing, sleeting, cars sliding on the road) and the 10-hour drive. She is my hero.

There is so much more, but I think you’re getting the picture. I have a fantastic mother for whom I am extremely thankful. I missed getting to see her yesterday, but she was definitely present on my mind.

Happy mother’s day, mom! Thanks for all that you did and all that you do. I know that when it’s my time to be a mom, I will be emulating you. I hope to be as good to my kids as you were to me. I love you so, so much.

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