It looks like I've earned a virtual raise. How exciting. Salary.com has put out its annual estimate of how much a stay at home mother would make if she were paid for her job. It's a 3% increase over last year. Some of the job titles they include are housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, and chief executive officer.
While I'd be thrilled with even a small portion of that salary, the benefits of the job far exceed any financial compensation.
1- Not having to rush around in the mornings to get everyone out the door. The time for this will come soon enough when Brenna starts kindergarten. In the meantime, I enjoy our slow mornings, where we get dressed when we're ready to and we stay in our pjs if it sounds like fun.
2- Time to get the dishes and the laundry done. Since these are pretty much the only two chores that actually do get done on a regular basis, I'm glad I can start and stop as necessary instead of having to do it all at night or on Saturdays.
3- Lots of extra snuggle time- I get to give Daniel his morning bottle and hold him for as long as I like in the mornings. I get to read Brenna a book before her afternoon rest time. We always snuggle together in my mama's chair and put the foot rest up "so we can relax."
4- Getting to do what I want to do - I'd be misrepresenting myself if I left this one out. I get to schedule my own day and do what I want to do, when I want to do it. That includes blogging, reading, logic puzzles, sewing, Bible study, and so much more.
5- All the developmental accomplishments - These happen at all different times of the day, but it is so exciting to watch the kids achieve new things. Sunday night, Daniel began to cruise along the furniture...to get the remote control, of course! Brenna's learned to count to 100. Daniel has started to play silly games with us. Brenna is always telling us what she learned in the book she read during rest time. (Often her kids almanac.)
6- Giving a good foundation of right and wrong - I have always been reluctant to give Brenna over to another teacher. I want to make sure she knows right from wrong and can stand up to other kids before I send her out to learn from someone else. I know she'll need to learn many things from experience; I just want to make sure she has a solid foundation to start with.
7- Silly time- Sometimes we just get silly. I love those moments. All three of us will be eating lunch together and Daniel will start shaking his head 'no' and grinning. That will just crack Brenna up and before I know it we're all giggling. Or maybe Brenna's watching tv and Daniel will crawl right up to her, stand up, and whack her on the head - grinning from ear to ear - and then say "Nenna". She laughs as hard I do!
8- Taking care of my kids when they are sick. I don't know why that makes the list, but when my kids are sick, I want to be there. In February, Brenna got sick as Michael and I were leaving town for a concert. My heart wanted to turn the car around and make sure she was ok. We didn't, but I couldn't wait to get home the next day and put my arms around her.
9- Ukrops on Fridays. Or pretty much any time I take them out. The downright, honest truth is that I'm proud of my kids. I love them and I love when they bring a smile to someone else. Our Ukrops is next to an age-qualified neighborhood, so there are lots of older customers. It's such a pleasure to watch them interact with Brenna and Daniel.
10- Smiles and Hugs and Baby Kisses. Who needs anything else? Right now Daniel is very stingy with his baby kisses...and I get most of them. I love it! Being a mom is so awesome.