Every now and then I see the stats on what a stay-at-home mother would make if she were paid a dollar amount.
Here’s a hint: It’s pretty good.
And of course a working mother would also get a boost in her salary if the things she did as a mother were given a monetary value.
But mothers aren’t paid a dollar amount.
They are paid in moments. Memories. Sweet little kisses and desperate hugs.
When Tom lays his curly haired head on my lap and just rests — that’s a paycheck.
When he discovers something new, that’s a paycheck.
When he laughs. Or smiles. Or when he just observes.
That’s a paycheck.
I get paid when he learns something new, when he enjoys his day, and when he looks me in the eye, sticks his finger in it and says, “Eye.”
I get paid when he points to his mouth and says “nose.”
I get paid when he walks.
When he waves to me.
When I get him up from a nap and he’s got a sweaty little head and he just snuggles and clings to me.
I get paid when he points to me and smiles. When he sees Kevin and yells “Daddy!” When he hears Huck barking and says “Dog, dog, dog.”
I get paid when he laughs so hard during hide-and-seek that he gets the hiccups.
I get paid when he’s taking his bath and I sing “Splish, splash Tom was taking a bath!” and he soaks me with his splashes.
I get paid when he identifies the cement mixing truck from a Tonka truck lineup.
I get paid when I am the person he reaches for when he is tired, sad, scared or hurt.
I get paid when he reaches up for me from his crib in the mornings.
I get paid when he laughs at something on TV and he looks at me to see if I’m laughing too.
My mommy paycheck is when Tom makes a friend on the playground, or shares a toy.
I get paid when he grabs a stuffed animal and hugs it before bringing it to me.
I get paid when I watch him with his grandparents.
I get paid when I see him with his dad.
My mommy paycheck isn’t just pretty good. It’s pretty great.
And I feel very lucky and fortunate that I get one.