So, I just found an article that asks what a mother’s work is really worth. These people are pretty funny. According to them, what I do is worth six figures a year. That’s not the funny part. Any mom out there can tell you that what they do is worth more money than there is to pay. The funny part is that the only time society in general sees fit to find worth in motherhood is on a hallmark greeting card holiday.
Any other day of the year, when mingling at a social gathering with new people, the question invariably comes up – What do you do? I don’t often tell them I’m a writer. I usually tell them I’m a mother. It’s my litmus test. If their smile freezes over and they find a quick reason to talk to someone ‘more interesting’ I know they’re not worth my time. Twice it’s happened that someone else in the room outed me as a writer and they came back, thinking I’d have something more interesting to say. I do – just not to them...
The thing is, I don’t need someone I just met to validate my worth. I don’t need an article with a built in calculator to give me a monetary figure that’s supposed to boost my esteem. But then, I don’t define success and money interchangeably. My bank account doesn’t tell you any of the important things. It can’t give a history of the time I’ve spent teaching my own kids, or other peoples’ kids. It can’t tell you how many times I’ve been late, but still let someone into my lane in traffic, or how many times I’ve put in my own time without pay, to help someone else out or further a cause. I don’t even keep track of those things, and they’re certainly not measured in dollars.
My kids are the best indication of my worth:
They are better, faster, stronger, funnier, more compassionate, and infinitely more important than any work I have or will create. My characters are important to me, and I hope that they will find the world and the reader and speak to them – but my writing, no matter how far I take it, will never be my greatest accomplishment... The best things I’ve ever been a part of, I owe more thanks to than I can take credit for.
And my Mother’s Day gifts:
The flowers are from my daughter. She hand-painted the pot and arranged the flowers herself. The frames are from my boys – oldest painted the blue and green one and littlest guy painted the red one. I’m hunting for pictures so I can put them out for tomorrow.
How are you spending your mother’s day? Did you give your mom a call yet? Did your kids delight you with something special? (And for the dads, did you do something for the Mrs?) And moms out there – how do you define your worth?