For years, there have been articles written about the monetary worth of mothers. The various roles mothers play in their children's lives are endless. Mothers are nurses, teachers, referees, hairdressers, coaches ... The list goes on. With all this considered, one such article estimated that a stay-at-home-mom is worth almost $118,000 a year while a working mom is worth $72,000 (in addition to her professional salary).
I don't know about you, but when I look at those numbers, they mean nothing.
Although I admit these articles have created a deeper awareness of what motherhood entails, they've also cheapened the role. Sure, it would be nice to get a paycheck, but that's not why moms do it.
What's the point of putting a price tag on motherhood? To prove we are just as good as our fellow professionals? The roles are incomparable. And if we put the worth of mothers on the table, why stop there? What is your friendship worth - or your marriage?
It's almost as if nothing can be done anymore without expecting something in return. After writing several marriage articles (many that focus on what wives can do for their husbands), I have received countless comments from women asking, "What's in it for me?" I don't know about you, but when I married my husband, I did it because I loved him and wanted to make him happy - not because I wanted him to unload the dishwasher. Yes, love is a two-way street, but it should also be unconditional.
When we obsess about measuring everything - relationships, learning, hobbies - we create a mass discontent. There becomes no end to the pursuit, always wanting more, continually trying to raise the bar.
Being a mom is more than fixing owies, helping with homework, and driving to every activity, game, and lesson. Being a mom is wearing your heart on your sleeve every day. It's worrying about your kids all night long and smiling through each struggle every day. It's hard, especially when you receive no gratitude or recognition for your endless efforts. If that's the case for you, just drink in every smile, every tiny hug, and even every cry for you. These are the real moments that are even better than a fat paycheck. These moments are why you are a mother.
As C.S. Lewis said, "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work."
The worth of motherhood comes from within. Let us experience the joys of what we do without any guilt or self-judgement. Motherhood is a choice. It takes strength, patience and forgiveness - not only toward our children, but toward ourselves.
Being a mom is not a job. It is not a task or a hobby. Motherhood is a calling. It's a calling to be present in your children's lives, to shape and instruct their hearts, to help them find their own way.
Motherhood is a calling to love, and that love is priceless.