Thursday, March 7, 2013


Last week I helped Zoey clean her room. As in floor-to-ceiling organizational throw-down. I like to do a major overhaul in the girls' rooms a couple times each year. So the clutter doesn't get out of control. And when I "helped" Zoey, I mean that I cleaned while she lounged on her bed watching me. For the most part.

All this tidying & un-cluttering spurred Zoey's little sister, Pazely, to put her own room in order. While Zoey was watching her mother transform her bedroom from messy to magnifico, Pazely was whipping her own space into shape. It was a regular cleaning party. I paused once or twice to help Pazely bring a shelf into her room & find little bins to hold her favorite tiny things & drawing supplies.

After about 7 hours of work (spread over two days), I was finally done!
It is so funny to watch the girls in their clean rooms. They hang out in their "new" digs for countless hours, happy with smiles. Everything is fresh & novel. It's like they've been handed the keys to their very own private, glorious toy store. And yet, they've had it all along, only in a discombobulated state.

As the Mr. got home from work, the girls squealed as they pulled him up the stairs to show him their new rooms. I heard the Mr. tell the girls, "Wow! You should do something special for mommy for all the hard work she's done."

Several minutes later Pazely walked down the stairs & found me in the kitchen preparing supper. She wrapped her arms around me & then handed me an envelope she made with paper & staples. Inside of the envelope were a handful of coins.
Seventy-three cents, to be exact.

Nebraska's minimum wage rate, as of March 2013 is $7.25 per hour. I basically got paid about 10.5 cents an hour. It doesn't take a math whiz to note that I made well under minimum wage. Will I report this to the United States Department of Labor? Probably not. Ok, ok, I won't.

Here's another way to look at it: Pazely just gave me over 20% of her weekly income. That's quite a sacrifice on the part of an 8 year old. And I felt terrible that she was giving me her hard-earned cash. So I kindly shared how grateful I was for her gift, but pleaded for her to take it back. She looked as if she were about to cry. Which made me feel like crying. And I'm pretty sure I broke Mommy Rule #14:
Accept the gift. Take it. No matter what. 
(Even if it's alive.) (Or smells.)

So I took it.

Being a mom is my job. And, no, I'm not going to get into the whole long list of things I do as a mom, adding up how much more I WOULD get paid, compared to the regular employed people of the universe, if I DID get paid. And, no, I'm not going to get into the debate of how mommies work every waking hour of the day (& some non-waking hours too), can't clock out, don't have scheduled breaks, can't switch hours with co-workers, can't call in sick, don't have paid vacations, & can't quit to pursue other employment opportunities.

 But I will say this...
The next day I secretly deposited the money Pazely gave me back into her piggy bank.
Would you even DARE to give back your paycheck at work??
I didn't think so.

Giant gold star for TEAM STAY-AT-HOME-MOM.

1 comment:

  1. SO sweet! My 7-year-old is constantly telling me to use his money that he's been saving up since last year to buy groceries or to help pay bills or whatnot. He just desperately wants to do something helpful with his money instead of "wasting it on some more junky toys that are just going to break anyway." I love it when these little guys and gals recognize that we deserve something for everything that we do for them...and I always re-deposit it too :)


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