I made Halloween sugar cookies. Skulls and pumpkins. Moons, bats, ghosts and cats. I packaged them in individual bags and tied each with not one but two ribbons–Halloween colors. The kids took them to teachers and friends. Jeff took them to work. Here, he said. My wife made them.
Wow. Is this her job? the guy asked.
Kind of, Jeff answered.
I was thinking about it today. About how it is my job: the baking of cookies, the sorting and matching of socks, the schedule keeping and bread kneading and penny pinching. It’s all about creating a soft spot for the lives I love. All the while knowing it will never be perfect but still coming as close to it as I can.
It happens all the time. What do you do? someone will say. My short answer is Nothing. I’m just a stay home mom.
The long answer is that I knew so very long ago that more than anything else I wanted to be a mom. Just three little letters that encompass so many jobs. I could make enough to squeak by if I opened a bakery. Maybe even more as a teacher. People would pay a small fortune for their houses to be cleaned weekly like mine is. For laundry sorted and laundered, folded and put away. For from-scratch meals. For the pleasure of coming home to the kitchen smells my people come home to. But there are some things that lose their value when dollar signs are added, the art of mom-ing included.
The pay is lousy, but the benefit package is tough to beat.