After a long day of dealing with the kids yesterday I was getting close to my wits end. My daughter has hit the terrible two’s with both feet running. She keeps me on my toes as far as setting and enforcing limits as well as being a good example of the type of behavior I do want. The boys are simultaneously deep in training for the debate team and the wrestling team. By this I mean they are constantly fighting with each other, both physically and verbally. The mayhem takes its toll daily. By the time my husband returns from work I’m usually ready to retire and in need of some major back up.
In the middle of getting dinner ready last night I was pouring out my woes to my husband, filling him in on the day’s upheaval. I finished by declaring “I wish we lived in one of those countries where stay at home parents are paid. I mean I work so hard every day without any compensation. I’m a teacher, a life coach, a doctor, a personal chef, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, a cheerleader, a judge and a maintenance worker. Sheesh!”
As I spoke I released some of the tension I carried and felt better. I just needed to vent and get a little sympathy from another adult. The evening wore on and I never gave my conversation a second thought. But just before he went to bed, my oldest son, who is seven, came up to me ever so slightly sheepishly and extended his fist to me. It was full of coins. He said, “Mama, this is for you because you are such a good mom to us.”
He had overheard my earlier complaining and after contemplating his thoughts on the matter he decided to pay me for my work, from his own piggy bank. My heart melted. I felt so terribly guilty by my unnecessary behavior and yet so full of love for my thoughtful son. His handful of pennies and dimes was more than sufficient payment for all my years of hard labor. Of course, he needn’t pay me any amount of money at all, that wasn’t even really the point of my complaints, but his gesture of gratitude was all I needed to keep me going. A simple thank you or a hug of appreciation from my children is worth more to me than bags of gold for my work as a mother.
I am holding on to those pennies and dimes though! You never know when they’ll come in handy.