Recently, while on a date, hubs shared his views on a hero's thank you. If this expression makes no sense, trust me, it will.
On a side note: I started planning fun dates for hubs and I as part of my Happiness Project. Ten months later, I am still going strong. Although tight summer schedules have made it nearly impossible to plan my favorite kind of dates: surprise one.
Nevertheless, I am still undaunted in this "fun date" mission and I am having a ball with it.
When I am not able to plan something a tad more extravagant, meeting over any meal is still quite enjoyable. Moreover, it fills my "I-want-hubs-all-to-myself" tank.
Recently, we had such a date over breakfast and it is during that time that my Love spoke about his heart and the subject at hand I have called a hero's thank you.
A Hero's Thank You
Hubby is a career firefighter with twenty years of experience. During his lengthy jaunt with the Fire Department, he has seen just about everything in the course of performing his duties.
I know many of his stories but, many others, I do not.
You see, while hubby does not have a weak stomach, I do—extremely so. Just the thought of blood makes me squeamish. I think part of my fussiness is that I am overly empathetic—and admittedly, a tad bit of a baby.
I so admire—and am grateful—for those who can perform the types of duties I cannot. For instance, I could never have been a nurse.
Community Thank You
My hubby does not like the limelight. At. All.
He becomes very bashful when he is treated like a hero for what he feels is simply doing his job. I, on the other hand, beam with pride. I admire his gifts and work ethics because, as I already mentioned above, I could never perform his job.
It takes special people to do what he does, just as it takes special individuals to be in the military, law enforcement, and so on.
Over scrumptious omelets, hubs shared that some grocery stores around town make it easy to give first responders a hero's thank you. They have a program in place where anyone in the community can buy a pie to be delivered to firefighters.
Regularly, store employees come and bring this bounty to the station—to say thank you or to fatten up the crews?
Upon sharing this tidbit, hubs told me he did not feel worthy of such adulations. In his humble opinion, there is a group more deserving—but too often ignored or worse, scorned—stay-at-home mothers (and if you are not a SAHM, continue reading, this post is not to bash working outside the home mothers).
Since this breakfast conversation, I have pondered my wise hubby's words and I believe he is onto something important.
Motherhood is the hardest job I have ever had to perform. In all honesty, when I was still in the workforce, there were days I went to work and puttered around...not so at home.
Now, allow me to make something perfectly clear, this post is not about working mothers vs. stay-at-home mothers. It is not about polarizing women further.
This article is not about hurting feelings. I won't be discussing the merits or faults of each choice. These are personal matters. So, please, let's not even go down that road.
I do feel that working outside the home does come with certain perks in comparisons to working at home—as well as some definite stressors.
Some of the perks of working outside the home are: a nice wardrobe, adult conversations, raises, vacations, sick leave, expressed appreciation, and a break from home life.
Contrary to a statement made by my a misinformed (at best)—and judgmental (at worst)—family member, stay-at-home mothers are not too stupid to work, uneducated, lazy, or married to money. Hear me now, I am not saying they walk on water because they obviously don't. They are human beings with human frailties. The thing is, their work often does go unrecognized and unappreciated.
Pies for Moms
SAHM—stay-at-home mothers—don't get grocery store employees knocking on their front door to deliver prepaid pies as "thank you for a great job. Kudos, mama!"
At least, I never have.
I personally chose to stay home because, as a child, I suffered greatly from absentee parents. Moreover, once I had multiple children, working would have been cost prohibitive.
I am far from dumb. I graduated from college with honors in three-and-a-half years. I did work before I had children, and I did not marry a wealthy man.
Home was my choice.
Nothing prepared me for motherhood though. Goodness, I was so unprepared.
Going from working to being a full-time mom was not an easy transition. At work, I felt useful and appreciated. At home, I was the feeding and diaper changing machine of a tiny being who ate every two to three hours around the clock and slept little.
I remember before my firstborn came earthside thinking I was going to be bored out my skull after he arrived. I mean with all the naps he was going to take, how was I going to occupy my time?
Ha, what a joke!
At three kids, I felt stretched beyond my limits.
All Hail Moms
Moreover, people aren't always kind about things which—in truth—are not of their business. I have been the recipient of asinine comments on way too many occasions from people who should spend their extra energy on more benevolent activities.
Mothers need support, not strangers' unwanted and unasked opinions and misguided judgments.
The lack of adult conversation, demands of the task at hand, as well as many other things, often left me feeling lonely.
Oh, this is not a woe-is-me post.
Motherhood was a choice— and a great one.
So was being home.
Being home comes with amazing benefits and blessings. Hence the reason I wanted to be Mom. In truth, all "jobs" have their benefits and disadvantages. Such is life. There is no panacea or Utopia this side of heaven.
The thing is stay-at-home mothers may not get a paycheck or a hero's thank you, but it does not mean their job is neither important nor arduous.
Few are the mothers who sit at home eating bonbons while watching soap operas. In fact, I have never met one.
Little people are demanding.
Women who decide to be full-time mothers should not go unrecognized and unappreciated because they don't have fancy clothes, a swanky office, a paycheck, a retirement account, and positive yearly evaluations.
A Hero's Thank You for Moms
In truth, being a mom is hard whether you work outside the home or not. And, moms are not known for getting a lot of kudos.
Oh yeah, there is Mothers' Day, ONE day out of a year.
I understand having mothers' day daily is impractical. Moreover, the kids we raise are not likely to let us know how much we are needed, wanted, and appreciated. Therefore, it becomes incumbent upon ourselves to reach out to moms in our circle of influence to let them know they are not invisible.
Husbands, partners, friends, parents, even strangers, can be the giver of kind words or even a smile. A hug is still free—although hugging strangers is not recommended.
So, allow me to do my part, moms, you are doing a fantastic job and I know you are doing the best you can.
Mothering is HARD!
Even though I don't foresee your nearest grocery store having a program called "pies for moms" any time soon, this does not mean no one sees your hard work, nor does it mean that no one sees YOU!
Keep on keeping on mama.