Colten (age 3) just came to me with a hand full of change.
"Mommy, I gonna give you this money because you were a GOOD mommy today!!"
I giggled and replied "Wow! I get money for being a good mommy?" Thats pretty awesome I told him. And then the thought occurred to me, "Wait, why is the first time in the 3 years of being his mommy that I have been paid?" I guess this was the first day I was "good" enough in my 3 year old's eyes to deserve money ;)
But seriously, in all other jobs in life when you have done your job well you get paid. There is a paycheck waiting for you for all your hard work. Or if you've really exceeded at your job there are promotions given. This isn't exactly the case with motherhood. In fact, I joke with Chris, that the only promotion I would be eligible for would be to go from a 'Mother of Two' to the 'Mother of Three' department... And Im not quite ready for that yet!!
And unlike the "paid" 9-5 jobs, motherhood doesn't stop. I don't get sick time, vacation time or really even the chance to "clock out" and be done for the day! Its a never-ending job that can sometimes seem so overwhelming I almost consider giving up being a Stay-Home-Mom and go and get myself a "real job."
BUUUT... then Im reminded what a blessing it is to be a Mother. I may not get paid in cash for a job well done but I get paid in ways so much more fulfilling.
I get paid in kisses. They come first thing in the morning. Immediately when my two little ones open their eyes, I get rewarded with a kiss. I haven't even done anything yet! No breakfast has been made, no sippy cups filled with juice but nevertheless, Im rewarded with a kiss. They come in slobbery, sticky pecks of love and I never ever turn them down. (Although I do sometimes have to wipe my mouth off afterwards)
I get paid in cuddles. I can get this sort of payment during any time of the day I want. It only takes me walking over to the bookshelf in Colten's room and pulling out 'Goodnight Moon'. And just like that, there is a toddler in my lap and another toddler snuggling up next to my side. Squealing "Read it to me! Read it to me!" And then snuggled up together on the floor, or bed, or couch we read through the book and search for the mouse. Thats 5 full minutes of snuggles I wouldn't trade for a $5,000 bonus.
I get paid in grins. Do you know how easy it is to make a kid smile? Tickle them. Hug them. Put on Dora the Explorer. Open up a package of gummies. Let them have a juice box. Surprise them with a new coloring book. Jump with them on the trampoline. Blow bubbles. Play Hide & Seek. Dance. Sing to them. Day in and day out these kids give me a grin, and their little grins go straight to my heart.
I get paid in "I did it Mommy!"s My kids are still so young, they are learning new things everyday. And Im HERE watching them learn them. Whether its teaching Colten to count and draw his shapes or watching Allie learn to take off her socks and shoes by herself, the everyday things that seem so simple are huge accomplishments to a 1 and 3 yr old and I get to hear them happily exclaim "I DID IT!"
I get paid in "Art." Sure it may not be a museum quality Picasso, but who wants one of those??? I'd much rather take a scribbled on Mickey Mouse ClubHouse coloring sheet and the words "Mommy, I made dis for you!!" I'll pin that up on my fridge over some gallery awarded painting any day.
I get paid in "I love you"s. Oh, those 3 little words. They can completely turn my day around. Its gets crazy around here. We live in a small house, over run by toys. The laundry multiplies by itself and the dishes don't like living in their cabinets and would prefer to stay dirty on the countertops. Some times I feel like I can't catch-up. Sometimes I feel like Im failing at the house work, or the parenting, or being a wife. But those 3 words, "I love you." from the mouth of a sweet, tender-hearted 3 year old boy, or "I yuuuv you." from the mouth of a precious little 1 year old angel, completely fuel my fire and keep me going.
So, I may not get a check in the bank every month, and I definitely don't get a handful of change on the days Ive been a "good" mommy, but I get so much more. There are those days when my child does something amazing. Something kind. Something that shows a giving spirit. Or a forgiving heart. And on those days I get the satisfaction of thinking to my self, "Wow, I must be doing something right!!" And I know that without a doubt, I have already been given the biggest gift of all. THEM. My two children. Placed in my home by no other than God, to love and care for. What an amazing blessing He gave me in Colten and Allie. And they are well worth the "work" and the payout exceeds any salary I know of.