She asked me this question when we were waiting in the car rider drop-off line at school. What do I do all day? I told her that I was going to exercise and that when I get home I have to do household chores and writing. And then come back and pick her up at 2:30. That’s 5 ½ hours to do as much as I can. She said that sounded like a lot, bless her heart.

Because my work does not compensate me, it may seem less worthy than someone earning a paycheck in a “real” job. But what I can tell you is that you couldn’t pay me enough for the work I do. The abuse I take from that same near 8 year-old exhausts me. Hauling laundry, cat litter, and recycling up and down stairs isn’t very glamorous. I went into uncompensated waste management.

It saddens me that we stay at home Moms are still looking at ourselves as “less than”people. As if what we do is a default job because we weren’t good enough for anything else. But this is a very patriarchal view because this job is the backbone of every country. I’d say men pee their pants if they experienced the distress we are under to which they often add to with their own needs. Unless these same men didn’t want or help to create those children, we’re in it 50/50 for keeping them safe and cared for. Money earning isn’t the most important job.

It saddens me even more that women would be so quick to disregard themselves and not ask for the respect and honor for this job of keeping the seams of the country stitched together. The future of our country is the toddler in diapers and the angry teen. Refusing to acknowledge that families need special care and love dooms our next generation to their entitled anger for emotional abandonment. I will fight with and for my children by showing up for them until they can fly by themselves. And I’ll ask for their respect in return.

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