Saturday, September 15, 2007

Someone Owes me a Whole Lotta Backpay!

First off - thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people who wrote and said, "What does LDS mean???" I don't feel quite so stupid now. It stands for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormons. Mormons are typically known for having large families which is why people were asking me if I was LDS. See - you come to my blog, you learn something everyday. Now when you're out with adults and the topic turns to religion, you can say, "Boy, those LDS folks sure have a lot of kids," and you'll sound all smart-like. ;) If the topic turns to politics, you're on your own.


Someone recently emailed me an article about stay-at-home-moms. The article stated that if stay-at-home-moms were paid for all that they do, their yearly salaries would amount to $131,471. Wow! Could you imagine bringing in a six figure income for changing diapers? Not that I don’t love being paid in dirty laundry, messy bathrooms, dandelion bouquets, and sloppy kisses, but seriously - six figures!

I believe the writer of that article estimated a stay-at-home-mom’s salary based on the idea that she was caring for one child. I have six children - well, seven if you count my husband. I think that would bump my salary up a bit. Besides being the cook, chauffeur, day care teacher, maid, nurse, general maintenance worker, tutor, shopper, boo-boo kisser, errand runner, project manager, accountant, bug squisher, and laundry doer (I have no idea what you call someone who does laundry. Other than MOM, that is), I am a Sunday school teacher and a brownie leader. That’s got to worth a little bonus, I imagine.

I think we should be getting tips on a daily basis as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked the kids up from school, only to have my children thrust their backpacks at me whining, “This is too heavy. Will you carry it?“

“Well, my darling child, that would make me a bellhop and I believe the going rate is $2 a bag.”

“Oh you want me to make you a snack? No problem. I’ll play waitress. You can just tip me 20% of your bill.”

And this is no ordinary 9 to 5 job. We’re on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We get no sick time, vacation time, or personal days.

My husband doesn’t understand this. Now I’m not saying the grass is any greener where he stands. He works a lot of hours only to come home and hear me complain that he’s never home. When he’s here I complain that we don’t have enough money to pay our bills. The poor guy’s stuck between a rock and well, me. But the thing he doesn’t fully understand is that although he works a ton, he gets a paycheck at the end of the week. He gets an evaluation every year where he’s patted on the back for a job well done. He gets kudos on his handiwork on a regular basis. It’s nice to get positive feedback for the hours you put into your work.

I have yet to hear my children say, “You’re doing an awesome job, Mom! Keep up the good work!” or, “Wow Mom! This laundry smells so clean!” or, “If you keep this up, you’ll be getting a raise!” And the phrase, " Amazing! I’ve never seen the toilet sparkle so!” surprisingly enough, has never been uttered in my house. Although I know I’m doing an important job, it’s nice to be told so once every ten years or so. From now on, when I’m feeling useless, I’m going to remember that I’m really earning a six figure salary, but opting to take payment in kisses.

I don’t think moms who work outside the house have it any better either. They have to go put in their 40 hours a week and then come home and do all the “mom jobs” too. So, to ALL the underappreciated, overworked moms out there - “You’re doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work and if you’re lucky, some day you may just get a promotion to the position of Grandmother!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Oops - I have to add an addendum here. The Teletubby pictures were courtesy of my husband and my husband alone. My boys did not, I repeat did NOT turn themselves into Teletubbies. I was misinformed last night when I wrote that post. My husband doing that makes much more sense to me. I couldn't imagine my boys doing something like that. I could see them putting their faces on Star Wars characters and then drawing a background of lightsabers and decapitated heads covered in blood perhaps, but definitely not Teletubbies. Just had to clear that up.

134 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I recently found your blog and I love it! Keep up the positive attitude! By the way, I also have a think for places as kids' names: Dakota, Ireland, and Montana. Go Figure!

The Phams said...

Kisses are priceless!

That says it all....

A Whole Lot of Nothing said...

I just told my mom yesterday that I wish I was a Grandmother because she doesn't have to listen to whining. If I got paid $.10 for every whine, I'd be a thousandaire by now.

Mine are only 3 & 1, so I'm saving up and, soon I'll be a millionaire!

http://awholelotofnothing.net

Jennifer in Houston said...

AMEN!!!

Satyam said...

This was so sweet. Just last week, i called up my mom (half way round the globe) and told her what an awesome mom she is. right outta the blue. needless to say she didnt let me return to work for 2 hours...

Round Belly said...

thanks for your pat on the back. Every one of us mothers would really like to hear more then "ewee, not the homemade something for dinner again"

Tara said...

Oh SOOO true!

When I had my third (and final) child without the aid of drugs (not because I wanted to, they just wouldn't give me any, despite my wailing)I really thought someone should walk through the door of the maternity ward with one of those huge cheques made out to me just for enduring natural childbirth! They should have at LEAST paid me what they saved in not having to call the anesthesiologist to my aid! I told this to the nurse who told me that my daughter was my prize... "true" I said "but I got my sons even though I had an epidural both times!".

And I think the person who does laundry is called a laundress. Although I could be wrong. In my house it's just called "mom" too.

Tara said...

Oh, and by the way I am linking to your blog from mine. Thanks for making me laugh!

Michelle said...

Never fear, the kudos from your children may come soon. I am always amazed when my daughters (11 & 8) say "wow mom, the yard looks awesome!". Mind you I just spent 4 hrs mowing, egding, blowing and weeding an insanely large yard and look like I'm about to collapse (which I am at that point) but it's still nice to hear. But none of this started happening regularly until last year ... but it will happen.

At first I thought they wanted something and were hitting me up at my most vulnerable point but that wasn't the case.

I think you are strong for taking on raising 6 kids ... i don't think i could handle more than my 2.

Jessica said...

How true.. My husband doesn't 'get' why I'm tired and feel under appreciated.. Perhaps it's because he says things like "The house looks the same, I thought you were going to clean."

Well turns out cleaning during nap time is only a band aid on a bleeding jugular! Last time he said the house looked the same I used my sarcastic voice and informed him "Nuh-uh! That pile of toys USED to be under the table, NOW it's in the kitchen!"

I love my children and usually my husband :D and will have to remember that kisses and dandelion bouquets are better than checks!

All moments remembered said...

When my first child was born I cried to my parents and thanked them SOOOOO MUCH for all they did for me! I think sometimes it takes having your own child to make you realize how much you appreciate mom and dad!! You have six who are going to soooo praise you for all you have done!
I wonder if the mortage people will take kisses from me or my kids? Hey the grocery clerk? Hey if that is how us moms get paid then I think we should be able to use that to pay our bills!!
Once again you wrote a wonderful blog and I always enjoy coming here every single night to read!
Thanks Dawn for being so real!!
Stacey

Matchbox Mom said...

Dawn,
You are such a doll! I think that being a mother is the hardest job in the world, it pays nothing while the rewards are priceless. Thank You for staying positive and always reminding us that Motherhood is the most important job on Earth. It is hard when you don't get an annual review where your boss pats you on the back and tells you what a good job you did. It's nice to hear it from someone tho...so GOOD JOB!!!
BTW...Janie told me one day that I looked like a laundry maid. So that's what I call the laundry-do-er. Or I say, 'Man, i'm glad you kids have a laundress...'
you're awesome.
Tami

ukrainiac said...

When I was a new mom of twins, I found myself asking my mother if I had ever thanked her for changing my diapers?! And I did so right then. It may take a while, but eventually we moms MIGHT get a pat on the back, if even from ADULT children.

I always thought twice the hugs and kisses made up for the utter craziness of twins who didn't nap. At least at the same time. Cat naps only.

Lisa said...

I make it a point, now that I'm old enough to realize what torture my brothers and I put her through, to call my mom on my birthday, each year, and thank her for putting up with us all those years. This is beside all the other calls to ask for help or just chat and say I love her. Not to worry, Dawn. You'll get those appraisals, and they will be good. It's just going to take a while for them to show up in your inbox.

And I believe the word you were looking for is laundress.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for all the entertainment you share with us. I appreciate that you make me smile and laugh so hard at times I cry. You are so appreciated by 100's of thousand moms in the world! You are rich and you had added much to our lives.
I loved the scrapbook pages you showed last night and it inspired me to go to the scrapbook site that made them for you. I ordered several items and am looking forward to taking some ME time to get caught back up on photos. Stacey was very helpful on her site and has some wonderful items.
Again remember when no one at home shows enough appreciation remember all of us moms out there APPRECIATE you and your blog!

julia said...

Hi - I've popped in from a blog link to your EBay posting re: Pokemon cards. The blogger is Rashembo.

I have to tell you I haven't laughed like that in a long while. My stomach actually hurt, and I was wiping tears away and trying to catch my breath. It woke my husband up, as he somewhat dreads my Laugh Attacks, worried that I may actually die laughing (I'm asthmatic, and when I really get going my asthma kicks in.) But when something is that funny, it wouldn't be a bad way to go.

So I recover slightly and find the link to your blog in the comment section of your EBay post. As soon as it comes up, what do I see? The infant from the grocery store cake-spitting-into-your-hand, now happily covered in chocolate.

I'm SO glad I've bumped into your blog.

Emily said...

Thanks for making me laugh. On the topic of LDS and politics I just wanted to point out that one of the candidates that is seeking the republican nomination, Mitt Romney, is LDS. A lot of people feel that he makes a very good candidate because he is very religious and ethical person (especially compared to the other republican candidates), however a lot of people have also opposed having a Mormon for president because they feel that Romney's ties to the LDS church are too strong and that the LDS leadership would have too much of an influential roll in the presidency if Romney were elected. ...So now you have a tidd bit of knowledge that you can just throw out there are the next drama meeting and come off sounding like you follow politics passionately.

Carissa said...

Dawn,

While I currently have no children and prior to reading your blog wanted 6 (all adopted of course), I find your blog VERY funny and it always adds a smile to my day!

I LOVE Dr. Phil and he has always said being a stay at home mom is like working TWO full time jobs and receiving NO benefits from either because no matter what you have to still do your job! He usues those stats when talking to men who have an issue with what their houses look like when they get home, want dinner on the table or just plain do not want to help their wives who are stay at home moms. I think that stay at home moms deserve the world (no matter how many children they are staying home with) as they are watching over the future of our world. Here is one to keep you laughing...any one of your children could grow up to be our president, serve on the Supreme Court, run Microsoft or even just be a great parent themselves but without you being there for them they may not have been able to achieve that goal! So keep it up and I will keep reading, wish I knew how to get you some of that back pay!

Lisa Laree said...

I know exactly what you mean. I've been wanting to go back to the university now for the longest time...at school, you take the test, you get the grade, you know how you did. With parenting, you gotta wait something like 20 years before you know if you did it right or not...

My kids are now 11 - 21, so I'm beginning to see that maybe, just maybe, we did some of it right.

I'll know for sure once they start achieving Financial Independence.

Keep up the good work. ;)

Andrea said...

So, so true. Altho most times, I really do love getting paided in kisses & hugs, that six figure would be nice unh?

From one mom of alot of kids to another.. thank you for all that you do. :-)

April Lady said...

For those who know nothing about the LDS church go to mormon.org and lds.org. These are the church's websites and will give you accurate information. I understand why many people think Dawn is LDS. Many LDS stay at home moms have many children, are unappreciated and use humor to get through daily life. Humor also helps them to remember that they love their husbands even though they don't feel appreciated all of the time. I know this because I am LDS, married with kids and I feel unappreciated, but I can certainly laugh about it. Thank goodness God made humor or there'd be a lot of depressed housewives out there! And thank goodness for Dawn's hysterical blog that keeps us all feeling normal!

tanyetta said...

love your blog!!!!!!

you crack me up every single time!

Tina said...

Nicely written, as always.

I've always referred to the laundry person as the clothes hound, but that's just me

Mind if I link to you on my blog
http://mom2dbmk.blogspot.com ?

Keep up the great work, you're doing a great job! :)

KamiMari said...

I feel a little convicted. I think I may compliment my friends more for their parenting than I do with my parents. I thank my parents ye but nearly enough. I have no kids but have lived on my own since I was 19. I never appreciated my parents more than when I needed to pay own bills, work my own 40+ hours a week, scrub my own bathroom, mop my own kitchen floor, buy gifts for other people with my own money, prioritize my own schedule, pay my own bills (did I say that already?:), and not kill my niece when she met a 17 year old boy in my home (a boy she met online and never met in person before and she was only 14 at the time and visiting me from Florida.) I had a small taste of mother hood with my niece that Christmas and I know I can't wait but I am grateful that my parents taught me how to handle these touchy, teenager situations. When I have my own husband and children, I am sure my gratitude will pop through the roof.

And like never before have I understood why my mother said her leaving a glass in the living room and me leaving a glass in that room are two different things. I understood now the difference of cleaning up after my self and cleaning up after some one else (ie. my boyfriend who comes over for to my clean house and leaves an hour or two later and my house is mysteriously a mess with cups everywhere and one of his 5 layers of clothing is left- all because he wore 5 layers and got hot---duh!)

Anyways, I will be thanking my parents tomorrow but until then thank YOU for being such a good mom! And I bet those toilets have never quite sparkled so! :)
You are good example for mothers everywhere and I applaud you!
And I bet your salary woul really be somewhere in the 7 figures when you put all those seperate jobs together and times it by 3 (for each of the 3 shifts of work in a day) and then times it by 6 (for obvious reasons) and then add 50% of that total for "on call" pay. And you may actually hit the 8 figures........

I hope Clay is doing well. And I hope also that you are feeling better also! I have been praying for a quick healing/recovery for you both!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Claire & Simon said...

I am a Mum in the UK and have found your blog by way of your Pokemon auction on Ebay. You seem to be living my life, but in America LOL. If only you knew how many times I have said the same thing to my husband about appraisals and bonuses. I can remember the day when, me standing whitefaced and exhausted at the bottom of the stairs - him going to work and then him shouting at me that I treated it like he was going to an ******* party every time he walked out the door!

Appreciation is a hard won prize, but now I am back at work myself I'd swap the appraisals for a morning on the sofa with a baby, a family bar of chocolate and the latest installment of Postman Pat!

Embejo said...

Thanks for the chuckle.
I think a person who does laundry (which we in NZ call 'washing') is called a 'washerwoman'. Laundry maid sounds so much nicer.

Darla said...

This is so funny! I always get asked if I'm Catholic. The next question usually is, "Do you homeschool?" I always want to answer with a, "Are you KIDDING me? School is my state-paid daycare!!!" Of course, I'm kidding about the daycare part..I actually really enjoy our vacations that we do get so I can have the kids at home but am ready to see them go back to school when it starts again because they really seem to need the structure, socializing, and such. I actually did entertain the thought to homeschool for a long time after the Columbine massacre but by the time my oldest was school age I was finally untraumatized enough to let her go. This is really fun to read your blog because I see so much of my life in your blog. I commented once before about a week ago...I am pregnant 33 weeks, feeling like 33mos (with our 6th child)..I actually am right now supposed to be lying really low because on my 32 week visit my baby was already at station "0" and I'm already dilating and effacing. My husband has kicked into gear for now and I had to smugly smile a little bit yesterday evening when he was moaning about how he and the kids had cleaned the house earlier..."now it doesn't look like we did anything!!!" I told him, "That is why I tell you that so often! I always have to clarify that this place WAS clean at some point today!!!" but I don't think he usually believes me until the times he takes over. He gave me a big grin when I told him that so obviously, somewhere deep in the recesses of his memory this all sounds familiar! Pertaining to the 24/7 job of being a mother, I'm even so desparate for my husband to understand how overwhelming being with the kids all the time can be that I will even tell him, "I KNOW your job is stressful too but at least you get to drive to and from work! That's a combined total of 1 hour of uninterrupted time (unless I call him on his cell phone, 'Okay, where are you now..almost home?') that I don't get every day!!!" And for the thanks from the kids..my kids will notice when the play area is cleaned up or their bedroom has been mucked, or the kitchen is SPARKLING and oftentimes will even go so far as giving me a hug and saying, "Wow Mom...you did a really nice job! This looks really nice!" Then that is often followed by, "Who's coming over?" That is one benefit of not having a spotless home all the time..when one area is really shining, everyone notices!!

jackie said...

I just got this in the mail yesterday. You may have already seen it, but somehow it fits.


A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers
strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an
even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall.

In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog Food was spilled on the
floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that
something serious had happened.

He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.
As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went.

He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?"

She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?"

"Yes," was his incredulous reply.

She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

That just about sums up what my house looks like after a day of running around and doing things.
Life is different with kids.

Judah First said...

Ummm, I think it would be "laundress". hehehe

HLHBC said...

I only have 4 children but I am SO with you! Thank you SO much for sharing your gift for writing and your blog!

Jennifer said...

Just this morning I had to clean up popcorn that my dog got out of the trash last night....jump to now...When I was winding up the cord for the vacuum mu little guy (age 2)said "Mommy done?" and I said "Yes" Then I couldn't believe it but he said "Good Job". I guess that counts for something...:)

Tara said...

I have been known to actually march my family into a sparkling clean bathroom and have them repeat after me: "Woah, what a clean toilet. You really did a great job on that, Mom!" Then we head to the kitchen, "Woah, what a clean counter, you really did a great job on that, Mom!" At least you hear the words come from their mouths that way!

Mel (Oz) said...

..."From now on, when I’m feeling useless, I’m going to remember that I’m really earning a six figure salary, but opting to take payment in kisses."

I LOVE that!! If you don't mind, I think that's gonna be my catchcry from now on...

Cheers,
Mel

Billie said...

I had an awesomely encouring e-mail the other day, and I'd share the contents, since they are pertinent, but I've erased it. After doing a search, I found out it came from a short book called The Invisible Woman by Nicole Miller. It may be worth a read... :)

Billie said...

Oops, that was Nicole Johnson. Shows you my mind's on makeup or something... (Why I don't know! Maybe b/c it's Sunday--the only day I ever think of wearing it. But all I have is Mary Kay, no Nicole Miller... :)

Shannon's Mummy said...

Oh.. I love this post so much!!! Now I know why I am feeling so useless. BTW, I am linking your blog to mine!

Ali A said...

SO the husband messed up the album. Makes sense.

Autumn said...

You always make me smile...nothing like putting a bright spot in the day. It's so true though, no one other than another mom can fully understand it. Just wait, one day they will appreciate everything you did and do for them. Keep up the good work!

Oh and ps...I love the picture of Brooklyn with the fish in her mouth...so precious!!

Anonymous said...

I, myself, think you are doing a great job raising 6 kids, taking care of your family and loving them all through the easy time and the hard time. Just remember to take it day by day. Or as my mom would say, "Lord, help me make it to the next minute! Oh Lord! Now what??!!"

Jennifer said...

Thank you for mentioning that the work is just as hard for working moms as is staying home. My mom stayed home with me and I'm not sure how her sanity is still intact. Being a mom is a hard job, but I like the pay in kisses, scribble drawings and half eaten cookies.

Nicki said...

All tose kisses are worth so much. Thanks for the pat on the back and keep up the good work:)

JLynn said...

I am also mother to 6 kids. 5 of which are my step-kids, so I had the added fun during the teenage years of "I don't have to listen to you, you're not my mother" argument :) But the payoff and thank yous come when they grow-up and have kids of their own. They finally appreciate the HARD work of being a parent!

suburbancorrespondent said...

It's "laundress." Your brain cells must be melting at a faster rate than mine. And if you have any kids 6 and older (you must, I'm not that bad at math), then they can do their own laundry. Just shove a laundry basket in their closet for their dirty clothes and assign them a day or two a week to dump the whole thing in the washer (show them how to measure the soap) and then move it into the dryer. Then they can use all that youthful energy to carry their clean laundry upstairs and shove it into their dresser. Who cares if it's folded? You do not, I repeat, do not have to do laundry for 8 people. I find that I can only do laundry for 4 people at a time without going berserk.

If you think their laundry loads aren't big enough and you're wasting water (my motto: "Who cares?"), then assign them a young buddy and throw his clothes in with the bigger guy's stuff.

Think about it - if you are doing the whole family's laundry all together, you are mixing all the clothes up just to sort them out again. This is a waste of time! (Can you tell this is a pet subject of mine?) Liberate yourself from slavery - do it!

Other things a 6-year-old can do - empty the dishwasher (just don't use good china, okay?), clear the table, make his bed, strip his bed, and .... well, maybe that is all. I wait until they are 7 before they can load the dishwasher.

Side note: my kids do none of the above chores cheerfully. All that crap about having jobs to do making them more responsible, etc., is just that - crap. They whine a lot. But they'd be whining a lot anyway, now wouldn't they?

Stacia from Oz said...

Love your blog.. i read it whenever i get a chance! Well done on it and being a mum to 7 ;)
I am a mum to 2 (both boys 4 and 2). This morning when i dragged myself out of bed to rearrange the mess (or as i like to say - clean) some more and feed the kids, my wonderful boys made their own breakfast (and didn't make too much mess), i asked them to clean their rooms they did it without me having to ask again (amazing!) and then vacuumed their rooms (only a small fight over who got to vacuum)and then put all their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper (only had to pull out a couple of shoes). Then master 4 turned to me and said... "gee it sure is hard work cleaning mummy, you do it soo much better" and then hugged me... not sure if it was praise or just a clever way of getting out of doing it again!
i didn't really think about it too much until i read your post just now... i think i have to open my eyes and ears a little more to find my 'pay cheque'
Stacia - Australia

healthymomof2 said...

Hmmm... Laundress? I dunno.

I looked up the original article because for some reason I thought $131K was a bit low. Here it is:

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseKids/ThePriceOfAMom.aspx?GT1=10019

It says the salary pay should be $138, 095 which was determined by Salaray.com based on 10 jobs that a mom does on an average day. It also stated that moms (sahm and work out of the home moms) work on average 52 hours of overtime!

I think the government should stop wasting our tax dollars on spaying and neutering neighborhood squirrels (yes thats what they are doing in my town - ridiculous) and use that money to start paying sahm's.

InnerAnomaly said...

thank you. thank you. thank you. this post makes me feel so much better. I love my job as a sahm, but I do feel under appreciated at times. Though as much as that salary is tempting, I think I'd rather take kisses and hugs anytime...

Tricia said...

Perhaps we moms should think about the day twenty or so years from now when the kids will be off to college, or married, in their own underappreciated job of parenthood, and we'll be somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean, sipping a pina colada on the Lido deck. And we'll be laughing our @sses off.

Kit said...

Not long ago I was nervously eyeing my older son (3 1/2) as he ricocheted around a Starbucks while clutching a full bottle of juice. Meanwhile I am listening to an old friend of mine talk about the nature of diety, alternate universes and string theory. After the umpteenth empty pause and glazed stare from me, I had to explain to him that, while I USED to be able to hold up my end of the conversation on such topics, since giving birth the only things I can speak intelligently about are diapers, baby gear, kids, food, toys and pregnancy. Sigh.

You are SO not alone, and thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone, either! :P Hang in there, and good luck!
Kit

kitmama.blogspot.com

Elaine Bittencourt said...

Yes, the toughest job in the world, and no one who has never done it will ever understand it... till the day they do it, of course. I guess most of us appreciate our own moms a lot better after we become moms ourselves!

Mary said...

I love getting paid with hugs and kisses! Even sloppy ones! The older they get, the fewer they come... but that makes them even more special.

My girls are 18 (in college), 16 (in high school, and 18 mths (in stinky diapers)

I love your stories. I can usually relate even though I have half the number of kids you have!

MBKimmy said...

Thanks for the good job - and I say you ar a wonderful mommy and you are doing a WONDERFUL job!
I only have 1 - she is now 3 months old ... I feel like I culd make 6 figures from all the new things i have learned in just 3 short months!

ck said...

Once in awhile my eldest will pop up with "Mom, you're the best mom in the world!" which makes me smile. And just this morning when the kids were poking me to see if I was awake enough to make them breakfast, my 3yo very thoughtfully covered me up from where I had been feeding the oungest in a half-sleep and gave me a kiss on the head.

I think that was my pay for today.

I get it though. I ask my husband at least once a year if I can "be the husband" tonight. Meaning, can I come home from work, go straight to the computer, and not emerge from the room untl dinner is done, eat, take control of the tv while the dishes are being done and kids are being washed, tucked and prepared for school the next day and not get up until the tenth glass of water, potty break, request for kisses etc.

This isn't exactly what I signed up for, but if the payment is in kisses and pride, then I'm a milionaire!

Stephanie said...

I love your blog & your writing. I think you should put this quote,

'to ALL the underappreciated, overworked moms out there - “You’re doing an awesome job! Keep up the good work and if you’re lucky, some day you may just get a promotion to the position of Grandmother!”'

on coffee mugs, tshirts, billboards, and magnets.
LOVE IT!
thanks for making me laugh each and every time I read your blog!

Liza's Eyeview said...

so true ...

wow - you covered all of us well - stay at home moms, working dads, working moms!

Thanks. I think you are a great mom and a wonderful wife. I am glad your blog - I enjoy it every time I stop by :)

wendy said...

a whole lot of my mothering seems to be held in the confines of my car(a condemned daycare center). I have them belted in and don't let them open doors while we are moving(they have dcyf on speed dial-i installed it at birth). Often we check the "way-back machine" about things that happened when they were much smaller or in my b.c. years. (before children in harvard square..sigh).
last week i had another opportunity to remind them all that they were lucky to be here at all. I have told them many times... I do not like children. I like babies. they know i don't mean it one lick. (SNAP! they are onto me!).
My son said ,"but why mom, you are so good with kids".
I didn't think we were going to make it through this year together and yet i got the biggest bonus a parent could ever get. wow.

i bet your kids would be giving that to you right this second if they weren't laughing so hard with you. and you deserve every snort,guffaw,giggle,squeak,belly laugh or ha ha you hear.
thanks again, your fan,wendy
ps my kids push me off computer daily to read the latest hi-jinx at your ranch. fans all of them, the next generation.

Dorothy said...

Hubby had no clue what I did at home until I went back to work. "What did you do today?" was usually asked with a tone of wonder as he saw the mess several small children can make.

Now he has all 9 kids 2 evenings a week and all day Sat and Sun. He has changed his tune and wonders how I accomplish anything and work full-time.

Heather said...

What a great post! As my kids have gotten older and have been to other homes they realize and appreciate what I do.

My son was shocked that one of his friend's mom doesn't cook dinner for the family every night. They just graze out of the cupboards and the fridge for all their meals. He came home and thanked me for always making dinner for him. That alone is worth a six figure salary...but I'll take the sweet kisses too!!

Already tired mom of 1 said...

"The Invisible woman"
This is long, but worth the read:

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, "Who is that with you, young fella?"

"Nobody," he shrugged.

"Nobody?" The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, "Oh my goodness, nobody?"

I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like "Turn the TV down, please" - and nothing would happen.

Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, "Would someone turn the TV down?" Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, "I'm ready to go when you are." He just kept right on talking. That's when I started to put all the pieces together. I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?" Obviously not! No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Right around 5:30 , please." I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.

She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees." In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."
And the workman replied, "Because God sees."

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. ~ Nicole Johnson

Brandi O. said...

I also have six kids. I have never been asked if I am LDS, but I have been asked if I am Catholic (I'm not.). We are also frequently asked if they all belong to both of us together. We all look a lot alike, so I sometimes wonder if those people have actually gotten a good look at us.

I look at my pay as the money I save my husband. If we had to pay a babysitter full time, then it would probably cost over $1,000 a month. I am also able to work on ways to save around the house in the kitchen and laundry room, etc.

Your day must be crazy during the school year. We homeschool, so we don't have to scramble all over town to drop off kids and pick them up.

Anonymous said...

I just love your blog. Keep up the good work! :)

Kristina said...

Yes, kisses are pricless. But wouldn't it be nice to have payment in a mixed tender? Half kisses, half 6 figure income?

alicia said...

You have been such an encouragement to me!! Thank you for continuing to write. I think you are such an encouragement because you can laugh at yourself and your season of life, but it is still clear how much you love your kids and value your role as mom! I wanted to pass on this part of a great book called, "The invisible woman" by Nicole Johnson. It is worth readin the whole book and it's not very long at all! But, here's a part of it that may not only give you a pat on the back which you surely deserve, but also inspire you to keep on!
Much love,
alicia
I'm invisible.......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response,

the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the

phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't

you see I'm on the phone?"


Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or

sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner,

because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible.


Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this?

Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of

hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, "What time is

it?" I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney

Channel?" I'm a car to order, "Pick me up right around 5:30, please."



I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the

eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum

laude -- but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never

to be seen again.



She's going ... she's going ... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return

of a friend from England . Janice had just gotten back from a

fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she

stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put
together so well.



It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked

down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find

that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and

I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was

feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully

wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."



It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly

sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To

Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are

building when no one sees."



In the days ahead I would read -- no, devour -- the book. And I

would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths,

after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the

great cathedrals-- we have no record of their names. These builders gave

their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They

made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their

building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw

everything.


A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit

the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving

a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the

man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a

beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."


And the workman replied, "Because God sees."


I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was

almost as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte.

I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you

does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no

cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.


You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what

it will become."



At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a

disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of

my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn

pride.



I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder.

As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see

finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The

writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could

ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people

willing to sacrifice to that degree.



When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend

he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at

4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a

turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table."

That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just

want him to want to come home.



And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add,

"You're gonna love it there."


As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if

we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the

world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty

that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Connie said...

Dawn,

I FINALLY have had 3 of the 5 girls (Mine are now aged 28-15)say thanks mom for everything you've done. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I thought that wouldn't come till they had children of their own.

When I was PG with the 5th, and on total bedrest, my husband told me that he wanted me to hurry up and get well because he "didn't like my job, it was too hard". He had my very good neighbor, my mother and his mother helping him!!

Bless you and yours
madhouse5and2

Anonymous said...

I, too was wondering what LDS was but forgot to ask! I haven't recovered all of those brain cells that I lost over the course of my two pregnancies.
~Molly in NH

Lisa C. said...

Dawn, I can send you my kids for a week, we trained them early on to thank the person that does work for them..lol. Now as teenagers my older two like to go out of their way to tell me when they notice I have done something. My youngest daughter always thanks us for the food we make, even if she hates it..lol. There is nothing that makes me laugh more then hearing her say, "Thank you Mom and Dad for the creamed spinich with beet casserole. It was interesting". We have laughed so many times when she does this (she is 10 btw)..lol

2boysmama said...

And the other part of this is that you never have any tangible product to show for your endeavors. Dishes are dirty once again, the kids are always hungry again, the laundry is dirty again. The house stays clean for about hmmm, maybe 30 seconds at most. When you are working, most of the time, you have some product that you produced that gets you some accolades. And, oh yah, the salary!

Alexia said...

You're blog is hilarioius! I read about you when I'm feeling a little cranky :D

Davis family said...

Dawn, I think you are amazing. I am a mom of 7 and I know I don't handle things as well as you do. I appreciate your example to me. It is great to hear about things other moms are doing. Thanks.
andi davis
davisnuthouse.blogspot.com

Nine Texans and friends.... said...

Someone beat me to it. I was going to the post 'The Invisible Woman' too :-)

Someone needs to start a blog ring for big families.

Shay (Australia) said...

Beleive it or not when they get to their late teens they do thank you! Well at least my daughter did! I said something one day and my DD17 said you are a great mum and I wouldn't want to swap you compared to my friends mum's...I am "cool" in their eyes because I am not what you call the traditional mum yes I love my kids and I do my best to keep a nice home but I also work 30 hours outside the home and I study as well. So there is some thanks at the end of the tunnel and I love your blog thanks!

daisydap said...

just wanted to let you know, (in case you didnt already) you are now famous in the UK, your auction has been doing the rounds here too and i know lots of us have been reading your blog.
i have spent the last couple of hours reading, am gonna have to save the rest when my eyes arent soo tired lol.
i have 4 children myself ranging from 19 to 9, 2 boys and 2 girls, they are a lot of work and a lot of fun, but i dont think i could put my childrens escapades in such a way as you do.
keep up the writing, i know soo many of us are enjoying it. :)

DidiLyn said...

Just to let you know, when the kids grow up and move out they are suddenly and miraculoulsy transformed into grateful human beings. I have no real explanation for this, other than to say it is the way it is. I have here in front of me a card from my 22 year old daughter.
"Mom, THANK YOU for all you do for me. You are a real rock in my life and I will always look up to you as a great example of what I hope to someday become."
Now, excuse me as I wipe my tears yet again, (that was from last year) but was that not worth any wait?
Thought so. Think I'll go have some more sangria.
Diane

Debi said...

I only have 5 children & people ask me if I am Catholic, Mormon or owned a TV!! I said no, no and yes! Then why do you have so many children? Because I REALLY like SEX! That shuts 'em up.

Thanks for another good chuckle today!! They are like children, you can have too many.

Nikki in Vancouver, WA said...

My husband is a manager at his job and all the people he works with the exception of 1 are women. He comes home and tells me about all the "DRAMA" that happens at work and then he has to hear what his 2 daughters, ages 3 & 4, have done for the day. There are some nights that he informs me he can't handle it when he works with all women and then comes home to all women.
I inform him, that's nice, but at least you get to leave work! Don't get me wrong I love being a mom, but it is a 24 hour a day job and there is no one there to tell you you're doing a good job (except maybe your own mom, when she see's you are about to lose what is left of your sanity)
Husbands don't totally and probably never will totally understand what a stay at home mom deals with every day.
I have to say though I have a great husband who never complains about the house not being clean or the dishes in the sink, or the piles of laundry, or the school papers everywhere, or the half finished sewing projects in various places. He is very understanding and knows that I do my best and some days nothing gets done except the school work for my oldest and the kids getting meals. Spending time with my kids is more important some days then doing all the other things that comes with the title of Mom.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

For now kisses and hugs are great payments. True it won't buy you a chocolate and diet coke, but these payments are priceless.

It's sad when they get to that age where hugging and kissing just isn't 'cool' anymore.

I'm just glad you are entertaining thousands of readers for free right now.

I know this won't last for long, so I'm enjoying every blog you post.

I hope some day you will get paid for all the work you put into your writing.

Korkie (your other best friend..)

KATE said...

Dawn- I think you're fabulous! Thanks for making me laugh, as always. It would be so nice to get that 6 figure salary wouldn't it? How funny! I'm surprised they could even come up with a figure considering all the crap we do all day!! ha ha
- kate

Rachel said...

I had to laugh at the previous comment because when I told my dad I was pregnant with #3 he asked if my TV was broken and I had nothing better to do than have unprotected sex. He was trying to be funny but that was one conversation I did not want to have with my father.

Anonymous said...

You may not get a thank you now, but just wait. My children are grown(the baby is 18). My two oldest have told me numerous times how much they now appreciate the fact that I was a stay at home mom to them when they were little. My one son told me he could always sign me up to go on a field trip (before informing me of the fact) because he knew that I could be counted on to go. Most of his friends moms worked and could not get off work.
I think stay at home moms do not get enough credit. It is one of the most important jobs women will ever do.
One of my sons also suffered from throat infections all the time. The doctor suggested we take his tonsils out. It did not work. He continued to have strep throat for the next 5 years. At least 6 to 8 times a year. Around puberty he stopped getting them. My daughter also had the same problem. We made the decision to not have her tonsils taken out after the experience with my son. The last doctor we saw agreed with us that we had made the right decision. He told us my daughter would grow out of it around puberty. He was right. She has not had a throat infection of any kind for 5 years now. She is 18. We just felt the risk of surgery was not worth it if she was going to keep having the infections anyway. I hope you have better luck.
Love your column. My son sent me the link to your e-bay auction for the pokemon cards. When I first opened it I could not figure out why he sent it to me. I do not buy the cards and no one else at my house does either. I scrolled down the page and started laughing. I then understood why he sent the link. I have a friend who fosters children. She can have anywhere from her 3 children(1 natural, 2 adopted, former fosters) to 10 children at her home at one time.I sent her the link to your blog. She loved your blog and now is a regular reader. She is in a support group for foster parents and she sent your blog to all of them. They are all now regular readers.

Melissa said...

I love your out look on life. Your ebay posting was hilarious. I have 4 kids, 7 year old daughter, boy/girl twin 3 year olds & 2 year old daughter and your grocery shopping hits close to home. I'm so glad I'm not the only one out there that gets asked all those questions about having a daycare etc. Thanks for all the great laughs/posts. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there!

Thanks again, Melissa
www.melmccally.blogspot.com

Manninen Family said...

You would be called a "Laundress" such a formal title!

Erica said...

Since you said you read 'em all, I had to leave a post and say THANK YOU for helping me to laugh at all this!!! I am a SAHM, pregnant for the fourth time, my oldest is 4 1/2 and I just found out that we are having twin boys! Oh, yes, and we already have two boys. Talk about losing brain cells, and I never had any to begin with! I love every minute (most of the time) but right now humor is the way to get through it for me. You are a blessing.

mindi said...

I enjoy your blog - very funny!
Although I WOHM I am first and foremost a mom. I still have as much laundry to do, still have to cook and clean, listen to whining, break up fights, and take care of sick kids in the middle of the night. So I really think a mom period, be her a SAHM or WOHM, or somewhere in between, has the hardest job in the world . . .

lovebnamom said...

I've enjoyed your blog...you are one of the reasons I started one of my own! I'm a Baptist mom of 8 who also gets mistaken for a Morman or a Catholic. Thanks for the laughs!

Toni said...

Dawn--

my hospital seems to think your website it porn because it's blocked by the internet firewall thingie.

HAHAH! It's so not Pr0n.

Thought you would be amused.

Toni

Claudia said...

Well, now that I am a Grammy to 5 kids, my kids and husband have realized that it was lots harder and more work than they imagined. Now that I no longer carry a baby, diaper bag, backpacks and a purse at the same time, my husband carries everything for me. Go figure. By the way, they really do appreciate you at some point. You can tell when they call and ask for advice.

kari said...

Love this post! I can so relate!

Sherida A said...

Here here sister!!

How do I survive? said...

Hey honey how ya doin? Have so far read anything you've written. As far as all ur blogs and both the baseball auction and the pokeman auction. Love you to death honey!!!!! I sent everyone I know the pokeman auction.(It was the easiest to send considering my comp illiterate behind lol) I have since started my own blog. Tho I started thinking that with all the billions of other blogs out there no one would see it lol. I would how ever love your input sometime. Just to let me know I'm not givin everyone the ZZZZZ's out there lol ya know. Yet I also know ur busy so I realize you may never see it. Thank you though. It was thru reading your blog that I found others and well.... finally became brave enought to start my own. You're a wonderful writer and I know I don't hold a candle to you. Not trying too. Just figured it would be the perfect place to vent and talk about everyday life so it's not all kept inside of me. Ok now I know I'm babblin, I have had a few beers lol. So sry and ty for the smiles, laughs, and belly aches from the roflmao. Please don't ever stop.

Missi said...

Oh you are so right, not only do we not get the pat on the back or raise, we usually get only whines and complaints from the kids even when we are doing all we can.

There has not been a day gone by that I don't scream internally at least once.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job as a mom and wife, but sometimes, praise or monetary reward would be nice....

Stacey said...

Dang right!!

Sara A Daigle said...

I have invested in a book called Momisms by Cathy Hamilton, and in this book is this ....
Momism #17:
"Just wait till you have kids of your own"
Meaning:
Every mother knows the only way to gain complete parental restitution is for her kids to have kids of their own. Then, and only then, will they realize the scrifice, pain, and suffering moms go though every day of our thankless lives.

and for that.... we are blessed!!!

Sandra @ The Memory Workshop said...

I don't look at it as lost wages...I look at it at SAVING my family all that money by doing it myself! :)

Becky said...

Loved that one, Dawn...earning six figures, but taking payments in kisses. Soooo true! God Bless You for 'validating' motherhood like you do.

MnRooMom said...

A girlfriend once told me that she always spruces up extra nice to take her kids to their well checks. She said she likes to look her best because it's her job performance review. Amen sister!

Annabel Lee said...

You're hilarious! I love to read your blog everyday. I can't wait for the book! You're doing an awesome job with you children, I applaud you! My son has yet to come up with the crazy stuff your kiddos have done, but I'm sure the time will come!

Anonymous said...

And the working parent gets to talk to grown-ups!

At least my babies do tell me occasionally that I am doing a good job.

Kim said...

Your blog reminded me of the one time my kids tell me good job. Of all the things they could pick, for some reason, whenever I get a close parking spot they say, "wow mom, great parking spot, good job." Can't I ever hear that about dinner? By the way they're 5, 3 and 18 mths.

Sammie said...

You are so funny!
BTW, about the LDS church, there is a great website. www.mormon.org

Aubrey said...

Changing endless diapers is the pits--but I am forever grateful that I don't have to do cloth diapers like my mom did. I am LDS with three kids all under 5. I used to want 6, but with every child, the number has gone down. You have convinced me I better quit while the going is semi-good, because my kids are as busy as yours--at least the two-year-old is. He makes up for my sweet baby and the hours when my daughter is at preschool.

moneypennymonika said...

Dawn,
I wasn't going to post because you have many to read and mine isn't that original. My children, on the other hand, were convinced that you had to know they beg me to read your blog outloud. They also asked me to tell you their funny stories....I will not bother you with the details. I'll just say that your days sound so much like mine, and I am glad that you have a good sense of humor. BTW, who makes you smile on a down day? I know kids make it seem better, but you make thousands giggle and laugh, and I hope someone else out there pulls you up when you are down. After all, that is why God put us all down here together! Thanks for sharing your humor with the rest of us, and keep on truckin'. If everyone was like you seem to be, the world would be a much better place.

Moneypennym

Anonymous said...

I was going to sign in with my google account but I have been brain dead ever since the doctor said "Congratulations your going to be a mother." That was 30 years ago. One day I hope to regain it or find my mind for it got lost somewhere in between time.
Just wanted to say I love your blog for you tell it like it is. The stories we could all write no one would believe. EVER!! Perhaps only another mom.
Also, wanted you to know that your children will tell you "Thank you" one day. That day comes when they are told they are to be parents. It also comes several more times as thier children do the things they did to make your hair gray. Take care and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and its not the fire from your 15 year old playing with bottlerockets in his room. It is called "grandchildren" they are wonderful and worth it. Just as when you see your little ones asleep looking so sweet or when they put their arms around you and say " I love you mom"....

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! The stories are a scream and the pic of your husband on the pogo stick was priceless. I've got 3 kids and one overgrown child that I'm married to...I work most weekends (leaving the cherubs with their Disneyland Daddy, all fun, no rules, Mcdonalds every Saturday) and have gone back to school, as if my life wasn't crazy enough.
I was 5th of 9 and any time I complain to Mom she asks what would you do if you had nine??
Just today, my mother in law called me to remind me it was my husband's birthday. Like I could ever forget (he is on a business trip, and has been whining for days that he really just wishes to be home to celebrate). I dunno, I think they make planes that go both ways.
Anyway, keep on writing, it's such a nice break at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog, I love it. I am the mom to 6 kids too, mine are older, but I lived through all of the same stuff that you write about. I just became a grandmother for the first time and I can tell, this is definitely the reward for not "killing" your kids. I could feel my intelligence level growing as my daughter's belly grew, by the time the baby came, I was practically a genius. I am am OB nurse, so for once I "knew" things that she wanted to know. I'll keep reading your blog, it makes me smile every time.
Thanks
New Grandma

Mike V M said...

Haaaaaa! I've come to your blog via Stumble and Pokemon cards on eBay. But most importantly, I come as a fellow traveler on the six pack track, only I'm at the other end of the line from you... my youngest of six just turned eighteen. I've come to offer congratulations and encouragement to both you and your seventh child. You are my heroes. I applaud your courage, resolution, your grace under fire and obvious sense of humor. I know about the nights that the last thing you remember is your head falling toward the pillow and you've spent every ounce of energy out on that playing field with a diaper in one hand and an applesauce spoon in the other and you fall into a sleep so deep, it wouldn't surprise you to wake up in a coffin and forty-five minutes later the flu decides to cut a swath through your toddlers. Oh yeah! This is not a game for woosies!

I'm living proof that somewhere down what seems like a road with no end, your steady, engaged, intelligent parenting will result in real honest to goodness good, adult, human beings. The kind of good people who know how to interact with their neighbors based on their sibling experience, who know how to deal with stress based on their parents example, who know having a good time is not financially dependent, who know the value of family and hard work, who have their own quirky senses of humor. Why, because you have the courage and commitment to raise a large family and raise it well.

I have a hard time explaining how beneficial the large family is to those who have never been part of one. It's an "eyes on the prize" thing. There will come a time when your are sitting around a dining room table with a grown set of offspring perhaps with their own spouses and ask yourself, "Where did all these cool people come from?" I can tell by your commentary one day you will be there.

... and the next time you run into one of those dolts who asks, "Are those all yours?" and you give weary thumbs up for the thousandth time and they come back with some comment like, "Sheesh, what were you thinking?" My favorite response was always, "Shucks, two kids just seems like just a hobby family!"

I'm adding you and your clan to my bedtime prayers. God Bless!

Sharon said...

I am a mom of seven+1DH (dear husband) and have really enjoyed your posts. I too discovered you when my sister sent the Pokemon e-bay e-mail thinking that I would share your pain. I do! This month alone I have had to deal with my three and four year old daughters making parmesan cheese snow angels on my bed and my two year old pulling the fire alarm at my extremely embarassed thirteen year old daughter's volleyball practice. Everytime something like that happens, I call my mom and thank her again for not going crazy while my siblings and I were young. I am amazed that we all made it through unscathed. I hope that my children make it as well! The humor of the things they do helps alot! Pray alot, laugh alot and ask for help when you need it.

carrie & troy keiser said...

Lest you think ALL LDS stay-at-home moms feel underapprecated... I am told frequently how much I'm appreciated (it took a few years and a few kids, but it happened :) ). I think it is just that a lot of sahmoms feel this way, it is normal and typical of men to think we don't "do" anything. Men just think differently.

info said...

Le' Laundress, thats what I call someone who does laundry. I would like to give you a Le' Laundress t-shirt just to say THANK YOU!! for the laughs. Go to www.couturemoms.com and pick out the size/color, email me with where you want me to send it and it's yours. You deserve it!! Keep blogging. Dana

Lori_N said...

Amen, sister!! My husband doesn't quite understand either. He thinks the house should be cleaned and picked up when he gets home at night. Our house is very lived in. I have the 4 boys and, just to add to the insanity, I babysit a few other kids. He can't seem to understand why I'm so exhausted at night and I don't feel like performing my "wifely duties" :)

Tina said...

I once heard that a stay-at-home mom works the equivalent of 2 1/2 full time jobs. I told my husband this and he disagreed...maybe more like 1 1/2 he said. So, I figured out how many hours a day I would have to work to make 1 1/2 full time jobs. One day when my hours for the day were "over" and I had to "clock out" at 5pm (before dinner was cooked), he got the picture that maybe I do work 2 1/2 full time jobs! lol...he's never argued again about how much I work around here. :-)

Connie said...

Thank you Dawn for posting the comment about the Invisable Woman that the ladies sent. What a beautiful way to look at what mothers do.

Claire said...

I feel as though I've just been paid! My lovely neighbour sent me the link to your blog, telling me that you and I are so alike and she said it could have been me (except we live in Australia!). Well, I'm the happiest mum of 6(aged 13-2&1/2) there is then! It is such a blessing to be me, and behold all 'the jewels in my crown', as my Grandma tells me every Birthday! I'm thankfull for all those moments that keep us human!
And thank you for helping us all remember while mothering is one of the toughest jobs on the planet it can be our most rewarding!
God Bless all Mum's!

LadyRachelLynn said...

Another way to look at it is you get to "prove" your six figure income..........Six figures.........Aj, Nana, Boo, Princess, Spaz, and Baby.

Anyway......

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

One night after dinner, my husband told our 5 kids that "Mom is officially off the clock!" and then he proceded to delegate all the jobs that I handle after dinner (cleaning up dishes, loading the dishwasher, putting extra food away,cleaning the floor and table (the carnage is usually pretty bad after a meal!)getting kids bathed, teeth brushed, hair combed, favorite stuffed animals located, countless sips of water & potty breaks,Bible stories read, then kids in bed). He put my oldest son who was 10 at the time in charge of managing the other 4 kids. My husband then ushered me to my room where I leisurely read a magazine. I was told to not help what-so-ever! About 20 minutes later, my son came into my room, closed the door and blocked the door with his back. He looked at me shaking his head he said to me, "They are all crazy. They aren't doing one thing I say. How do you do it, Mom?" With a huge grin on my face, I exclaimed, "Welcome to MY World!"

I love those priceless moments when either our kids or our biggest kid (our husbands) have a "lightbulb Momemt" and realize the work that Moms truly endure for our family.

Thanks Dawn for continuing to share your stories with us. Keep up the awesome work.

How is the book coming along?

---Lisa, San Antonio, Tx

12-arrows said...

We always were asked, "Are you Catholic?" I guess people assume because you have so many kids and obviously do not use birth control that you must be Catholic! We seriously thought about converting we were asked so much! LOL

SRR said...

Thank you for the kudos to working moms. I was a stay at home mom for 3 years and now have no choice but to work. I pay the mortgage. This is not by choice! I am divorced and have three children to feed. Their dad has made comments that I am not as good of a mother because I work. !!! Our children are amazing and all are doing well. Not having a choice to work makes the comments of others hurt even more. I appreciate the laughter you bring to my day and how much more normal I feel when overwhelmed, lol! Thank you for the shout out to "outside" working moms.

Anonymous said...

I have a plan.

I now work outside the home, which I get paid very well for, after staying home and doing daycare while the kids were little. I loved doing daycare and can so understand having large families, except I was so glad when pick-up time arrived on THOSE days! On THOSE days I would turn to hubs when he got home and ask when the last two were getting picked up (ours!).

Back to the plan... Every hour/day I work I accumulate holiday time. How about SAH moms get the same thing from their families? Negotiate! I understand that 2 weeks holidays is a bit much, (and a replacement would be impossible to find), but say Mom gets one day every month out and away with thanks and no guilt. Paid time (this means spending money). The refreshment you would get doing the activity or non-activity of your choice would be worth it's weight in gold - as long as you can leave the kids behind mentally as well as physically! You could negotiate to have them go out and you stay home in bed reading interesting books about people with bigger lives, eating healthy snacks (like chocolate-covered strawberries), or sleeping, not cleaning or picking up anything.
Get them in the habit by scheduling a day every month. Remind your co-workers what it would look like if you were sitting out front with a picket line!! How long would it take before the youngest was stuck to something (wall, floor, ceiling) and the search and rescue team were called in to find the middle child in it's bedroom??!!??

What do you think?

It didn't totally work for me when I was at home, although I did get a few days here and there and at least one women's retreat (although I had to take the breastfeeder too).

Nowadays, I thank God every day I feel sick and can call in, knowing I will get paid, no one will get lost or hurt because I'm not there, and that my kids will still go to school leaving me peace and quiet to get better.

janet said...

after 116 comments, i would doubt this would get seen, but here's what happens when they go away to college:

this was an instant message sent out of the blue from my 18-year-old son, who i just helped move 1,500 miles away:

Hey, mom... I don't think I've ever said this to you before... but thank you for being my mom, and for always being there for me. I never realized just how much you did for me until the move, and I underappreciated you by a longshot. I really thought I'd be fine away from home, and that the last thing I would miss would be my family- but holy crap did I have that wrong. ... I love you.

see? eventually, they DO appreciate those snacks and backpack shleps.

i'm just sayin' ...

Donna Mc said...

Here's one way to get paid by your kids.... I started fining my boys for excessive rudeness! Poots (in public especially), and burbs, as well as loudly announcing and giggling about a sibling's poots/burbs results in a .25 fine. All quarter fines are placed in the 'Rudeness Remedy Jar'. The last time it was full we donated it via our church to the Katrina Hurricane Relief fund. We laughed because that the first time we've ever heard of God using poots & burbs to help others!

Enjoying your blog!

it'spam said...

You forgot Mortician! I've had to bury and/or flush something over the past 34+ years and my youngest is not quite 13 :~0

Morty said...

Have you ever heard of the duggers?
How the hell do they manage?
They are onto baby number 17 aren't they?

tammy b said...

laundress!
sad that i know this.
shhh, don't tell anyone, but i like doing laundry and have mad skillz!

Kathy said...

Wow - someone I can relate to. I'm a mom of seven girls ranging in age from 2 1/2 to 17. I also dread grocery shopping because I have the youngest 2 (the other is 6) with me all day. The 2 y/o is in the cart happily helping rearrange groceries, adding items within arms reach, opening packages, poking holes in packages, etc. The 6 year old of course wants everything and anything. My grocery bill runs the same with 2 carts which I have to push by myself. You should see the stares. Not LDS or catholic either although I get asked all the time including are they all yours.

Brandi H. said...

All of those "encouraging" things I say to my three-year-old ("Thank you for putting your banana peel in the trash!") must be paying off. He's started saying them back to me, as in "Wow, Mommy! Your mopping looks really good." or "You did a good job! I like this oatmeal! I'm so proud of you!" It's nice to get a little encouragement.

wanda vinson said...

I love your blog!! I am going to research this supper swapping and see if I can do less take out!

Waitingonyou2 said...

What a great concept! We just moved into a great family friendly neighborhood last month. I wonder how many of the Mom's I can convince to try it?

Thanks, Dawn!

stephanie said...

hey im lds and we only have 8 kids ;D

stephanie said...

Hey I'm mormon and we only have 8 kids ;D

stephanie said...

go figure! lol

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, I have a suggestion for those readers that have several children that will make your life a little easier.I got this idea from a father of 8 .
If you have the room add a second washer and dryer. You can pick up used appliances very cheap and plumbing them in is quite simple. Having 2 washers and dryers makes the laundry go so much faster and well worth the effort to install if you have the space.

Anonymous said...

I just read your e-bay story and I had to cover my mouth so my laugh did not wake up my sleeping twins and daughter. Wow I cant remember when I laughed so hard. We (hubby and I) thought we had some funny stories with 3 under 3 but you are absolutely hilarious. Thank you for reminding me to keep laughing. After survivng breast cancer last year our lives have been a blurr. I am so glad I found your blog. You are my new hero.

Michele Lutz said...

Love your blog. I am a mother of 5 ages 10-1. I got this e-mail from a friend and thought you would enjoy it as well. It has helped me keeping it all in perspective.

I'm invisible.....

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way
one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be
taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, "Can't you see I'm on the phone?"
Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping
the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see
me at all. I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you
tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock
to ask, "What time is it?"

I'm a satellite guide to answer, "What number is the Disney Channel?" I'm a
car to order, "Pick me up right around 5:30, please."

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes
that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now
they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's
going. she's going. she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a
friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and
she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there,
looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to
compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress;
it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was
pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut
butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a
beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought you this."

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why
she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: "To Charlotte, with
admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees."

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover
what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could
pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no
record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they
would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God
saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird
on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you
spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that
will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."

And the workman replied, "Because God sees."
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost
as if I heard God whispering to me, "I see you, Charlotte. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of
kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is
too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great
cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become."

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease
that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own
self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep
the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the
people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on
something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so
far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because
there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's
bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, "My mom gets up at 4 in the
morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand-bastes a turkey for three
hours and presses all the linens for the table." That would mean I'd built a
shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And
then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, "You're gonna
love it there."

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're
doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel,
not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the
world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

stephanie said...

LOL !! I know a family who has 15 kids thats right 15!! they're mormon(lds)
and none of the kids are adopted!!!
if you think you have trouble just imagine....

Makettle10 said...

I believe the official name for "laundry doer" is laundress. I vote for "laundry doer."

From a Mormon with lots of kids. :)

Me said...

This link lets you figure out how much your worth, and you can even print a pay check. Now, to only find someone who would cash it??

http://swz.salary.com/momsalarywizard/htmls/mswl_momcenter.html

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

 
Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit FAQS Photos Video Fun Mom's Time Out Get In Touch

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Pulse Point Design