Friday, May 06, 2005


Two thoughts are better than one

Finally, the weather is warm enough and the days long enough that we can return to our cherished ritual of going to the park after dinner. Nothing makes me feel more like I've arrived as a suburban mom than hanging out in the park around 6:30 on a weeknight.

When we moved almost two years ago, the park across the street was a big selling feature. There's a soccer field and school right across from us, a playground beside it, and around the edges of the playground are some nice little walking paths through a very sparse copse of trees. It will probably be quite a few years before I'm comfortable letting the boys run over to the playground by themselves, but in the interim I don't mind the excuse to get out of the house in the evenings. There's also a little pond that will make evenings in the park a mosquito nightmare in about two weeks, but which is currently the home of a lovely little duck family.

There are two sets of climbers, one for little guys and one for bigger kids, and it's been fun watching Tristan progress from one to the other. I was pretty close to being able to just sit on the bench and watch him play on his own... and then Simon got his legs under him.

If Simon were a little more stable on his feet, or if Tristan were a little less of a daredevil, (or if I were a little less neurotic, perhaps) I could probably leave one or the other unattended. As it is, running back and forth keeping each of them safe from playground peril ensures that I seem to get more exercise in an evening than the two of them combined.

And the sand! I swear, I have more sand in my house by the end of the week than remains at the playground. I know they've had a good time when I change two diapers full of sand at the end of the night.


Saw this in today's Citizen and thought I'd share: Mother's Day alert: Stay-at-home mom's worth $164,000 a year. (Their typo on the apostrophe, BTW, not mine.)

They've tallied up the salaries for all the jobs a mother does and valued them based on comparable salaried jobs: day care centre worker, teacher, van driver, cook, CEO, nurse and general maintenance workers. They calculate a base pay of $54,166 (Cdn) plus $109,686 in overtime.

This isn't sitting well with me and I'm not sure why. I think it's the reduction of "mother" to that list of tasks that irks me. Somehow, in reducing motherhood to a simple list of activities misses the essence of what it means to be a mother. What price for the worrying, the planning, the nurturing, the patience, the hoping, the abject fear? And do they deduct for the return on investment - the love, the joy, the laughter, the pride?

I understand what the article is trying to convey, that the work of mothering is incredibly undervalued in Western society, and they've found a pretty reasonable way of illustrating it. It just seems like in trying to make a point, they miss the point.

And then the article quotes some "prolific parenting author" by the name of Ann Douglas. Never heard of her. She sounds like trouble, though.