It's official, I'm worth it...

>> Tuesday, 25 November 2008

So there it was, sitting innocently in my inbox.

You know the the sort of e-mail: Dear Potty Mummy,... working on a project for our client, ...blah blah....blah blah blah, please read me, blah blah blah, please blog about me (ha! This post showed them!), blah blah blah, etc etc.

And then... it got interesting.

'We’ve created a calculator tool for people to be able to work out the value of their own household economy – and see which member of the household does the most valuable work. It’s a brilliant way to settle arguments – or even to start them – about who does what around the home.'

Well. Well, well, well.

Suddenly, I started to pay attention.

And I defy any stay at home mum to have the will-power not to take a quick peek at that calculator tool.

I looked. I tapped in my hours per household job. I didn't even exaggerate. Well, not by much, anyway. Apparantly, my worth to the 'house-hold economy' is 315% higher than that of most of mums - but I'm not getting carried away by that: I stay home, I do most of the child-care, and I have two sons of 5 or under. Anyone with any sense knows that this is the most time-intensive period of a parent's life if they are the main carer. That's not to say there is more intrinsic value in being a parent to young children than there is to being a parent to older kids, in fact if the feedback I get from all my friends and family is true, the older they get and the less they see you, the more they need you when they do.

But, if you put a monetry cost per hour on what I do, it's actually quite well paid. If you get paid.
I shall be asking Husband for a pay rise when he gets back, is all I'm saying...

On another note, Boy #2 is currently home sick from nursery. Not anything serious, just this nasty cold/flu virus that's going around and which you just have to get through. Thank heavens, we are now past the nightly vomit-fest of a few days ago and he is recovering, albeit slowly. Now, don't get me wrong; I value my child-free time highly. Those 3 mornings a week when I get to go unencumbered to the gym, the supermarket, to run errands, to do stuff around the house (and of course to blog, but let's keep that as our little secret); they are like gold to me.

But Boy #2 is just so... Boy #2-ish. Obviously, when ill, he's a snot fountain. He's tired and cranky. He's demanding. He wants me to read book after book after book. He moans. Frankly it's exhausting - if I had the time I might have to come down with something myself just to recover. But I can't begin to adequately describe the feeling of contentment that washes over me when he and I are curled up on the sofa reading 'The Polar Express' or Thomas the Tank Engine. His neat little head resting in the hollow of my shoulder, his chubby little hand resting on my leg, his sniffly breath in my ear (well, maybe not that last bit - but it's part of the package right now); all are serving to remind me that being a mother to small children is so fleeting, so transient.

If it's possible to enjoy looking after a mildly unwell 2 year old, I am doing.

Who'ld have thought it?

Note: For those of you wondering about my decision on whether to review products and services sent to me by pr/marketing agencies, the jury is still out on that. The reference to the calculator tool at the beginning of this post was not paid for; I simply thought it made interesting subject matter...


Expat mum 26 November 2008 at 14:02  

What they don't tell you is that when you "stay at home to be with the children", you also end up with 99% of the domestic chores because, I mean, what the hell else would you do all day? (OK, I'm currently sleep deprived because of sore throat, fidgety sleeping husband and teenage son who has to get up at 6 for basketball practice.)

Iota 26 November 2008 at 14:14  

Somehow when a child is ill, you don't have any other jobs which are more pressing than snuggling up with him/her. What a lovely picture of you and the little Boy.

Jo Beaufoix 26 November 2008 at 15:11  

Blimey we really should get paid, we'd be rich. Sighhh. Hope boy 2 gets better soon, but I really 'get' that snuggly snuffly time, it can be so lovely, though tiring. Miss M is adorable when ill and she makes so much less mess. (Bad Jo).

aims 26 November 2008 at 15:17  

And here is where you get me.

That whole snuggling - little child smell - the needing - the feeling of a child that is yours.

Never have - never will - never known.

Makes me weep. And ache.

Tara 26 November 2008 at 15:19  

I was blathering on about this yesterday on another blog who was asking if anyone can multitask.

After I stopped my uncontrollable laughing, I told him (for it was a he) that women to it all the time only they don't call it multitaking them call it life.

£55K a year please!

The Boisterous Butterfly 26 November 2008 at 16:22  

I never minded when my children got sick. I saw it as an opportunity to have some extra bonding time with therm, because the circumstances dictated it. I loved the cuddly, close together, sit on my lap and cuddle with me together time. That was especially true when they were pre-teens. I would love to have a little snotty body to hold again and rock it in my arms. The worst of times can be the best of times.

Potty Mummy 26 November 2008 at 20:58  

EPM - I'm so with you. Now, go and lie down. And send your husband to sleep on the sofa.

Iota, I know. He's recovered now, however. Still full of snot, leaving a crusty trail behind him, but no longer cuddly. Is it wrong to feel a little bit sad about that?

Jo, that's so TRUE! I knew there was a reason I had time to sit snuggling on the sofa - it's because I'm having to do less picking up.

Aims, if it's any consolation I have bogies on both my shoulders AND in my hair...

Tara, £55K? I think you're underselling yourself.

Irene, I know it. I'm lucky. Thank god I realise that (in amongst all the bitching and complaining, that is...)

Samurai Beetle 26 November 2008 at 21:13  

Awww, poor little guy. All things considered I hope he feels better soon!

sharon 27 November 2008 at 03:01  

Poor baby, hope he's better soon - and hasn't given 'it' to boy 1 or you! It is lovely when they're all cuddly even if the price is snotty everything. It's those poor red noses that got to me, so sore.

At the age of 6 my boy 2 very kindly insisted on reading 'Fungus the Bogeyman' to me during a bout of 'flu. "It will make you feel better Mummy"! Also the DK Encyclopedia. These were his favourite books at the time. Now there's something to look forward to in a couple of year's time PM, although perhaps you will be spared Fungus the Bogeyman, (complete with pop-ups, flaps and tabs to pull), as I'm not sure that it's still available.....

nappy valley girl 27 November 2008 at 14:02  

Ooh, I got that calculator email too, but didn't look at it...I'm not sure what it would reveal about me, though, as despite doing a lot of the child stuff I 'delegate' all household DIY stuff to my husband.

Little boys ARE sweet when mildly unwell, aren't they. All sleepy and cuddly and needy. But I could do without the vomiting....

Jonny's Mommy 29 November 2008 at 04:37  

I tried to comment earlier, but I have an ancient computer at home and it was being really rude...anyhow, I agree about the snuggling up thing with the kids when they are sick. Jonathan is sick this week and I like when he snuggles right up to me.

Now the whining...and the moaning and the cries of "nooooo!" for everything that he is asked is just enough. But the snuggling..yeah, I'll do that.

Love the idea of the calculator. Sending my Sister-in-law with her five kids, working two jobs, and no husband (single mom) along to that link. Bet she'll rank pretty high, even though she can't be at home with the kids all the time like she would like to. OK. Off to read and comment on your other posts if my computer allows this evening.

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