My wife gets up very early, every day of the week.
By the time the boys and myself are up, she is almost always already out the door and on her way to the office. She leaves so early because it means she can be done with work, and home, later in the afternoon. This gives her time with the family before, during and after dinner, and through bedtime. It also means going to bed herself shortly after the boys are asleep, most nights, but it’s a sacrifice she makes every day for us.
While I take the boys throughout the week to run errands, to buy groceries, to get a bite to eat, or for a fun (and hopefully educational) trip to the zoo or aquarium, she sits in an office, footing most of the bill.
Certainly she enjoys her job, and the interaction with adults, and the chance to make use of her education and abilities…
But she doesn’t do it because she loves going to work, she does it because she loves us.
According to a study by CareerBuilder released this month, she’s not alone. The survey revealed that 34% of working moms reported that they are the “sole financial provider” for their households, while the number of working dads who serve as sole breadwinner is 39%.
That’s only a 5% difference between breadwinning moms and breadwinning dads.
Even setting aside “sole” breadwinners, around 70% of mothers of young children work full-time outside of the home. While certainly many moms do it because they are committed to their career or vocation or simply thrive in a working environment better than at home taking care of their kids full time, surveys say that a majority do it mainly because their family needs the income to make ends meet. They are doing what they need to do to serve their family.
So why, as another Mother’s Day rolls around, are we so inundated with lovely messages of thanks to moms for hugs when we’re sad, kissing boo-boos, and a willingness to endure the excruciating process of giving us life — all amazing, wonderful, much-appreciated things! — but seem to ignore the difficult, long hours most moms spend working to put food on the table?
Trust me, next month when Father’s Day hits, there will be no lack of heartfelt thanks to dads for going to work each day to support their family financially. “Thank you dad, for working so hard for us, now here’s a tie so you have proper attire to go back to work tomorrow…”
I think it’s appropriate this Mother’s Day to give a special thanks to the hard work that working mothers do every day for their outside of the home for their families too.
So thank you, moms, for being such good providers.
Thank you for the blood, sweat and tears that we never see.
Thank you for pushing through whatever sense of guilt that may be put on you by yourself or others, and instead choosing to do what’s best for your family.
Thank you for seeing parenting as an equal partnership.
And thank you for giving dads like me the opportunity to focus my day on caring for our children. They are going to grow up seeing their mom as the archetype for what a woman can be: anything she wants.
Today I honor my wife, and other moms like her.
The preceding article was originally posted on Mother’s Day 2013, on the Daddy Doctrines. We think it’s true every other day of the year too. Reprinted with permission.