I sincerely believe that all mothers are working mothers. Period. I don’t care if you work outside the home, inside the home or both, congrats, you are a working mother. And, surprise, no one pays you overtime!
I am not at all complaining about my job. Taking care of Boo Bear and Mouse is the best thing I have ever done. I have worked retail, run an outreach ministry for the homeless, taught, tutored, nannied, and mothered. Sometimes I did a whole bunch of these things at once. I have no regrets about these things, either. But, for now, I am an autism advocate for Boo Bear and Mouse and I work from home. So, I was surprised when yesterday a relative left me a voice mail from her vacation down south. She said that she was on vacation and thinking of me because “you are always on vacation.” That phrase, probably well meant, stopped me cold. I am on vacation? Really? Robert and I have had exactly two dates in the last 18 months. We have ventured no farther than Duluth together in over a decade. Though Boo did great at our Friendsgiving, he was awake that night until 3:00 am, and the Gloria got up at 4:00 am. I was running on coffee and fumes the next day. Add to that the fact that Robert and I always sleep with at least one ear open in case Boo has a seizure. Our living room has a video monitor of Boo’s bedroom and our bedroom has an audio monitor so we can hear the first signs of distress. We don’t sleep a lot around here. I am not certain how Robert does it because he does not worship the goddess of the coffee pot like I do. As my children will quickly tell you, their mommy is a coffee junkie.
So, gentle reader, please be kind to your fellow mothers. All mothers are working mothers. We run on love, coffee, grit, and the occasional thank you. We don’t get paid in ways that show up in our bank accounts. I am lucky as I get paid through the state to care for Boo, but this is only for 24 hours a week. Some weekends, Robert and I work 24 hours a day. Parenting autistic teens while being on the spectrum ourselves in not an easy task. Fortunately, we love our task. And, Robert gets to go to work at an office and talk to “adult people”. But, please, do not assume that we are on vacation. To be quite honest, we could not recognize a vacation if we saw one! Peace out and be good people.