Yocheved

I’ve always read the Baby Moses story in horror: A mom was so desperate to save her kid from bloodthirsty Egyptians that she put her baby in a basket on the river and hoped for the best?!
But lately I’ve started to look at the story a little differently.  I’ve considered the plight of Yocheved, Moses’s mom, and I have to say I’m a smidge jealous.
True, Yocheved was forced to give her baby up, but then she got what every stay-at-home mom dreams of: A paid job raising her own kid.  (OK, since she was a slave, the job might not have actually paid; it was probably more like an internship, but still.)
When Batya, Pharoah’s daughter, finds Moses in the river, she decides to “adopt” him.  Miriam, Moses’s exceedingly clever sister pops up out of nowhere and suggests that the princess hire Yocheved to be the mysterious river baby’s wet nurse.
Brilliant!
I’ve been home on and off for eight years, and no one – not my inventive sons, not my newborn daughter, not my husband, not even myself – has figured out a way to monetize my motherhood and formalize it into actual employment.
Since bills are paid with money, and not with handwritten notes by third graders extolling a parent’s value and worth, I’ve recently re-joined the out-of-the-house workforce.  And so, I’m looking for a nanny.
Instead of paying mommies for being mommies, we mommies must get jobs and pay nannies to play mommy for a few hours everyday.  If that sentence makes no sense to you, it makes even less sense to me.  But that’s how it is, and I’m currently hiring.
The average salary range I’m finding for nannies is between $33,000 and $60,000 a year – a yawning maw of a gap that takes into account a person’s education, experience and background.  It’s a salary disparity that makes me wonder: How much is my own parenting worth?
If I were to get paid for the 24/7 job of feeding, diapering, toilet-training, nightmare shooing, meal preparing, carpool driving, boo-boo kissing, fussing, fretting and loving my three children, how much would it be?
The question is unanswerable, so of course, the Internet was able to answer it for me.  On a site called Salary.com, a self-described “blogger dad” analyzed the responsibilities and hours, crunched the numbers and came up with an average salary that a stay-at-home mom would command in the workforce.  The grand total: $113,586 a year.
I think the intended effect of publishing that number was to give me (or more likely, the author’s wife) a sense of validation.  I don’t know what Mrs. Blogger Dad thought, but my own response was, “Is that all?”  After all, Costco’s CEO makes $2.2 million, and I bet the average mom interacts with his company more than he does.
Even if it’s a bit low, though, it is a salary – one that nobody is paying.  Not husbands, not kids and certainly not Egyptian princesses.  So, it’s off to work I go.
I’m entering a new field, with new expectations and colleagues whose pop culture references pre-date Elmo.  I’ll receive actual remuneration, and if I have to kiss a part of my boss’s anatomy, at least I won’t have to wipe it.  In truth, I am really excited about my new job.
But, man, am I going to miss my old one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Scroll To Top