Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Mother's Contribution

About ten years ago, when I was only a year or so into being a mother, I was visited by two women within a multi-level sales company.  I had bought some product at a recent party, and they called a few days later to come and visit with me.  I was informed the visit would give one of the ladies some points towards a vacation.  Politely, I agreed. I was not against giving anyone a favor.

The visit turned out to be more than a favor.  It was their intent to try and get me to join their sales team.  I politely told them I had no interest.  In an attempt to sway me, they resorted to comments and questions, that though I am sure were not intended to demean-they did.  "You'll have the opportunity to make a lot of money, wouldn't you want your husband to be really proud of you for something?"  "Wouldn't you like to feel as though you are contributing to society?"

I sat there flabbergasted, that two women, one of which I knew was a mother, could ask me the questions they did.  And as tends to be the case in most uncomfortable conversations, I thought of good responses too late.   I wrote a letter not only to those two ladies, but to the corporate office.

In my letter ten years ago, my response to each question was such,

"My husband is proud of me.  When he asks our daughter where her nose is, she points to it.  I taught her that.  Both my husband and I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in our day-to-day accomplishments with a one year old."

"When I am teaching my daughter the meaning of 'no,' I am contributing to society as I begin to teach her the basics of right and wrong."

I received apologies from all involved, and I recognize their questions were attempts to recruit me rather than to demean me.

But, I have never forgotten those questions they asked.  Now, ten years and four more kids later, my answers to their questions are generally the same as they were ten years ago, albeit, more experienced now.

Since I became a mother eleven plus years ago, I have had little desire to step into the corporate world.  Sure, there are days I fantasize about dressing up in a dry-clean only business suit and going to a restaurant without a play toy for lunch.  I even imagine how I would spend a paycheck written out in my name, for the hours and efforts I worked.

But for now, my 'business attire' consists of jeans and a t-shirt (on a good day it's even clean, with no kid residue visible).  My 'business meetings' are nothing fancier than a PTA board meeting in an available classroom.  And my 'paychecks' right now are nothing more than slobbery kisses and an occasional thank you.

But I have no doubt, I am contributing to society as I raise my family, in my small corner of the world.


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