When I was a small boy in the 60s, my mother was what is known today as a stay-at-home-mom, or a SAHM. Where I grew up in the middle class suburbs, what became known as Silicon Valley, most moms stayed at home and ran the household. Nobody called them stay-at-home-moms however… they were called housewives and nobody really took issue with the term at the time. That would come about a half-generation later.
My mom’s “job” was to manage a family of five and she was damn good at it. She did the shopping and the cleaning and the laundry and prepared almost all of the meals. She made it look easy. It wasn’t, I know that today. My dad’s job was his career and he was equally dedicated to it. In those days the husband was typically the breadwinner and my father followed the lead set down before him.
In my family, my mother also handled the day-to-day financial matters. She was (and still is) the family’s Chief Financial Officer. On top of making her children’s lunches to bring to school and planning the family dinners and doing the laundry, etc., etc., etc., she also wrote the checks and made sure the bills were paid on time. And there were so many other duties that I could only really appreciate after having to perform them myself. Compared to my mom, however, I’m not even in the same league.
School clothes, dentist appointments, back to school night, Little League, doctors (both routine and emergency), arts and crafts, rainy day activities, referee, tutor, quartermaster, landscaper, painter, nurse, taxi driver, seamstress, and of course, Santa Claus. And after she retired from that career, she handled all administrative and financial activities for the small business she and my father started in our garage. It turned into a hugely successful enterprise with more than 20 employees, thousands of square feet of manufacturing and administrative space and sales worldwide by the time it was sold.
She is a woman of many talents and I don’t remember her ever complaining about how much work it was. Her dedication, perseverance and strength are second to none… and today is her birthday.
Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you,