“A [woman] of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies… Her children arise and call her blessed… Honor her for all that her hands have done…” – Proverbs 31:10-31
Mom, this morning, I was privileged to sit on a “Been There; Done That!” panel to answer questions from young moms. One of the questions was: “Did you work or stay at home when your children were little; and do you regret your decision?” It made me think of you, so I’m going to share my perspective on being a child of a working mom.
I recall waiting for you and dad to pick me up after we’d been separated for weeks when I was not yet two-years-old. I remember the sunshine that day and that I was wearing a dress with short sleeves. I remember the car pulling up to the house. I remember laughing when I saw you. I remember being excited to be reunited.
It must have torn your heart out as a mom to place your children with relatives while you and dad found jobs and a place to live, but you did it to keep us all together. You did the right thing.
I recall waking up in the middle of a Saturday night while you curled my hair on fabric rollers after you’d worked a long shift as a waitress at the Country Club. Was I yet three-years-old? Were you keeping a promise to me to curl my hair for church?
I think you must have been a good waitress. I recall being so proud of you when one of your regular couples gave you a large Christmas tip.
I recall when I was at most five-years-old getting to go with dad to Ralph’s Cash Grocery and sharing a grilled cheese sandwich with you at the lunch counter. I have yet to taste one as good as that one was, and you gave me the pickle.
You were a cashier, and I thought it was so cool that you’d sometimes have blue ink on your fingers when you came home from work. I was so proud of the way you’d talk about your till always balancing. I didn’t know what that meant, but I knew it was important.
I recall nights when I was about nine or ten-years-old, and I would fall asleep staring out my upstairs bedroom window, barely able to see the street a block away, looking for the car that would bring you home from work.
You were probably working second shift at the shoe factory then, but you were always home when we got up in the morning, and you took time to fix my hair for school.
I recall how you started your own sewing business and used me as your model. All my girlfriends loved the dresses I wore to school, and I was so proud of you when they wanted dresses just like mine.
Mom, there were times when you were a “stay-at-home” mom, but for the most part, you worked, and I don’t ever recall a time when I resented your working. I think I was always proud of your accomplishments.
Mom, you always did what you had to do, and you did it well. In case I’ve never said it before, let me say it now, “Thank you. I love you. I’m proud of you.”