Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

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,

Michael

23 comments:

Carmi said...

And on top of that she produced a son who can write words that move total strangers.

May all your Mom's birthdays be grand. May we always be able to see her life through the eyes of a son who learned her lessons well.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Your Mom will never receive a better birthday present. She is indeed fortunate to have a child who can articulate his feelings in such a manner.

Keep up the good work.

Aunt Nancy

Bob-kat said...

Many Happy Returns to your mom! Being a 'house wife' is certainly no small undertaking and she sound slike she was quite the business woman too! Amazing.

Jennifer said...

Your mom sounds like an incredible woman. I can testify; her job wasn't always easy, but it sounds like she did it well :) I hope she has a wonderful day!

kenju said...

Happy Birthday, Michael's mom!! Isn't is great to know your efforts were not only noted but appreciated? You have a good son!

Michael, our families sound very similar, except I was an only child.

ChaCha said...

Some very nice things to say.

margalit said...

According to your description of your mom's tasks, I'm a housewife too. And I don't have much of a problem with the designation, except I'm not married to my house! But I'm a SAHM and I do everything your mom did, and what's sadder, pretty much every mom I know does too. Things have not changed much since you were growing up, it seems. Except now the Silicon Valley SAHMs blog and call their kids little 'fuckers' and talk about drinking playdates under the guise of being hip mammas. But they're just the same as when I was growing up in the 50's, actually!

Nice tribute to your mom. I like to read tributes from an appreciative child!

Michele sent me.

kenju said...

Michele sent me back, Mike, how was the snowboarding?

Shephard said...

I can relate... my mom was the very glue that held all of our lives together. And she's still that glue at age 77.

Very nice tribute to your mom.
Hope her birthday is wonderful.

Michele says hello.
~S

~Cathy~ said...

What a moving tribute to your mom. I can only hope, years from now, that my children will look back with fond memories at the job that I did as a housewife... and mom.

Thanks for visiting my blog and directing me back to yours for this post! :)

David said...

happy birthday mom, thanks for staying home with us kids....

Bob-kat said...

Michele sent me back to hope that your mom's birthday was filled with happiness.

She must have been a great rock in your life.

Belizegial said...

Michael,

That was quite a solid upbringing that you had. two parents who were equally successful in their own spheres and together a powerhouse.
You are a tribute to both of them.

Enid

utenzi said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom, Mike. Michele sent me over to wish a happy birthday.

Things were very different when we were growing up in the 60s and early 70s. Personally I blame it on consumerism. My Mom went to work when they decided to get a second car and a bigger house. Suddenly they needed more money. Of course today everyone just assumes big house and multiple vehicles. And so you need everyone bringing in income to afford the toys. Progress.

craziequeen said...

Belated happy birthday to your mom, Mike.

Mine was a working mum of four, in fact she went back to work when I was only a couple of months old and raised all four of us as a single mum until she remarried when we were in our teens.

cq
Here from Michele

LADY LUXIE said...

Happy Birthday to your mom...

( and now to wash my son's Taekwando gear...shucks!...am NoT complaining..he!he!)

chrysalis said...

Nice tribute. I love a good mom appreciation!

Anna said...

I really hope that she has a happy birthday Mike. Those are wonderful words and as a mom of two young sons....it was moving to see how she is seen through your eyes. What a blessing to have such a giving and caring mom.

Love her well Mike!

Snaggle Tooth said...

Good tribute!
Congrats to your Matriarch for the may feats of magical-mothering and management accomplished. Bless her!

My Mom did five, also. I only did two, driving solo, n just had Grandson 3 on Friday. Milestones are certainly earned- Hoping you get many more!

Awareness said...

Hi Mike

Hope your Mom had a wonderful day. My Mom is the same.......the "island" for all of us......keeping everything in order or trying her very best ;)

I'm going to be seeing mine for the first time in months next week. We're heading up to Ontario for march break to catch up on family. Looking forward to sitting in her kitchen sharing some uninterupted chats over cup of coffee.....

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I hope your mom had a great birthday! My mom was a housewife, as am I. It's actually the title of profession I (yes I) write when doing our taxes. :-)

Terri said...

What a wonderful birthday tribute to your mom! Wishing her a Belated Happy Birthday.
As a mom of the 60's also....I can relate to all her duties and chores. But ya know what? We never thought twice about it....that's what being a wife and mom in the 60's was all about. I loved it and I have no doubt your mom did too.

WooleyBugger said...

Happy Belated Birthday wishes to your mom Mike. Her Birthday falls just a day behind mine. I'm in great company 'eh.

WooleyB