Being a mom is worth more than many people admit

IRON MOUNTAIN — When I was little, my friends used to ask me what my mom did, and I always tilted my head to the side, crinkled my nose and replied with, “She’s a mom. She does mom things.” I was blessed with a childhood that included a stay-at-home mom, but while the innocence of a child can often recognize the job it is to be a mom, the adult world isn’t always so understanding. Some people fail to recognize the immense amount of work it simply is to be a mom. Whether a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, the title “mom” is a whole job in itself. In 2015, a letter written by a husband of a stay-at-home mom went viral, because he quantified the work into a dollar amount. The letter that can be found on elitedaily.com and reads as follows:

“I’ve had this thought in my head for a while now. I’ve been thinking that I can’t afford for my wife to be a stay-at-home mom. Now, I don’t at all mean to offend anyone with this post. I just have to say that for me personally, I can’t afford it. I’d like to explain exactly what I mean by that so that no one thinks I’m in any way devaluing stay-at-home moms. On the contrary, I mean that I quite literally cannot afford my wife to be staying at home. Here’s why…

My wife stays home and takes care of our son every single day. She changes his diapers, feeds him, plays with him, puts him down for his nap, and comforts him when he’s upset, and that’s just the bare minimum. A child can typically get that attention at a day-care. Obviously, this is part of being a parent. You take care of your child and you raise your child. But let’s face it. In our day and age, every service (and I mean every service) is hirable. There is a company ready and willing to do just about anything. While my wife is my son’s mother and it is a natural result of being a parent to love and care for your own child, there is also a very quantifiable dollar amount that can be attributed to the services rendered.

I am in no way trying to simplify, objectify, or devalue the priceless love of a mother for her child, but let’s be real. Pay day feels good for a reason, because you’re seeing your hard work appreciated in a tangible way that lets you “treat yo self.” The national average weekly salary for a full-time nanny is $705. That’s $36,660 a year. We make ends meet comfortably and are by no means scraping the bottom of the barrel. But according to the 2014 tax brackets, we fall nicely in the second tier, right in the $12,951-$49,400 tax range. Even if we were making the maximum amount allowed for our tax bracket, the services rendered of caring for our child every single day of the year would absorb the majority of our income. Flat out, no question, game over, I cannot afford my wife to be a stay-at-home mom, and that’s just the beginning of it.

A regular cleaning service costs anywhere between $50-$100 per visit, depending on how big your space is, how deep of a cleaning you want, and especially if you have pets that shed like crazy (which we do). We also have a toddler, so those of you who are unfamiliar, that means a tissue box left unattended for approximately 18 seconds is completely emptied with its contents strewn across the apartment. Same with wipes. Toys rapidly find their way from his bedroom to the living room. Remotes go missing. The dog’s water bowl sometimes gets spilled. Books will occasionally fly off their shelves. Picking up the apartment is part in parcel with keeping the place presentable. Not to mention the natural progression of dirty dishes, dusting, vacuuming, etc. So, assuming you want the place to stay relatively clean, especially whenever you have people over, you’re looking at $100 per week at the minimum to stay presentable. That adds up to a whopping $5,200 (again, excluding the extra deep cleaning, or quick pick up for hosting company).

Does your wife run errands? Buy the groceries? Get you a new pack of white undershirts? Personal shoppers on average run around $65 an hour (that’s excluding the couple thousand-dollar membership fee required to utilize their services). Average the amount of time spent at the grocery store or department store per week at four hours and you’re looking at around $260, and that’s an extremely conservative average. That’s $13,520 a year. Does your wife cook dinner? Prepare lunch? Prepare lunch beforehand for you to take with you to work? A personal chef, preparing two servings of five meals, can run from $400 and up. Assuming your stay-at-home wife prepares even a few meals, you’re looking at around $240 at least per week. That’s $12,480 a year. And that’s excluding any hosting, extra mouths to feed, extra meals to cook or extra sides and entrees for pot lucks and holiday parties. So far, we’re looking at a grand total of $67,860. That’s daily care for your child that the average full-time nanny would provide. That’s twice-a-week cleaning of your home by a maid service that gets the place presentable. That’s three meals prepared a week of only two servings. These numbers, for the most part, still fall embarrassingly short of all the things that are actually accomplished each and every week.

If your wife takes care of your budgeting, financing, and paying of bills, then add on $15 an hour for the average rate of a financial assistant. If your wife does the majority of the laundry, then you’ll need to add at least a fee of $25 a week for the bare minimum washer/dryer personal service. Let’s average seven hours a week on financial services, and a weekly laundry service. Add that onto our very conservative estimates for childcare, house cleaning, and shopping, and that’s an annual salary of $73,960. In short, I can’t afford for my wife to stay at home and I’ve tragically failed to show her the appreciation that she deserves. She loves me, loves our son, and loves our family, so obviously she isn’t doing any of those things for a paycheck or even for recognition, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to know that as a stay-at-home Mom her appraised salary is nearly double my actual income.”

In addition to this letter, according to a study done by salary.com, a stay-at-home mom in 2018 is actually worth $115,000 a year, because they factored in overtime, and a working mom should have an additional $60,000 tacked on to her actual salary for the same kind of tasks a stay at home mom performs. Last weekend was Mother’s Day, and I didn’t write about it because there were other things on my heart, but also because I’ve always found Mother’s Day to be a holiday that should be celebrated weekly. Growing up, our house wouldn’t have been a home without my mom. My dad is amazing, and loves us, but our mom was the soul of our family. She is the soul of our family, and she deserves to be recognized on more than one day a year. Mom’s are a beautiful thing, and mother figures and dad’s who have to play the role of father and mother are beautiful things. In this life, so much is taken for granted. I sometimes forget how good I have it with my mom because I’m just so used to it. I’m lucky to be able to say that my Mom is my best friend; she’s the first person I call when I need advice or when I want to share something personal; she’s my biggest supporter and loudest cheerleader.

Like the husband who wrote the letter said, moms don’t do what they do for a paycheck, or because they need recognition. Being a mom, for the most part, is a choice, but that doesn’t mean that they should have to justify how much value they bring to the team. Stay-at-home moms should never be minimized and working moms should never be judged. If you didn’t last week, and even if you did, tell your mom how much she means to you. Tell her how capable and brave and significant you know she is, even when she doesn’t feel like it, and tell her every day, because without her, I guarantee your life would be drastically different, and if you have a dad or aunt or grandma who is your mom, tell them the same thing. Whoever it is, don’t wait until next May to make sure they know how much you value them, because as the husband who wrote the letter said, we can’t afford them, yet they do what they do for us anyway. To my mom, you are pure gold, and worth more than I can afford.

——

NURSING HOMES

Freeman

Kingsford

Scenes and sounds, 11:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Sunday: Mimosa, noon; Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Pretty nails, 10 a.m.; library cart, 11 a.m.; brouhaha, 1:15 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Crochet and craft, 10 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 11 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy, 10 a.m.; Bible study, 11 a.m.; tea party, 1 p.m.; pokereno, 2 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking?, 11 a.m.; bunco, 2 p.m.; jigsaw brain teaser, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; spinning records, 11 a.m.; Daily News, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Room visits, 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Exercise, 11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30; room visits, 9 to 11 a.m.; high rollers, 10 a.m.; matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Cooking, 9 to 11 a.m.; DT lunch, noon; room visits, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book Club, 10 a.m.; Mass, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; musical movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Coffee social, 10 a.m.; animal king, 10 a.m.; faces and places, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m.; wildlife film, 1:30 p.m.; Presbyterian church, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; room visits, 1 p.m.; Wii fun, 2 p.m.; web browsing, 2:30 p.m.; Western movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: ICMCF word search, 10 a.m.; exercise, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.; Card Club, 6:30 p.m.

ManorCare

Kingsford

Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. daily.

Movie, 10:45 a.m. daily, and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gathering place, 11:40 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Popcorn Day Fridays.

Protestant Church service, 3 p.m. Sunday.

Exercises, 10 a.m. daily.

Sunday: Morsels and more, 1 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Who, what, when, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; pokeno, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; movie and a manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Remembering when, 10:15 a.m.; patio visits, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; Deal or No Deal bingo, 2 p.m.; Crafts, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: ManorCare monthly, 10:15 a.m.; pokeno, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie, 3:15 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Parachute, 1:30 p.m. daily.

Monthly support group for grief and loss, 2 p.m. second Monday of the month.

Weekend pet visits.

Sunday: Rosary, 8:30 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; bag toss, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian Fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Protestant service, 9 a.m.; Travel Club, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Bingo, 10:15 a.m.; Men’s Club, 2 p.m.; sing-a-long, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: You be the judge, 10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.; group therapy, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; Scattegories, 10:15 a.m.; court yard social, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Rosary, 9:30 a.m.; yoga, 10 a.m.; happy hour, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Jokereno, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; coffee social, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor, Alzheimer’s Unit

Niagara, Wis.

Bread making, noon daily.

Chicken soup, communication program, 4 p.m. daily.

Sensory group, 6 p.m. daily.

Movie, 6:30 p.m. daily.

Sunday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; bowling, 1 p.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; Animal Kingdom, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; table ball, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; creative art, 2 p.m.; balloon ball, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; through the years, 1 p.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; golf, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-a-long, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; men’s group, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Play dough molds, 9 a.m.; spelling bee, 9:45 a.m.; coloring, 10:15 a.m.; old TV shows, 12:15 p.m.; creative art, 1 p.m.; happy hour/music and memory, 2 p.m.; kickball, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday: Table ball, 9 a.m.; puzzles, 9:45 a.m.; Bible stories, 10:15 a.m.; sing-along, 12:15 p.m.; foot soaks, 1 p.m.; bowling, 2 p.m.; parachute, 3:30 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Coffee clutch, 9:30 a.m. daily

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Wheel of Fortune, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Communion, 10 a.m.; music with the girls, 2 p.m.; Rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Yahtzee, 2 p.m.; Baptist service, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Chair exercises, 10 a.m.; bingo with Bette, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; Family Feud, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; horticulture, 2 p.m.; one on one time, 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Flag craft, 10 a.m.; music by Tom Palmer, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3:30 p.m.; music and movement, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday: Lutheran service, 10 a.m.; manicures and massages, 2 p.m.; comedy hour, 3:30 p.m.

Friday: Catholic communion service, 10 a.m.; baking, 2 p.m.; comedy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; Old Maid card game, 2 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical Care Facility

Powers

Life connections, 9:45 a.m. every Monday.

Busy bee, 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rosary 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Sunday: Grace Church, 10 a.m.; UNO, 10 a.m.; reminiscing, 2 p.m.; sensory, 2 p.m.

Monday: Beauty shop, 10:30 a.m.; Rosary, 2:30 p.m.; mind joggers, 3:30 p.m.; ball toss, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; social circle, 3:30 p.m.; word puzzles, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Casino outing, 10 a.m.; movie, 2 p.m.; one to one visits, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday: Manicures, 10 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; book art, 6 p.m.

Friday: Gardening, 10 a.m.; sensory, 10:15 a.m.; Jerry Beauchamp, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Hang massage, 10 a.m.; life stories, 10 a.m.; one to one visits, 2 p.m.; manicures, 3 p.m.

Victorian Heights

Crystal Falls

906-874-1000

*Activities director out on leave. Call the home for additional information.

SENIOR CENTERS

Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center

906-875-3315

Meal noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center

906-822-7284

Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center

906-774-5110

Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month.

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m.

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Blood pressure and blood sugar testing every fourth Wednesday.

Crystal Falls Center

Head Cook, Lucy Korhonen

906-875-6709

Meals will be served on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., with the salad bar opening at 4:30 p.m. The dinner donation is $5 for those age 60 and older and $6 for those younger than 60. There is a $1 charge for take-out containers. All are invited.

Cribbage will be played at 1 p.m. Wednesdays and be concluded in time for dinner.

The center is closed Thursday through Sunday.

Monday: Soup, salad, lasagna, garlic bread, vegetables, and homemade dessert.

Tuesday: Soup, salad, liver and onions, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and homemade dessert.

Wednesday: Soup, salad, barbecue chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and homemade dessert.

A site council meeting takes place at 3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.

A blood pressure reading can be taken by request at any time while the center is open.

Crystal Lake Center

906-774-5888

The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., crafters, scrap bookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Dances take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free.

The Photo Club meets 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.

Evening meals are usually on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with the meal served at 4:30 p.m. A donation of $4 is accepted for seniors age 60 and older but not required.

Home-delivered meals are for seniors 60 and older can be delivered seven days a week. Suggested donation is $4 per meal. For information, call Chris Tramotin at 906-774-2256, ext. 235.

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call the center to book a ride.

Felch Center

906-246-3559

Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County

715-528-4890

Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48 hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.

Four senior dining locations are listed below:

Fence Center/Town Hall

715-336-2980

Meal at noon Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall

715-528-4261

Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Jigsaw puzzles, cards, cribbage and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.

Senior Dining Center-NWTC, Aurora

715-589-4491

Serving lunch at 11:30 am, Monday through Thursday

Tipler Town Hall

715-674-2320

Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora

715-589-4491

Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Jigsaw puzzles, cribbage, cards and board games are available. The coffee is always on as well.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska

906-498-7735

Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60.

Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50/50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center

906-265-6134

Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60.

Thursday meal, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 p.m.

DICSA operates all meals and transportation out of the Iron River Center. Rides are $2.50 donation for age 60 and older, and $3 required for younger than 60. Call 906-265-6134 to schedule a ride

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Corrie Maule, Meal site manager, 715-251-1603

Jill Anderson, senior center director, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday.

Transportation to the meal site from the Niagara, Wis., area is offered.

They welcome any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — join them for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time.

Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play.

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome.

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining

906-563-8716

Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea, and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50/50.

If Norway-Vulcan are schools are closed due to snow days, so is the senior center. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, the center remains open.

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.

Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.

Tuesday — Memorial Day dinner at 5 p.m. with Porcupine meatballs, buttered noodles, green beans, soup and salad bar, and dessert. Bingo and prizes with 50/50. Sign up early.

Note: A CSFP food card (green card) is available to income-eligible seniors. Make an appointment to get signed up. File of Life packets available at the center.

Note: Ask about the Medicare Savings Program. This program helps people pay their Medicare part B premium. You may be eligible. The local MMAP counselor can be reached at 1-800-803-7174, or dial 211.

Sagola Center

906-542-3273

Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months.

A puzzle table is available to enjoy.

Volunteers are always welcome.

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