The mom bonus; it’s intriguing, and it’s hot right now. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing all about the mom bonus, let me let you in on the little secret that some wives are sharing with their friends. Or should we say, the little bonus that husbands are sharing with their wives? We all know that being a mom is the most difficult rewarding job around. For every 10 times your kids make you want to run away from home screaming, they make you melt with a sweet hug and an, “I love you, mommy.” For every 20, “You’re the WORST. MOM. EVER!” statements when you refuse them Oreo-topped sugar for breakfast, there’s a, “Mommy, you’re the best!” when you buy them those expensive new shoes or that awesome iPad they’ve been eyeing.
There is plenty of payment in terms of all the things that your kids do to make you feel good about your job. But the payment received for raising your kids to be (hopefully) awesome people doesn’t pay the mortgage (hi, Mr. Banker, could you just apply the 300 “I love yous” to my principal balance this month, please, and I’ll send you a check for the other $1000 I owe you?). Being the best/worst mom (ever) also doesn’t let you purchase an extravagant vacation or a great new pair of Tory Burch Millers to wear on that cruise next weekend. They kids are paying you in sloppy kisses, darling hugs and an occasional raging migraine. Though somehow you always end up with more wine, because your husband knows that this is one household item that must be replaced daily.
The mom bonus is the payment a husband gives to his wife when he gets his own work bonus, and we think it’s pretty darn awesome. It’s not exactly feasible for all people, of course, since many don’t get bonuses (my husband is a banker and his employer doesn’t do bonuses, for example, so I’m out of the running on this one, darn it) but it is for some. It’s the portion of your spouse’s bonus that he gives to you each year so that you can do as you please – without guilt, fear or consideration of anyone else in the house (and we hear that the entry-level Hermes Birkin is the number one wife bonus purchase this year). Since mom’s aren’t getting monetary pay for being the everything of the house (and don’t even act like you don’t deserve it when you know you’ve made reference to being a cook, chef, nanny, babysitter, maid, laundry doer, wife, mom, doctor, therapist, librarian, principal, bad cop, good cop, driver, mediator, judge, jury, attorney, makeup artist, hairstylist, stylist, diaper change, trash person, gardener, teacher, etc. at some point in your parenting career) why not let husband’s give them a bit of their bonus?
After all, a bonus at work is a tangible way of saying, “Hey, great job showing up and doing your work and being awesome,” which is made a lot easier for husbands who never have to worry about things like packing lunches and staying home with sick kids and attending play dates. So basically, he’s doing an amazing job because YOU are doing an amazing job. And girl, get that bonus.
Some people are up in arms about this and others are looking to see how they can get their own mom bonus. For those who believe that the mom bonus is all that’s wrong with the world, I’m here to tell you why it’s not. Even though I’m not getting a mom bonus, I still think it’s a pretty spectacular idea; and here’s why.
It’s an Economical Boost
If you get to spend money, you’re boosting the economy. You are doing your part to create jobs and help employ people in your area, and that’s a nice deed. Why should you feel guilty about that?
You Work Hard
You do work hard, and I know it. I am a work-from-home mom with four kids of my own, and I know that sitting is not something that happens the first 15 hours of my day. I work hard, you work hard, if someone wants to pay you for that, let them!
You Deserve Something Nice
If your husband brought you home a new Louis Vuitton handbag after his bonus was awarded, would you love it? Yes, you would. So why do the shopping yourself and make sure what you’re getting is exactly what you want?
Because Shopping is Therapy
As a wife and mom, you spend most of your time alternating between utter bliss (how did I get so lucky that this handsome man and these little darlings are all mine?) and total meltdown mode (what the hell is wrong with these kids today?!) and that is stressful. Shopping is therapeutic. You should do it.
Because you Need a Day to Yourself
Let’s say you get 10% of your husband’s $50,000 bonus this year. That means you get $5000 to do with what you please. That’s going to require either a full day to yourself or even an over-nighter, and we love that. You deserve a little break that probably includes a massage, facial, shopping, really good cocktails and maybe even a morning of sleeping late and enjoying room service.
You’re Going to Spend it Anyway
Let’s be honest here; you and I both know that anytime you receive funds you were not expecting or that are a bonus, you spend it. My husband and I usually take a portion to do something fun and then put the rest into savings. So you’re going to spend it anyway, so why not designate that portion to you and you alone?
It’s an Excuse to Splurge on You
You get this bonus. It’s not for the kids. They don’t get anything out of this; it’s something for you. As a mom, how much of your life is just for you? Oh, that’s right; none percent. There is nothing that is just for you. You go shopping for you and bring home stuff for the kids. You always feel like doing that, and this is a demand that you do something nice for YOU and YOU alone. You do need that, you know; and if calling it a mom bonus makes you feel less guilt, do it.
You can do Whatever you want with It
Here’s a concept that some people have ignored; you don’t have to spend a wife bonus on something materialistic. Why not save it if that’s your thing? Or why not fund your own retirement package so that your entire household has one when it’s time to retire? Use it to plan your family vacations or that girls’ weekend you take with your mom and sisters every year. Save it so that you don’t have to have a car payment on your next vehicle. The beauty is that it is yours to do with what you please.
It Makes you Feel Good
Being able to do something for yourself and to have something so unexpected come into your life seems like a nice idea, and it’ll make you feel good. And as a mom, feeling good is something we can use from time to time. We get an abundance of good feelings from our kids, but there are days when we feel like complete failures. When something makes you feel good, darling, take it.
You don’t have to Feel Guilty
I can already hear the comments; I get paid in hugs and kisses and seeing my kids achieve their goals, etc. Guess what? Those things are the MOST amazing things that you will ever get. You chose to be a parent, you chose to stay home and you choose your kids every single day of your life. But I guarantee you that not one of you would turn down a check from your husband if he said to you, “Honey, you amaze me every single day of my life. You take care of our kids. They’re awesome because of you and all that you do. You’ve shaped them and taught them and turned them into the amazing little people that they are, and that is so amazing. I got my bonus today, and I was thinking that you should get this check right here to do whatever you want. Do it for you. Spend it on you. Do what you want. Start that garden you’ve always wanted. Go shopping. Do whatever you want. I don’t care; just do it. You deserve it, and it’s just a small way I can say thank you to you for making sure our kids get the best of you and the best of me and that they are so awesome.”
No, you wouldn’t pass that up.
Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for IMG