As I sit and stare at the blinking cursor in front of me, my nearly 1 year old twins play among a mass of toys on our family room floor. My son crawls around with a toy hammer in hand and with each forward motion you hear “bang, bang, bang”, while my daughter lays on the floor babbling a conversation that it seems at least she understands. Even a year later it still feels unreal to use the words “son” and “daughter” as I often feel like I should be talking about someone else’s kids.

I have only had a handful of jobs in my life. I didn’t work much as a teenager as I was fortunate enough that it wasn’t a requirement. I did some babysitting. Between my senior year and freshman year of college I worked retail for Carlton Cards. During college I worked part time at the dining hall to have spending money. Graduate school was a full time job in and of itself, and since graduation I’ve worked as both an adult and pediatric Speech Pathologist. I consider myself a hard worker – I’m honest, organized and have decent (hey no one is perfect) time management skills. Everyone appreciates being rewarded for hard work, and almost nothing is more exciting than a raise.

During the infertility battle I swore I wouldn’t moan, groan or complain one iota, I begged and pleaded with God and life to grant me this job. I promised I’d take every sleepless night in stride. I promised I’d happily give up just about anything if I could just have a family. Three years, a failed insemination and a successful IVF later, I was finally granted the job of “mom”. I often hear mothers describe it as one of the toughest jobs in the world. In fact, this video saying the very same thing has gone viral recently. I was asked recently what I do to reward myself or “give myself a raise”, so to speak, after all my hard work as a mom.

As it turns out, I become a mother and began eating my words. I have moaned, I have groaned and I have complained. Maybe its because of my history, but I find it difficult to feel like I need to reward myself as a mom. I sometimes feel guilty for complaining about the difficulties that come with the job. I feel as though my reward should come in the form my son and daughter who I wished for with all my heart. This isn’t to say I don’t do things for myself, however when I think of rewarding myself for a job well done, motherhood is only part of the equation. I am also a wife, a friend a Speech Therapist and a runner. Interestingly, just as I feel there are several pieces to the equation, I also vary in what I find to be my favorite type of raise or reward. Often its curling up with a good book, browsing the Target shelves alone or with a friend, or a cup of coffee. Sometimes its a run, a date night or a piece of cake. Sometimes its a compliment or time to blog. Other times you just can’t beat a pedicure. And there are plenty of times when all I need is for one of my babies to reach for me or call out “mama”.

What’s your favorite way to reward yourself for your hard work (mom or not)?

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