Deb Adamson: Being appreciated for mothering, teaching skills

Deb Adamson

We’ve all heard someone say or write that parenting is a thankless job. From my vantage point, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, when I hear or read anything alluding to such a dismal perception, it conjures feelings of deep-routed pity for the speaker/author. Something utterly basic is obviously absent.

This has been the most fulfilling occupation I’ve settled into -- ever. I mistakenly delayed having a family because I thought my career was what I loved. I was wrong. And I regretfully, didn’t realize it until Zach came along, filling-up and fulfilling my days to capacity.

Yet still, there are acquaintances who knew me “then” asking how I can possibly be a stay-at-home mom? “Where’s the payoff,” they inquire? I for one thought I’d have to intrinsically feel, rather than ever hear, any words of thanks from Zach until he was at least an adult. But being the mom of precocious 7-year-old, I was wrong again.

Just recently he has begun verbalizing his appreciation for my mothering skills. He honestly values the added effort I give as a home school mom; coordinating his education, activities and overall providing direction. And Zach appears to recognize that he being home schooled takes an extraordinary amount of effort on my part.

“You should be proud of yourself,” he spontaneously blurted last week on our drive home from his piano lesson. Really, he did! This little guy still perched on a backseat booster telling me that I should take some credit for his proficiency at something he daily toils over. 

“After all this time, I really love playing and would have quit long ago, but you’re the one that has kept me going,” he continued with all the maturity of a contemplative 35-year-old. He concluded with “Thanks mom.”

“Not necessary,” I wanted to respond, but instead, I gobbled up the words like candy, wishing I wasn’t driving so I could do the same to him. Sweet child. 

He already “gets” so much, but what he doesn’t yet comprehend is that all the payment I need is just being here each day with him and to revel and cheer on his accomplishments and growth. Home-schooling allows me an opportunity to be the kind of mom who is present and fully attentive. I’ll take that all the way to the bank over the meager value of a weekly paycheck.

Deb Adamson, who lives in Connecticut, is a home school mom who writes about the joys, trials and adventures of days teaching and learning with her 7-year-old son. She can be reached at