Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Working Parents

Thank God Its Monday and, as such, #HappyMonday to everyone! I personally look forward to all Mondays because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



Friday will be, among other things, National Working Parents Day! According to Wikipedia, these days, even stay-at-home parents and homemakers count as “working” parents. Whether we work for pay or for perks, working parents have to juggle a lot of responsibilities.

According to Porcshe Moran, in her enlightening article, “How Much Is A Stay-At-Home Parent Worth?”, a homemaker [aka: stay-at-home-parent] would earn an annual salary of about $178,201, based on the 2019 data she obtained from, if she or he were paid money for every job/task performed.

The picture below shows the data I obtained a couple of years ago, through and; regarding the average salaries paid, in Michigan, for various homemaker skills. Additionally, of course, homemakers contribute a lot more to their homes and families, of which no amount of money can compensate.

The work an average homemaker performs, and the value of their time is often taken for granted by their families. However, the services they provide could earn a substantial salary in the open market – chef, maid/housekeeper, laundress, nanny, teacher, chauffeur, personal shopper, secretary, counselor, nurse, groundskeeper and gardener.

I think that Porcshe Moran’s estimated salary would be considerably higher for 2022. Furthermore, I don’t know if that amount was based on a 40-hour workweek or the actual 112 hours (including overtime pay) that a stay-at-home parent puts in each week (at 16 hours/day, seven days a week).

As prices continue to rise much faster than incomes, there’s another renewed movement to make a lot of things at home, from scratch. We can usually save money, making things ourselves – as long as we don’t add the value of our time into the equation!


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 36)


IT WAS THE WORST possible time to launch a new business. The unemployment rate was terribly high. There was a newsprint paper shortage. There was a gasoline shortage. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to at least try to have my own publication, however.

My confrontation with the editor at the Times Herald over the cheesecake recipe [like Sarah Lee’s], was probably the best thing that ever happened to me – us, as a family, in fact. I was forced to finally do something that, until then, I had only talked about doing because the advice I had listened to was bent on having somebody else handle my work.

Of course, I could not tell Paul what I was going to do – that I was going to publish a newsletter and I was going to try and sell subscriptions to it all without the help of the [publishing and syndicating] agencies to which I had previously been turning.

I was determined to make this idea work because I knew it was a good idea! It was a service that was needed and one that I could provide without ever having to leave the children again. With the help of the Almighty, I had every confidence that turning out a recipe newsletter was going to be something that would bless everyone concerned: me, the readers, the products mentioned, the reviews of restaurants – every idea was a blessing!

For most American families, in the 1970s, it took both parents working to make ends meet. Mom and Dad often struggled with that, themselves, to provide for our family of seven (plus, a dog and cat, as well). As Mom used to describe it, when I was young – they’d just start earning enough between the two of them, to make ends meet and then the ends would move further apart.

Somehow, they always found a way to get through those trying times. It helped that Mom was very crafty at making whatever she couldn’t afford to buy – from clothes and accessories to toys to personal care products like soap to grocery food items and pet foods/treats.

When we couldn’t afford luxuries like eating out, Mom figured out how to imitate fast food and restaurant dishes at home. As the old proverb says: “Necessity is the mother of invention!” Mom’s “invention” of copycat cookery came at a perfect time for many Americans, who were likewise struggling.

With the onset of the Women’s Lib Movement, the value of one’s time changed dramatically. Both parents in a household were working, not just because two incomes were needed but also because of the self-gratification one received when working outside the home.

Self-sufficiency and homesteading became a dying skill among many of the newer generations, after the Baby Boomers; as they opted to spend their time differently in exchange for more self-gratifying conveniences. However, especially since 2020, the art of homesteading has been seeing another revival.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 38)


I ENLISTED THE HELP of the children. I was taking in ironing at the time, at about $5 a basket, and sometimes I would earn as much is $50 a week. The money was supposed to supplement Paul’s paycheck, which – as soon as we found could make ends meet, discovered somebody had moved the ends.

So I took what money I could from the ironing earnings and kept the paper, ink and other supplies in stock in order to produce what was necessary to complete the newsletter. I cut the stencils on my typewriter, added the drawings and fashioned a literary ‘silk purse out of a sow’s ear’, as my dad would’ve said.

The utility room, which was in the back of the house and looked out over the yard and the long driveway to the road was a perfect position to be in when it was time for Paul to arrive home from work at the end of the day. I would post the kids at the window to watch for Daddy so that I would be able to get everything put away and out of sight.

I could not tell him what I was doing until I could assure him that it was paying for itself and that I was not going to lose money. For nine months, I mimeographed, assembled and mailed out about 100 copies a month of my newsletter, the names of the subscribers having come from letters I kept from readers of my columns and from names and addresses given in other magazines where folks were looking for recipes.

I mimeographed my own business cards and, as I have already told you, had no qualms at all about cutting them out and inserting them into [other] cookbooks in bookstores or department stores; leaving them in phone booths, in ladies’ restrooms in restaurants or wherever I might find a likely audience. You must take every opportunity when you start out. Some ideas work. Some don’t.

We tread a rather steep path when we attempt to wish on everyone what seems a solution to our own problems. It actually takes courage to think for oneself in a world which appears to have more than its share of profits of despair. I wasn’t listening to any of them. I had my listening thoughts tuned into Angel messages that were leading me in a happier direction. I was never willing to give up. I’m still not!


More and more families are going back to being as self-sufficient as possible – including home schooling, which has seen a corresponding rise in the last two years. For decades, people chose to spend their time on other things than cooking from scratch, growing their own vegetables, raising chickens, and the like.

At some point, our time became a more valuable commodity than money, itself. We opened the door to conveniences, to save us time, even though it cost more. Now that we’re teetering on another “Great Recession”, things have flipped back to the value of the dollar, being greater.


In honor of September, being National Better Breakfast Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Baked Egg Casserole, Like Mrs. Milliken’s”; as seen in… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 7).



P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…


September’s observances include: National Little League Month, National Americana Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Rice Month, National Sewing Month, National Self-Improvement Month, and National Whole Grains Month!

Additionally, as the start of the second week in September it’s… National Biscuit and Gravy Week and National Arts In Education Week!

Today is also… National Chocolate Milkshake Day and National Day of Encouragement!

Tomorrow is… National Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day and National Peanut Day! Plus, as the second Tuesday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Ants on a Log Day!

Wednesday, September 14th is… National Cream Filled Donut Day, National Eat a Hoagie Day, National Live Creative Day , and National Virginia Day!

September 15th is… National Cheese Toast Day, National Linguine Day, National Double Cheeseburger Day, National Creme de Menthe Day, National Online Learning Day, and National Greenpeace Day! Plus, as the third Thursday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Pawpaw Day! Additionally, this is the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month (which is always September 15th to October 15th)!

Friday, September 16th is… National Play-Doh Day, National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, National Guacamole Day, and National Step-Family Day!

September 17th is… National Professional House Cleaners Day, National Apple Dumpling Day, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, and National Monte Cristo Day! Saturday, the 17th, is also the 4th anniversary of Mondays & Memories Of My Mom, which began with A Legacy Of Love (in 2018). Plus, as the third Saturday in September (for 2022), it’s… National Dance Day, National Boys’ and Girls’ Club Day for Kids, National Responsible Dog Ownership Day, and National Clean Up Day!

September 18th is… National Air Force Birthday and National Cheeseburger Day! Plus, as the third Sunday in September (for 2022), it’s also… National Wife Appreciation Day! Additionally, as the start of the third week in September it’s also… National Farm Animals Awareness Week and National Indoor Plant Week!


…37 down and 15 to go!

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