Big sacrifices like the ones I made -- giving up a career and a fat paycheck of my own -- deserve a little extra recognition. Calling it a bonus and making it clear that it is mine further underscores my right to spend it as I see fit.
I work in an environment where bonuses and financial rewards for extra effort are customary and even expected. You never get paid a dime for your work, but are still expected to approach it with the same enthusiasm and diligence that a paid employee of a company would.
Family is not just something you cheat on your career with. A career is not just something you do for dollars even though it robs you of your family. Our families and our careers are both parts of who we are.
As a stay-at-home mom of two small children, when I say that I need a break, I'm not talking about wanting a vacation or a treat as a reward for doing my job. Needing a break doesn't mean that I'm seeking a respite from my responsibilities or that I want to put my feet up.