Skip to comments.Study: US mothers deserve $134,121 in salary [mothers should pay money to themselves?????]
Posted on 05/03/2006 10:24:35 AM PDT by grundle
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A full-time stay-at-home mother would earn $134,121 a year if paid for all her work, an amount similar to a top U.S. ad executive, a marketing director or a judge, according to a study released on Wednesday.
A mother who works outside the home would earn an extra $85,876 annually on top of her actual wages for the work she does at home, according to the study by Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts Salary.com.
To reach the projected pay figures, the survey calculated the earning power of the 10 jobs respondents said most closely comprise a mother's role -- housekeeper, day-care teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive and psychologist.
"You can't put a dollar value on it. It's worth a lot more," said Kristen Krauss, 35, as she hurriedly packed her four children, all aged under 8, into a minivan in New York while searching frantically for her keys. "Just look at me."
Employed mothers reported spending on average 44 hours a week at their outside job and 49.8 hours at their home job, while the stay-at-home mother worked 91.6 hours a week, it showed.
An estimated 5.6 million women in the United States are stay-at-home mothers with children under age 15, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.
NOT 'JUST A MOM'
"It's good to acknowledge the job that's being done, and that it's not that these women are settling for 'just a mom,"' said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com. "They are actually doing an awful lot."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 26 million women with children under age 18 work in the nation's paid labor force.
Both employed and stay-at-home mothers said the lowest-paying job of housekeeper was their most common role, with employed mothers working 7.2 hours a week as housekeeper and stay-at-home mothers working 22.1 hours in that role.
"Every husband I've ever spoken to said, 'I'm keeping my job. You keep yours.' It's a tough one," said Gillian Forrest, 39, a stay-at-home mother of 22-month-old Alex in New York. "I don't know if you could put a dollar amount on it but it would be nice to get something."
To compile its study, Salary.com surveyed about 400 mothers online over the last two months.
Salary.com offers a Web site (http://www.mom.salary.com) where mothers can calculate what they could be paid, based on how many children they have, where they live and other factors. The site will produce a printable document that looks like a paycheck, Coleman said.
"It's obviously not negotiable," he said.
On average, the mother who works outside the house earns a base pay of $62,798 for a 40-hour at-home work week and $23,078 in overtime; a stay-at-home mother earned a base pay of $45,697 and $88,424 in overtime, it said.
In a Salary.com study conducted last year, stay-at-home mothers earned $131,471. The potential earnings of mothers who work outside the home was not calculated in the previous study.
In addition to Mother's Day and Father's Day we now have Grandparents' Day, Secretary's Day, the Family Who Lives Accross the Street Day, etc. I really don't want a reward for doing what I am supposed to be doing. Seems to be a prevailing attitude in our country that something beyond the responsibility they signed up to is required to get people to do their job.
On top of it the major networks air these stupid 15 second slice-of-life reminders to read books to your kids, play with your kids, feed your kids, whatever. I certainly don't need some two-bit actress who leaves her own children with a nanny 24/7 reminding me to be a good father. I doubt anyone who is a bad parent is going to change their behavior b/c Kelly Ripa told them to.
Hmmm I wonder what my after work job is worth?
Oh and Grill Master
For completeness, from the $134,121 they should subtract room-and-board, clothing, use of the vehicle...
Within a family, it is entirely right that we thank and appreciate each other for the efforts we contribute. Any husband who doesn't thank his wife for what she does, and vice-versa, is a putz.
But that is personal, and within a family. For some knuckleheads in a study to quantify that with some ridiculous numbers trivializes everyone involved.
I, for one, am putting a tip jar on the counter tonight! :)
I'm a single dad, what do i deserve?
Need more photographic evidence. :)
Both of my kids are grown and on their own now, but I was mostly a stay-at-home mom. I didn't go to work until they were in school and I made sure I was home when they got home each day.
When I was a fulltime stay-at-home, I got a paycheck every week....my husband's. He never saw it. I have always taken care of paying the bills which is the way he preferred and I've always bought whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. That too was fine by him. Always has been. Isn't that the way it works for all married couples? :)
"Prove it. Let's see some women pull down that salary doing all those tasks for someone. If I could earn that much money for doing the work described, I would change job in a heartbeat."
Well...I know a wealthy man who pays more than this to his personal staff. 2 nannies, a cook, a housekeeper, private secretary, and gardener.
Of course - one person cannot possibly do all these jobs as well as a team of people concentrating on their own given area, and one women may do the job extremely well...while another woman may not.
My guess is it's more likely to be in the 50-60k range if a wealthy person were to hire one person to do the job.
Wow! You make breakfast and clean the kitchen. You really are cool. I mean it! I love my husband and he works long hours, but I get annoyed that he comes home and doesn't help as much with basic things like this (yes, he will make dinner once in a while after I have had day when I am ready to hurt someone). Even moms need a break once in a while.
My wife says you can't put a value on being able to stay home and watch your children grow up and be a part of so much of their lives. That's something us working stiffs miss a lot of being out of the house and away from the kids for most of the day. She says that, plus having room, board, her financial needs provided to her, and that I plan, shop for, and prepare all of our meals (except lunch when I'm at work) is more than appropriate "pay".
"I remember when my husband and I purchased life insurance years ago. My husband thought that the only insurance he needed on me was enough to cover funeral costs if I died. Our agent explained to him that if I died, he would have to hire someone to do the work that I did...and that would cost money."
Exactly right. We figured what it would cost to put the kids in daycare for a certain number of years, as well as bringing in a housekeeper once a week.
He also would have to pay for a financial advisor if I weren't around (I do all the bills, taxes...etc. and yes - I have a degree in finance)
The funny thing is - the most valuable part of being a mom isn't being discussed. When kids stay home with their mom they receive the security, unconditional love, and care that only a mother can give. No one can replace that or put a price tag on it because the "payoff" lies in the heart - not in the wallet.
I think when they calculated this salary they assumed stay at home moms are constantly cooking constantly cleaning etc etc. When in fact they do a little of everything all day.
Nah. My wife works much too hard. Sometimes I feel like a slacker. Doing some of the cooking, cleaning and doing laundry is the least I can do. Try to think of other things too.
I saw a similar discussion a decade or so ago with the suggestion that the husband be required to pay these rates to his wife as a bona fide empployee and pay the relevant SS and income taxes to the government.
I couldn't agree more. My husband and I have been married for 28 years, raised two beautiful sons, and I was a stay-at-home mom as well. Priceless!
Your wife is very lucky, you obviously get it. Your post is what I would guess to be the author's objectives in writing this piece. I have stayed home with 3 young children and it was the hardest job I ever had. It was also the most rewarding.
So many seem to feel the need to point out that fathers do many things too. The article never says they don't. I think it is just trying to give some kudos to moms, who never get to see their value quantified in a paycheck like those who work outside the home.
Amen to that.
But ... ummm ... the liberals that sponsored this study don't want your conclusion, the correct one, displayed across the front page. It sounds too ... traditional ... Republican ... [and Christian, too.]
Bill Clinton's secretary for HUD once said this on CNN and I about barfed.
Another bonus to staying at home is not having to take a vacation day if I want to take the kiddies to the park/rail trail or pool if I feel like it. I also don't have to waste a vacation day if the kiddos are sick. Honestly, when I worked at a daycare after college, parents would bring the kids in on their death beds so they didn't have to burn a vacation day. Then, they wouldn't return our call to get their child or wouldn't come for hours!! Since my hubby doesn't have to take days off for this type of stuff (he gets 4 weeks a year) and he gets to roll over 2 weeks a year, he has a very nice "vacation egg" saved up!!
The rat I smell in all of this is possibly to boost child support payments. Maybe it's because I made so very many of them over all the years...
I think it is offensive to lump all stay at home moms in with welfare queens. There are plenty of moms who give up large salaries to stay home and raise their kids. They should be respected, which seems to be the point of the article. I guarantee you that most stay at home moms are not looking for money. They do it out of love and for the rewards which are not financial in any way.
Well, you didn't mention opening jar lids!! That'll mean a cut in salary for you!! :)
Figures lie and liars figure.
You really can't put a value on motherhood or fatherhood, but I figure a good housekeeper would come in at maybe $15 an hour and a good nanny maybe a bit more.
So if you figure $15 an hour at 12 hours per day for 365 days a year you come to $67,500. At $18 an hour that's $78,840.
But, 12 hours a day is a lot. After the age of 5 kids are in school for most of the day.
For $67,500 a year I am sure there would be an unlimited supply of labor to take care of your kids 12 hours a day. Yeah you gotta cook, clean and put up with some headaches. You also get to sit around a lot and watch TV, help with some homework and go to the park.
" Honestly, when I worked at a daycare after college, parents would bring the kids in on their death beds so they didn't have to burn a vacation day. Then, they wouldn't return our call to get their child or wouldn't come for hours!! "
I know this happens alot...my sister has been in this situation alot where she felt she had no choice but to get to work even though her kids were sick.
It's such a terrible thing when the security of the job has to come before taking care of a sick child.
But you know...no matter what a woman does - she is wrong.
At least - according to many women hating freepers. They come out in droves on threads like this.
"I think it is offensive to lump all stay at home moms in with welfare queens. There are plenty of moms who give up large salaries to stay home and raise their kids. They should be respected, which seems to be the point of the article. I guarantee you that most stay at home moms are not looking for money. They do it out of love and for the rewards which are not financial in any way."
Thanks for that. If money was all I cared about I would have taken that entry level job offer after I earned my bachelor's degree.
But instead, what I have now is a large gap in my resume, and we are told we aren't "supposed" to let on we've been home raising our kids (as if they can't figure that one out).
Eventually when I do return to the working world, it will be without years of raises, increases in benefits, and contributions to my retirement fund.
My husband and I are a team, we pay taxes, we raise our own kids, and we do not receive welfare of any kind.
There are many embittered freepers who have been burnt and they only see evil women wherever they look.
Well...many women have been burnt by idiot men too.
It doesn't mean there aren't alot of men and women out there who are just trying to do their best to live a good life.
If it is working for your family, you are absolutely doing the right thing. Don't worry about your resume, I was out of the work force for 12 years and recently went back. There were a few questions about the "gap", but once I told them I had been busy raising three kids, they just moved on. I don't think any amount of money could make me give up that time with my kids. We are much closer now because of it. It was exhausting, stressful, and the hardest job I have ever had. Looking back, I wouldn't trade it for the world.