Tuesday, May 03, 2005

SAHM's Worth SIX FIGURES!

What was the salary worked out for the time and all the jobs skillfully executed by stay-at-home-moms? $131,000 a year! (of course, most SAHMs would say that you can't put a price on all that we do...)

There was this friend I had a few years back whose husband was one of those 'It's my money' guys. He was constantly giving her grief for each dime she needed (needed as in to pay family bills --not for a mink coat). I got so incensed with his bullshit that I decided I was going to take a day out of my life to make some phone calls and settle the debate once and for all. I called daycares and got their rates, then after-day care sitting services, I called laundry services and supermarket delivery services. I called home-care nursing agencies and food preparation companies. I called chauffer and taxi companies and personal shoppers. I called the Merry Maids (cleaning out the refrigerator, pantries and closets was extra) and landscaping companies. The numbers that I was left with were astronomical...no man middle class man could afford to pay what we SAHMs are worth. Now add the fact that your child's security, trust and well being is actually being nurtured by the child's own mother and the figures go through the roof (it was impossible to put a price on years of breast feeding -which is obviously invaluable). I told her to be generous and cut the number in half and tell her man this is what he needed to pay her each year. He did ease up for a while on his obnoxiousness when he looked at the list and realized all that she did each day...though in the end they still ended up getting divorced.
"So why do thousands of career women nationwide opt to put their careers and salary-earning potential on the back burner to stay home to care for their children? Reasons can range from the exorbitant cost of childcare to deep emotional attachment, but one thing is clear: being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job."

"Finances aren't the only, or even the biggest, reason for a parent to stay home and care for the children. Kansas City, Mo., stay-at-home mom Tiffany Allshouse was worried about her daughter's most formative years being defined by someone who wasn't family. Neither she nor her husband has relatives in the nearby area to help out. "The thought of a stranger - not Mom or Dad - being her primary caregiver is horrifying to me, even if the day care is the best around," she said."(source)

Salary.com also set out to determine the monetary worth of the stay at home mom...
HERE is the chart they came up with...
No sick days, no vacation time, no lunches or cigarette breaks chatting with friends (with the luxury of not having to be attending to the children or having them yelling "Mommy!")...actually little to no adult interaction at all... that alone makes the job worth a mint (isn't always the jobs that no one wants that get paid the most money --like asbestos removal or honey dippers?)
"Far-reaching effects

Even though stay-at-home parents aren't included in Department of Labor statistics, their type of "non-wage labor" adds incalculable value to future human capital. Mercer hopes that by staying at home, she'll teach her children to be "responsible and well-mannered" productive members of society.

In the long-term, then, staying at home can benefit families financially and emotionally, and provide a boon to future labor markets. While a stay-at-home parent can't really use her or his experiences as resume fodder, caring for children requires attention to detail, multitasking capabilities, and self-confidence - skills that are necessary in any profession. "After being a stay-at-home mom to two very active, non-sleeping boys, I feel confident that I could take on nuclear engineering or anything else," said Mercer. "It is that challenging, but equally rewarding, too."

While not for everyone, staying at home not only benefits families as a whole, it specifically benefits the mothers who do it. "If I were working, I would be so stressed out with work and everything else that I wouldn't have time to see the little things," Schulze said. "I wouldn't have relaxed as much, or taken the time to stop and smell the flowers. I get to see life through a child's eyes, and I wouldn't have gotten that chance."

So, mommies-to-be, talk it over with your significant other, quit that day job, grab the kids...and dream on!" (source)

This is a GREAT article! Thanks Salary.com for validating and confirming in black and white what all of us SAHMs have been saying for years!

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