A new survery has calculated how much the work of a SAHM would cost if she was paid for every task she did, and the result is a six-figure annual salary.
As a sorta stay-at-home mom (I work from home) for the past eight years, I can vouch for the fact that it's pretty much the toughest job on Earth. Of course, the stresses are different (potty training vs. prepping for the big meeting). But make no mistake: From being up with a hungry baby at 5:00 a.m., to never going to the bathroom alone, to helping with homework, making multiple meals per day, staying on top of the laundry, and running kids to every activity under the sun, stay-at-home motherhood is hardly a relaxing way of life.
Now a new study by Salary.com quantifies how much SAHMs would make if they earned a paycheck for their duties. In the 16th annual survey, researchers looked at 15,000 moms to understand what they spend their day doing, and then applied salary data to each responsibility.
I had to laugh when I saw that moms typically work 40 regular hours, and then 52 hours of weekly overtime! Sounds about right. That amount of time on the job equals an annual salary of $143,102! Oh, if only that salary could be a reality, right?
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Among the many jobs a mom does to earn that mega-paycheck: cook, housekeeper, daycare center teacher, bookkeeper, event planner, and nurse. Or, if you prefer the more modern terms for jobs like these, perhaps we should be called executive chefs, accountants, and maintenance supervisors.
No matter what titles you'd choose, it's clear SAHMs do an indispensable job. I joke all the time that if I weren't here, my house would fall apart. My kids would never get bathed, or have clean clothes to wear, and they'd eat junk.
In the end, I think deep down all stay-at-home moms know how important of a job it is we do, even if it's often thankless. But it kinda helps to learn that we're killing it when it comes to what kind of money we could make—even if it is imaginary!
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It's worth noting that there is a growing number of stay-at-home dads who care for their kids while their partners go off to the workforce. In fact, in 2012, 7 percent of American dads were stay-at-home caregivers, which is about 2 million dads, according to the Pew Research Center. (That's 16 percent of the stay-at-home parent population.) We know they are working hard to keep their homes and families in order too, as are working parents across the country! I mean, we all work our butts off, don't we?
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.