Investopedia is reporting that it would cost nearly $100,000 annually to pay for all the services a homemaker provides. The economists say they calculated only those tasks that have monetary value (because my love and nagging are priceless, obviously) and used the lowest value for each calculation.
Private Chef, House Cleaner, Child Care, Personal Driver, Laundry Service, and Lawn Maintenance were included in the tally, bringing the grand total to $96,261 per year. It was noted that Lawn Maintenance was a “less common, but possible duty of a homemaker.”
As Strollerderby reported last May, Salary.com offers a calculator that lets you determine the worth of a homemaker, based on the number of children and your region of the United States. Using that calculator, my annual worth as a Philadelphia-area stay-at-home mom of four kids is a whopping $122,011.
On the one hand, this is important information because it’s important to value the contributions of stay-at-home moms, and because stay-at-home moms need life insurance, too. If I get run over by a bus tomorrow, my husband is certainly going to have to pay for child care, both before and after school.
On the other hand, this information is totally bogus. First of all, it apparently assumes that the working spouse does none of the housework or childcare during his or her off-hours, which seems a little 1957 called and they said even Ward Cleaver washed the dishes. Also, some of these things? I don’t even do. Or I don’t do them very well. And Investopedia totally missed some of the most important parts of my job.
I don’t mean to downplay my value as a stay-at-home mom. It’s both the most challenging, and the most rewarding job I’ve ever had, and I feel incredibly fortunate that we’re able to make it work. (I also work part-time from home.) But I don’t ascribe to the myth that as a stay-at-home mom, I’m supposed to be doing a perfect job of keeping our home House Beautiful-perfect, either.
Starting with Investopedia’s original total of $96,261, I figure my marketable homemaking skills are actually worth $57,761 plus a few popsicles. Here are 10 ways my job performance differs from Investopedia’s summary:
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