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Stay-at-Home-Moms Worth $118,000

How much are you worth as a mom?

Of course, there’s no way to quantify all of the hugs, play date scheduling, and discipline you provide for your family. But Salary.com has come up with a number.

Based on ten daily functions described by a survey of some 28,000 stay-at-home moms (they didn’t include dads), Salary.com determined that the average stay-at-home mom should be earning $117,856 a year. In other words – that’s what a family would be paying someone else to do all of those duties. 

The job titles that best matched a mom’s definition of her work include: laundry machine operator, janitor, van driver, computer operator, housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, chief executive officer, psychologist, and facilities manager, according to Salary.com.

The survey estimates a working parent’s salary for their “mom duties” is around $71,860. You’d have to tack on their actual wages to come up with the real figure – but of course, then you’d have to subtract child care.

There’s also no mention of benefits — health insurance, vacation, or sick time. During long, hard days home with my kids, I often fantasized about a paid coffee break.

Salary.com didn’t calculate a figure for moms who work part-time, freelance, or at home – -which is a significant percentage.

One thing is clear: the economy has hit moms hard. Both SAHMs and working moms’ theoretical salaries dipped 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from the 2009 calculations of US$122,732 and US$76,184.

“Like many of us, moms are working more hours, and it is no surprise that this year, the challenging economy impacted the results of our Mom Salary Survey,” said Brent Kleiman, SVP, marketing and strategy at Salary.com.

When you combine her full-time job, “mom hours,” and “mom overtime,” the working mom is on duty more than 96 hours a week, up four from last year. Apparently, mom is devoting even more time to preparing meals, keeping the home in good shape, and shuttling kids to activities.

Moms are outsourcing their work less and taking on more of the workload. And, of course, there’s a lot of overtime in the job description — this year, the stay-at-home mom’s overtime averaged 59 hours in a 99-hour “work week.”

Now if only they’d get paid for some of that time — in something other than hugs and kisses.

What do you think? Is it helpful to assign a dollar figure on all the work that moms do? How much are you worth?

Photo: Parent Map Magazine

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