The Mommy Tax: 7 Penalties Paid by Parents on April 15 (As Well as Every Other Day)

Tax Day is looming, but when you’re a parent, April 15 is hardly the only day you pay the price.

Having kids is a miracle, and it’s wonderful and amazing, but it takes a toll — and not just a financial one (although that, too).

Here are 7 ways that moms (and dads) are assessed penalties on days that the IRS isn’t even looking:

  • The Mommy Tax 1 of 8
    The Mommy Tax
    It's real and it's un-spectacular.
  • Clothes 2 of 8
    It's bad enough that parents of young kids think wearing clean yoga pants constitutes a special occasion, but when those pants then get spit-up, pooped or drooled on, it means one of two things:

    1. We'll just stay home today since the only the only other clothing option is a cleaner pair of yoga pants, albeit with an unfortunately located red-paint stain.

    2. Who are we kidding? It's not as if there's a discernible difference in clean and dirty yoga pants and if every pee stain from a child meant we couldn't leave the house, the fire department would be called in to un-fuse the love seat from our butts.
  • Bathroom 3 of 8
    Brushing your teeth, using the toilet or taking a shower — if it's in the bathroom, your time as a parent is taxed in the form of never, ever being alone. It's just one of those things that's as reliable as death and, well, taxes.

    Except the Grim Reaper in this case is usually under 42-inches tall and thinks that personal space is a right afforded to everyone except you, who surrendered it at the time of their conception along with the ability to enjoy a cup of coffee while it's ever actually hot.
  • Body 4 of 8
    Being a parent — especially in the very early years — often means surrendering your body to that of your child. You simply don't have control of any one of your limbs — or any part in between.

    Whether it's your breasts to a nursing baby, your shoulders so a little one can get a better view at a parade or your lap at their every tiny whim. Because God forbid anyone should ever sit in their own seat.
  • Adult Relationships 5 of 8
    Adult Relationships
    It's always good when parents can find time to spend with those who don't require others to wipe their butts.

    Except that when you have little ones in your life, it can be hard to engage in a conversation that doesn't include your little ones. And their butts that require wiping.
  • Other Adults Relationships 6 of 8
    Other Adults Relationships
    Good luck trying to maintain a healthy, uh, relationship with your significant other while there are children present, awake and able to open doors.

    Let us know how that works out for you — especially since you've already removed the locks from the doors after that one time the police had to be called in to rescue your child from the bathroom.
  • Dining 7 of 8
    Your idea of a nice meal used to be a bottle of wine paired perhaps with something containing exotic-looking mushrooms in a sauce covering something else that maybe once swam in the ocean.

    However, when you became a parent, the tax on you is such that a nice meal quickly devolved into filling up on whatever your toddler tossed from their plate onto on the floor while simultaneously dreaming of popping open a beer and watching something on Bravo for a few minutes before falling asleep after the kids have finally gone to bed shortly before the sun threatens to rise again.
  • Time 8 of 8
    Maybe clothes were never really your thing and a few minutes alone in the bathroom is meaningless, but in general, as a parent, having time to yourself is taxed heavily from the moment that little one enters your house until the day they leave for college.

    Never mind (or set aside for a moment, anyway) the time spent doing the shopping, folding, cooking, carpooling, homework-helping, boo-boo attending, cuddling, nose-wiping and tears-blotting.

    Calculate the time you spend thinking about your children. It's amazing there are enough hours in the day for the thinking, worrying and planning — not to mention the actual doing.

    And then even after they fly the coop, they still find a way to tax your time with their laundry (just thinking about how they possibly manage to go from the start of the fall semester until their Thanksgiving break without washing a single pair of underwear will take all of your time, so it's best just to let it go).

Photo credits: iStockphoto

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