Mother’s Day: How much is Mom worth?

No one really values what Moms do for us, not even Moms themselves. Photo: What's the value of your mom?

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2013 — Sure, you love your Mom. Who doesn’t, unless she’s Mommy Dearest. But most of us, whether we are six or sixty, take her for granted. She’s always been there for us and she always will be, even if we morph into serial killers, porno stars or politicians.

So what’s Mom worth? Ok, Ok, she’s priceless. Her value is “far above rubies.” Yes, yes, but what is she really worth? In dollars and cents.

According Salary.com, which for 13 years has estimated the value of Moms, she is worth a bit more this year than last by $457, although still $9,000 less than she was worth in 2009. This year the average Stay At Home Mom’s “salary” for a 94-hour work week is estimated to be $113,568 a year.

Moms who hold full time, 40-hour-week jobs outside of the home and then come home to their at-home jobs, tacking on another 58 hours a week, work a grand total of 98 hours a week. Those 58 hours of child care and household duties are worth $67,436, which is up $642 over last year. That is if someone were handing out such things as Mom paychecks. Which they’re not.

Value of Stay At Home Mom Image: Salary.com

If she’s lucky, hugs and kisses are probably the most a Mom will find as her year-end compensation for all her hard work.

Stay-at-home Moms, or SAHMs, work on average 94 hours a week, but there is no retirement age, Social Security, pensions, insurance, 401Ks, or year end bonuses much less vacation time or any of the other perks found in traditional, full time jobs.

So just what are the duties of a Mom? (Certainly a good thing to know before you sign on for the job, although too many women don’t check out the job requirements first.) Here are the jobs that the average American mother does for us to keep make our house a home:

Cook, housekeeper, bookkeeper for family finances, chauffer, nanny, janitor, CEO, facilities manager, psychologist, computer operator, coach, nurse, and mediator. Or at least that’s some of her jobs.

Want to know exactly how much your own mom is actually worth? Just click here to use the Mom Salary Wizard to calculate your mom’s “paycheck.” You will be asked a couple of questions, such as how many children under 18 she has and her zip code, and voila! your mom, whether she works outside the home or not, is no longer the average Mom, but Your Mom and you will know exactly what her momentary value is.

But does Mom value herself? Not really, according to Insure.com, which surveyed mothers to see what they thought their jobs were worth. When asked how much they would have to pay someone else to replace them and do all their chores running the household, 56% of women said under $40,000 a year, while 62% of men valued Mom’s worth as under $40,000 a year.

Value of Moms who work outside the home Image: Salary.com

But it gets worse: 11% of women and 16% of men thought the household work moms do as worth less than $10,000 a year. Talk about being underappreciated! Only 7% of women and 3% of men thought what Mom did in the home was worth $100,000 or more. 

Meanwhile the number of SAHMs is dropping as the economy continues to sag. The latest figures show that in 2010 there were 5 million of them (and 154,000 dads) a drop of nearly half a million since 2007.

If those moms who work outside the home could be full time SAHMs, 69% of employed mothers say they would, especially since 57% self-identified themselves as the primary breadwinner in their families.

So what do moms want for Mother’s Day? Forget the candy and perfume or another apron, God forbid. More than one-third said they would just like to spend “quality time” with their families, just doing “stuff” with them, as simple as a day in the park or playing Shoots and Ladders. Another 32% said dinner out would be great but so would something like a manicure.

This year, why not give your Mom — probably the most undervalued person in your life — something special: time with you and a little pampering. How about breakfast in bed with a flower from the garden on the tray along with a homemade card that says for you, she is priceless.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media. And, yes, a Mom.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe

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