WASHINGTON, May 12, 2013 — Today is Mother’s Day, the day when we honor our moms for all they do for us, which is a lot when you stop to think about it.
From the moment we’re born, she’s there for us and she always will be, even if we morph into serial killers, porno stars or politicians.
So just how valuable is your mom to you, to the world? Got it, she’s priceless. Her value is “far above rubies.” Got all that, but what is she really worth in American dollars? Hate to be crass on her holiday, but there is an actual price tag on Mom’s value.
According Salary.com, which for 13 years has estimated the value of Moms, she is worth a bit more this year than last year at this time 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 $113,586 a year.
Hard Working Moms
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 $67,435, which is up by $642 over last year. That is if someone were handing out such things as Mom paychecks. Which they’re not.
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.
What Is Your Mom Worth?
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.
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.
Simple Gifts of Love Are the Best
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.
So maybe the best gift you can give Mom is something simple. Dig out the old game boards and play a bruising game of Monopoly or Clue. Serve her breakfast in bed, even if comes with burnt toast and a flower from her garden in a jelly glass.
And don’t forget the card, but don’t buy it. Make it yourself like you did in the first grade, like the one she still saves, and tell her yourself that for you, Mom 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.
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