The mommy wars rage on. This time tested, longstanding rivalry pits working moms against homemakers, in an ultimate test of who-has-it-worse. And while no one on the battle field has (of yet) emerged victorious, the latest installments of the online mommy wars got me to thinking: how much is a home maker really worth, anyway? I used my seven years of stay-at-home mom experience to figure it out -- mathematically, of course.
Personal Chef and Shopper
Having a personal chef and grocery-shopping aficionado will cost you, but homemakers perform this role without complaint. The value of this particular service? Between $200 - $500 per week.
Most garden-variety housekeepers will run you about $118 per week. Homemakers are often tasked with keeping the house clean (at least I did), so I added this figure into my calculations for good measure.
Child Care Professional
For moms working outside of the home, the bane of child care costs is well known. This particular service would increase a homemaker's value by $600 - $950 per month.
Carting munchkins back and forth to school, soccer games and a wide variety of extracurricular activities will cost you around $.33 per mile. At 100 miles per week, that adds $33 on to the Suzy homemaker's already mounting tab.
In most dry cleaning and laundry businesses I have patronized over the years, washing and drying costs around $1.00 per pound. For a homemaker who does an average of 20 pounds of laundry each week, that's an extra $20.
Various Other Services
Then of course there are some other services that some dedicated home makers provide: lawn care, education, music lessons and many others. While each homemaker is different, I could clearly see the value mounting.
Total Net Worth
Once I figured out the basic costs of services, I added them all up in the form of an annual salary. Follow along as I recap, using averages:
Chef & Shopper: $350 per week
Maid: $118 per week
Child Care: $187.50 per week
Driver: $33 per week
Laundry Service: $20 per week
At the end of the day, I surmised that your run-of-the-mill homemaker is worth $708 per week, or $36,816 per year. And while mommies everywhere might remain skeptical about who has it worse (working moms versus homemakers), I don't think anyone could argue that homemakers don't pull their weight. Not to mention, the time I was able to dedicate to staying at home with my kids, rather than having someone else raise them was more than I could put a price tag on in a million years.
How much do you think a homemaker is worth?
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