I try not to take too much offense when stay-at-home "moms" are given an annual worth of $60,000 and dads are only doled out a paltry $20,000. As a work-at-home dad, I get double the work, and a third of the credit. But hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles, right?
Still, when I read about how a stay-at-home mom is worth $60,000, I tend to pay attention since I'm carrying the stay-at-home mom duties (or at least a lot of them) in our household.
I tend to cringe when I see articles like the one on MSN.com, where it is discussed how much moms are worth since I've never known someone to outsource every mom-type duty and don't really feel a monetary value should be assigned to being a mom or being a parent in general. Still, I find it interesting to read such articles and compare myself, my parenting duties and the time I spend on such duties. And in a world where parent/work roles seem to be shifting, I think it's important to understand the work that goes into parenting, but not necessarily assign such work to a specific parent, especially when there are many single parents out there doing the work of two.
Cooking, Cleaning and Childcare
I do the majority of the cooking in our family and also carry the childcare responsibilities, so chalk me up for the 40 hour per week, $19,916 annual average for the "Taking care of the kids" category. I admit though, I probably don't spend an average of 14 hours a week in the kitchen as the MSN article reports, likely putting in about an average of 10 a week, so put me down for $4,719 rather than the $6,607 for the "Cooking" category.
Since we have a small condo, my cleaning duties are greatly diminished as well. I'd say I only spend half the time the article devotes to cleaning, cutting that amount from 10 hours per week down to about 5, and in turn reducing my worth in this category to about $2,548. This means that I rake in $27,183 just for the cooking, cleaning and childcare duties that I manage to somehow pull off -- even as a lowly dad -- on a daily basis.
A Chauffer in a One Vehicle Family?
Since we're a one vehicle family, I don't do that much driving during the week. Thankfully, we live in an area where we can walk to places like shops, restaurants, the park, the library, post office, etc. Therefore, I'd put my driving duties closer to 3 hours a week as opposed to the 9 hour average used in the article, cutting my "Driving" category costs down to about $2,156.
Homework? Nope, not yet, but there's Plenty of Other Teaching
While I'm not helping with homework just yet, I am teaching and training in plenty of other areas and ways. From tying shoes to counting, reading, writing, and a multitude of other daily learning activities, I certainly put in the 10 hour per week average in the "Helping with homework" category, which would earn me the $7,390 for that line.
Activity Planner and Family Shopper
While I'm not the sole activity planner, and my wife does come along on the shopping excursions, I'm usually the one coming up with activity ideas and making up the shopping list. However, since I'm not greedy, I'll only take credit for half the "Planning parties" amount of $1,427, "Summer activity planner" amount of $8,112 (since my wife is off during the summers), and "Shopping" amount of $1,587, which would mean I'm worth $5,563 for these particular "mom duty" categories.
And yes, I do most of our home design work, maintenance, family finances, and even haircuts! Therefore, I think I'm due the $286 amount for the "Haircuts" category, the $621 for the "Family finances" category, the $816 for the "Fixing up the house" category, the $869 for the "Finding out what the kids are up to" category, and I'll only take half the amount for the "Nursing wounds" category or $216, since our son doesn't get hurt that much (knock on wood), but I won't take the "Yard work" category amount, since we pay a condo association fee for such services. This means that I rake in another $2,808 in the miscellaneous category.
A Grand Total for my "Mom Duties"
So using the standards set forth in this particular MSN.com article, this dad (acting as at-home mom during the day) is worth a grand total of $45,100.
Personally, I don't stay home for the money though; I do it for myself and for my son. Therefore, while I find that this amount is a great ego-inflater; other than that, it sure doesn't do much to pay the bills.
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The author is not a licensed financial or parenting professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or parenting advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
Emmet, Pierce. Insure.com. "What's mom's work worth?" MSN.com. April 25, 2012. http://money.msn.com/family-money/what-is-a-moms-work-worth-insure.aspx
May 1, 2012.
Pierce, Emmet. Insure.com. "The Father's Day Index: Dad is worth $20,415 around the house. June 5, 2011. http://www.insure.com/articles/lifeinsurance/fathers-day-index.html
May 1, 2012.