These $800 billion bouquets expose the real value of unpaid labor provided by moms

This Mother's Day, The Marshall Plan for Moms wants you to consider the true value of mothers' work.

Woman-holding-large-pink-and-purple-bouquet
The Marshall Plan for Moms

How can we honor moms this Mother's Day? Well, we can start by acknowledging all their unseen, unpaid work—and then we get them paid for it.

That's what The Marshall Plan for Moms wants, anyways. The group, led by Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, launched the "Moms Deserve More Flower Store" today to highlight the true value and cost of mothers' work.

The shop features bouquets like The Unpaid Work Bouquet, The Lack of Childcare Bouquet, and The Pay Gap Bouquet. Each is priced according to data showing the unpaid work and broken policies impacting moms.


The Unpaid Work Bouquet is priced at $800 billion dollars. The description reads: "What if America told men they'd get paid in daisies once a year? Millions of women either lost their jobs or gave up paying jobs to do billions in unpaid labor supporting others last year. The value of those lost wages was $800 billion globally, according to Oxfam. Sure, moms love flowers…but they can't take bouquets to the bank."

The Pay Gap Bouquet costs a cool $15,000. Its description reads: "How much less are working moms paid each year than dads? $15,300 less, according to the National Women's Law Center. This wage gap impacts a mom's finances today and down the road when she goes to collect social security and use retirement savings. When it comes to fair compensation for their work, moms don't deserve anything less."

If you have between $3,500 and $36,000 to spend on a great cause, you can actually buy one of these bouquets. You can also make a one-time or recurring donation to The Marshall Plan for Moms, which is dedicated to supporting moms in the fight to have their work recognized—and paid for.

"A dozen roses are not going to cut it this year," said Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms. "The pandemic has intensified what was already a national crisis for working moms, and especially for moms of color. Every year on Mother's Day we come together to celebrate our moms, but the truth is, this year, we have to repair the broken structure of motherhood in America. Because what moms really want—what they really need—is a national reckoning: one that reimagines our culture and rebuilds a system to actually value our work."

The Marshall Plan for Moms calls for the government to pay mothers a $2,400 monthly stipend for their labor throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan also calls for paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity.

Over 100 prominent activists and celebrities have endorsed it, including Eva Longoria, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Steph Curry, Don Cheadle and Colin Farrell.

In March, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tammy Duckworth introduced a resolution in the Senate that supports the Marshall Plan For Moms.

"It's time to put a dollar figure on our labor. Motherhood isn't a favor and it's not a luxury. It's a job," says Saujani.

We know that the work mothers do is critical—and often unrecognized. It's time to change the way we talk about motherhood. That starts with a national conversation and reckoning about how to better value the work we do.

Jamie Orsini is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, military spouse, and a mom to two busy toddlers. In her spare time, Jamie volunteers with the Solar System Ambassador program with NASA/JPL and reads anything she can get her hands on. She’s currently working on her first novel.

In This Article