No one decides to be a stay-at-home mom for the paycheck—but if we were to earn one, it would put us in league with some CEOs. Although it doesn't do much for the bank account, a survey that calculated what the average salary would be for a stay-at-home mom is mighty validating. (Remember this next time anyone asks what you do all day.)
The total was determined after polling more than 15,000 mamas on the tasks they devote time to—including everything from housekeeping to being an unofficial psychologist to, yes, being a family CEO. The working moms surveyed also reported working 59 hours per week in the role of "mom," which should qualify them for a paycheck of $90,223 on top of what they earn 9 to 5.
Mom Jackie Semmens says at first she wasn't sure if the math added up, but when she considered all the services her partner would have to pay for if she was gone, the bills would be huge. "My husband would need to put the kids in daycare so that he could return to work. He'd probably have to hire a housekeeper and, while I don't think there are any personal chefs for hire in our small town, he would doubtlessly spend more money on take-out," Semmens previously wrote on the subject.
"For those nights that he worked late, and weekends when last-minute projects came up, he'd need a sitter. He'd probably have to hire someone to help with the yard work, too," she adds.
And it's not just the regular stuff—like laundry and lawn mowing—that modern mamas are working hard at. It probably comes as no surprise that we're diversifying our job responsibilities in some pretty impressive ways.
As another survey from the website Insure.com found, moms say the time they devote to being "party planners" rose by 25% in the past year. (This could have a little something to do with all those ideas on Pinterest that feel so impossible to pass up... Doesn't every kid need an end of the school year party?)
The other most time-consuming gigs according to Insure.com include cooking (14 hours per week), driving (9 hours), childcare (40 hours) and those "miscellaneous" tasks that add up to 40 more hours.
Because every mama's workload varies, Salary.com also offers a way to plug in your own data to calculate what your SAHM paycheck would be based on how much time you spend as a de facto nutritionist, administrative assistant, academic advisor, etc.
Of course, the true payoff of motherhood is in watching our children grow, learn and laugh—experiences that are priceless. Still, it is nice to have this data to recall on those days when it seems like you got "nothing" done.