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AlamyBy MANDI WOODRUFF
It’s hard to argue with the fact that stay-at-home parenting is one of the most undervalued careers in the U.S. Moms (and yes, some dads, too) do double duty as chauffeurs, cooks, psychologists, money managers and more, on average clocking a 94-hour work week, according to Salary.com.
Based on the 10 most time consuming tasks listed by more than 6,000 mothers, Salary.com estimated it would cost $113,586 a year to replace them. That’s a paltry $624 (0.5%) raise since the same study in 2012.
To put that in perspective, a physician earns about $153,000 for 56 hours of work per week.
Salary.com also estimated the value of working mothers’ household duties, finding they deserve an extra $67,436 per year for the 58 hours of work they take on outside of their 9-to-5 jobs. That’s a meager $457 raise (0.07%) over 2012.
But here’s the sad part –– most mothers don’t even give themself that much credit.
A similar study by Insure.com found that 11% of women valued moms’ household work at under $10,000 a year. Just 7% said it was worth a six-figure salary.
Insure.com was far less generous with its salary estimate, pinning the 2013 market value of a mom at $59,862, down for the second year in a row.
“Just because someone doesn’t earn a salary doesn’t mean that they don’t make significant contributions to the family that could be costly to replace,” Marvin Feldman, president and CEO of the LIFE Foundation, said. “You must think about whether your spouse could afford to pay someone else to provide these services in your absence.”
It seems the recession was just as damaging to the stay-at-home parent business as other jobs. This year’s salary for moms is well below the $138,000 payday Salary.com estimated just six years ago.
At the same time, salaries for various jobs moms perform for their families –– laundry service, household cleaning, financial management, etc. –– declined as well, which explains why studies like these fluctuate with the economy.
When the economy tanked, so did the number of stay-at-home moms. In 2010, there were 5 million stay-at-home mothers (and 154,000 dads) in the U.S., down from 5.6 million in 2007, according to the Fiscal Times. A new survey by CouponCabin found more than half of working mothers consider themselves the primary breadwinners in their household.
Here’s the breakdown of Insure.com’s Mother’s Day Index:
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