The Value of a SAHM

According to a recent study, Stay-at-home Moms annual salary should be around $112,962.  


In case you don't want to squint at the picture below, it says:
"The yearly salary a 2012 stay-at-home mom would earn (that is, if she were paid), as determined by the career-advice website  The income ws calculated by combining the average wages, plus overtime, for the jobs a mom typically performs, including laundress, janitor, driver, cook, facilities manager, psychologist and CEO (of the household).  The results also showed that the average stay-at-home mom works a grueling 94.7-hour week and would make an average of $22.94 an hour."

Well, at least SOMEONE sees it! haha.

I love reading things like this because it puts a hard factual value on what I do on a daily basis.  Yes, I do the laundry, groceries, cook and pick up the house.  I am a referee and a nanny.  I am a teacher and a psychologist.  I am a driver and a play mate.  My day starts at 7:45am and doesn't end till 10pm.  I work weekends and holidays and never get vacation or sick days.  That's the life of a SAHM.

Many husbands… not mine… but many, discredit SAHM's and say things like:
"My job is to bring home the money and yours is to take care of the kids".
"Well, all you do is play all day".
"I'm sure you've had a hard day of watching tv and playing at the park today…"

These husbands think that since they go to an actual job and bring home an actual paycheck that not only what they do is more important, but also that it is a free pass to not have to take care of their children.  When I hear stories like this, my heart breaks for the mothers who are undervalued and under-appreciated. 

Aside from the estimated value we should be earning for everything we do, we are also saving a lot of money by staying home.  In a few weeks, my friend will be going back to work full time after having her baby.  She has hired a nanny to come to her home and care for her child instead of daycare.  This nanny will charge $1,000 a month for one baby.  When I have looked into daycare for my two kids, the cheapest I have found has been around $1,750 for both!  If I were to work, I'd only be making a little more than the cost of said daycare… and we'd have less time together and more stress!  No thanks.  By not working, we save money on food as we eat all of our meals at home.  We save money on gas, as the farthest we drive is to the local park.  

Yes, living off of one paycheck is an EXTREME sacrifice.  We can't afford to furnish our house with Pottery Barn things.  We can't afford to take family vacations every year.  We can't afford to buy new cars.  But we do what we can to cut corners and save money wherever possible. 

And it is HARD work… as the report above said, "grueling".  It's physically exhausting, emotional draining and mentally starving.  At the end of most days, you feel like you've run a marathon, cried a bucket and had no intelligent conversation.  On Saturday's all I want to do is sleep till 11, but for some reason, my kids haven't gotten the memo that weekends are for sleeping in!  Kids still need to be fed and be dressed and have diapers changed and go release their energy.

SAHM's, take heart!  What you are doing is valuable… even though we don't receive a paycheck that we can deposit in the bank.  Never ever feel like you are not contributing to your household because your job doesn't pay cold hard cash.  What you do every single day makes a greater contribution to your household than money ever could!  You are shaping a life!  You are forming tight bonds with your children that will last throughout their lives.  You are enriching the lives of your children by putting their needs above your own.  You are teaching them the true meaning of love through your sacrifice!  And that?  You can't put a price tag on that!  

And besides, our paychecks are so much better than cash.  We get paid in snuggles and kisses and cuddles and in kind words like, "i love you mommy" or "thank you".  We get paid in snot noses and tears and heads on shoulders and sobs and even tantrums.  But I don't want anyone else to receive MY hard earned paycheck!  I want every last penny! (Ok, I could do without the tantrums). 

But you know what's really funny.  If someone decided to start giving SAHM's a real paycheck of $112,962 a year, I'm pretty sure husbands would never say another negative comment again.  Who can we call to make that happen?!


Amanda said...

Love this! My hubby is supportive of me staying at home, but once in a while he'll make a comment about me having fun all day while he's at work. Sure, we do have fun. Some days more than others. I think he only says things like that after he's had a hard day at work himself, but in the end, we both appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that the other person puts into making our family run smoothly.

Amanda C. said...

I still think they deserve more an hour. I admire those that stay at home.

Mrs. Mommy said...

Wow, what a great post! My husband has made a few comments here and there but lately he's had a couple days with the kids alone while I had things to do. He now appreciates what I do every a lot more!

Amber Anderson said...

That definetly uplifts the spirit! I'm a sahm who goes to school online and homeschools! I also breastfeed my youngest. my hubby can be one of those but overall he understands me lately that and he's hadn't had a choice as I can't take the little ones together everywhere all the time. I appreciate that someone gets it! :)