Stay-at-home mom

The $100,000 job that doesn’t actually pay at all

Nicole Wray|

According to Salary.com’s 13th annual mom salary survey, a stay-at-home mom is worth $113,000 a year and does about 94 hours of work a week. Salary.com’s survey totals the value of tasks like driving a van ($13.61/hour) and being a psychologist ($38.03/hour) to calculate a stay-at-home mom’s worth.

It’s the “overtime” (54 hours totaling over $76,000 worth of work) that tips a stay-at-home mom’s worth into the six figure range. See the details here.

Thanks to businesswomen like Marissa Mayer, who was pregnant when she became the CEO of Yahoo (and then controversially went on maternity leave for just two weeks), and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of 2013’s feminist manifesto Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, working moms have been a hot topic over the past year. Even Beyoncé, one of the world’s most popular moms, published an essay in January 2014 reminding readers that gender equality is a myth, and there’s plenty of evidence to prove the Queen Bee right.

For example, a recent Canadian survey found that Canadian female MBA grads make $8,167 less than their male counterparts in their first job out of school. In the U.S., according to The Shriver Report, the average working woman makes 77% of what the average working man makes. And although paternity leave is a possibility in Canada, it’s usually the mother, not the father, who is asked whether or not they are going to sacrifice their career to raise kids.

Whether you read Salary.com’s report as an applause of the work that stay-at-home moms do or as an attempt to justify the work that stay-at-home moms do, the decision to return to work isn’t an easy one to for working moms or dads to make (Salary.com doesn’t offer details for the value of a stay-at-home dad, however if we remove gender bias in the pay scales for the various tasks, we can assume it would be similar).

Every stay-at-home mom or dad is sure to have a different and valid opinion of what his or her time is worth. Whether that’s measured in lunches made, career days lost, money saved on daycare or the investment made in a child’s upbringing will differ according to each family’s circumstance. Whatever a working parent’s decision, much of what a stay-at-home mom or dad does with their time is, if you ask their kids, priceless.

Oh, and the average Canadian wage right now is just over $48,000 a year. Here’s what various jobs pay in Canada.


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