Stay-At-Home mums Are Completely Underestimating Their Market Value

It’s hard to argue with the fact that stay-at-home parenting is one of the most undervalued careers in the U.S.

mums (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 pharmacist today makes abut $107,000 and a lead software engineer earns about $100,000 on average. 

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. 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 mums’ 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 mum 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 mums is well below the $138,000 payday Salary.com estimated  just six years ago. 

When the economy tanked, so did the number of stay-at-home mums. 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.

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