Friday, May 04, 2007

What's a Stay-at-Home Mom Worth?

According to, the work of a typical stay-at-home mom is worth $138,095. The research study released on Monday, noted a mother's work included that of - housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist. Your typical stay-at-home mom puts in an estimated 92 hours per week, hence leading to 52 hours of overtime. compiled the report from online responses of 26,000 stay-at-home mothers and 14,000 mothers who also work outside the home. You can read more about it here. If you're a mom and would like a more precise estimate of what your work is worth, check out's Mom's Salary Wizard. Based on personalized information you supply, it'll calculate a salary for your work.

Even if we could pay them, you know that these stay-at-home moms don't do what they do for the money. Let's face it, it's the sheer glamour of the job that appeals to them.

Seriously, when I think about how Kathy serves every person in our family with her hard work, I'm humbled. Our home wouldn't run without her. So, what are stay-at-home moms worth? In my humble opinion, they're priceless.


Ted Gossard said...

ESI, Great post. We all need to hear that, especially mothers!

I know my wife is worth twice as much as me and then some! She not only does much of what is done at home, but works besides in an area she's gifted in (and wants to get more schooling in it). I definitely would be at a loss without her, and lost, as well.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, yes, the glamour!

I figure I'm also worth about $20,000 a year just in elite schooling costs. :) (Around here, that's what private schools cost.) Or maybe I should calculate that as a college teacher's salary... $40,000 + ? With the subjects I teach, it sure could be argued in that direction.

I have to admit this is the best job I've ever had. It uses every ounce of creativity and strength I have. And it includes free character building.

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks for your comment - it's wonderful to hear of your appreciation for your wife.


Isn't it glamorous? ;-)

Borrowing a page from the Visa commercial, let's see how this tallies up -

Base salary - $138,095
Elite schooling - $20,000
College level tutoring - $40,000
Photography lessons - $10,257
The joy of raising your daughter - priceless!

Gideon Strauss said...

Oh, yes.

Gideon Strauss said...

Andre: I think you will like Jonathan Wellum's "Reading 'business' this summer."

Steve Lyon said...

While I agree all those jobs are worth that amount, the sad reality is that if stay at home moms were paid that amount, 99% would be fired after a week. This is nothing more than a PR stunt by to bring attention and free press to themselves and find one more way to exploit women in the media.

Think about it, if someone came over and saw the average home with a stay at home mom in their “day care” mode, how many would leave their children there to be cared for during the day. Not many. How many stay at home moms would still be on the job a week later for the job they did keeping the house clean? Not many.

I’ll bet the folks at counted talking on the phone to their girlfriends, their mother, etc. and watching Opera as paid time as well.

It has been estimated that the average office worker in the U.S. wastes 2.5 hours of an 8 hour work day doing nothing … I think if the same was observed in stay at home moms, the number would escalate. I am not taking away anything from stay at home moms, their roles are vital in the household. But, comeon, let’s get serious, $138k? That is nearly four times what the average full time employee makes.

Get real.

Every Square Inch said...


I cannot comment for all stay-at-home moms, but the ones I know do far more than you imagine and do it quite well. Rather than watch Oprah and eating bon bons, they are actually using their God given talents to raise and educate their children.

Many of them are highly skilled and could use their abilities earning substantial salaries but they choose to care for their children, not only because they love their children but also because they love God. I've been the head of R&D for a public company, I've been a CEO, I've written two books and spoken at conferences. I think what my wife does surpasses all I've done and though most in this world would not recognize it, I believe God who sees what is done in secret will richly reward her faithful work.

Thanks for commenting

HALFMOM said...

I have done both - at home with 4 kids and now a full-time professor - so feel like I may have something to offer to this conversation.

If I could affort to hire someone to just keep my home in the condition I kept it when I actually was at home (with 4 kids, a huge gardern and .....) it would cost me a fortune - so I don't - and that doesn't count the handyman work or the yard work - while the $138,000 might be a bit high since they used individual positions for each area rather than multitasking which is mom common - I don't the "double-dipping" to calculate salary is as great as you might think.

Aside from the asthetics of a clean and comfy home with a well kept yard and food in the freezer, the value of having a mom at home to provide a quiet, safe, loving harbor from the storms of life is invaluable. Were more moms really able to stay at home and support their husbands and families in this way, I think there would be far fewer teens for me to counsel at church.

Every Square Inch said...


Thank you for your comment. I think my post was less about whether a mom's work is really worth 138K or much less.

In my opinion, the 138K salary is eye-catching but as someone mentioned in an earlier comment, it's probably a publicity stunt by (dovetailing nicely with Mother's Day).

The larger point is that moms deserve much more recognition than they get...stay-at-home moms in particular. Regardless of how the world may assess it's value, the nature and substance of their work is actually worth far more and has eternal consequence.