Friday, May 09, 2008

The Value of Motherhood, in Dollars and Cents

At least one company has calculated the value of the work that mothers do:

If a stay-at-home mom could be compensated in dollars rather than personal satisfaction and unconditional love, she'd rake in a nifty sum of nearly $117,000 a year.

That's according to a pre-Mother's Day study released Thursday by, a Waltham, Mass.-based firm that studies workplace compensation.

The eighth annual survey calculated a mom's market value by studying pay levels for 10 job titles with duties that a typical mom performs, ranging from housekeeper and day care center teacher to van driver, psychologist and chief executive officer.

This year, the annual salary for a stay-at-home mom would be $116,805, while a working mom who also juggles an outside job would get $68,405 for her motherly duties.

Studies like these seem to be pro-motherhood. But in a way, they undermine the genuine value of motherhood, which is in building relationship. It is a serious mistake to view the family as a special case of a series of contracts or economic relationships. That was the whole point of Love and Economics: It Takes a Family to Raise a Village.

No comments: