Last year, Salary.com determined that the time mothers spend performing 10 typical job functions would equate to an annual salary of $138,095 for a stay-at-home mom. If you customize their results for the high cost of living in the Twin Cities, the total becomes $150,407. If that seems exorbitant to you, you're not alone. I decided to audit Salary.com's findings to find the true value of a mom (compensation-wise only of course).
Salary.com used ten job descriptions to determine mom's salary to account for time she spends in different roles. Part of the reason Mom's pay is so high is that these roles account for nearly 92 hours each week. Yet the first item on Salary.com's list of mom duties is CEO. If Salary.com wants to argue that mom is a managerial position, then mom is not eligible for overtime. Here is a breakdown of mom's roles according to Salary.com.
Chief Executive Officer
Day Care Center Teacher
Computer Operator I
Cook - Institution
Laundry Machine Operator
Let's start at the top. Mom as CEO. I recall the salad days of my youth, when mom orchestrated a hostile takeover of the Johnson family down the street and outsourced dad to India before jetting off to Wall Street to make a pitch to Goldman Sachs. No wait, I don't remember that at all. Because Mom is not a CEO. Let's strike that one.
Psychologist is equally silly. Prior to Dr. Spock and the self-indulgent baby boomers, the idea of mom as psychologist wouldn't hold any water at all. Simple phrases such as "no," "because I said so," and "life isn't fair," would replace all the psychological gobbledygook. We'll strike that one as well.
Facilities manager is actually a pretty decent job description for a mom. It is also the highest paying job on the board, with the exception of CEO. I'll generously allow it at $41.75 per hour for 6.4 hours each week.
Day care center teacher has one problem. Mom probably isn't licensed to teach in our over regulated state, so I'll have to take the salary down from $13.87 to a volunteer lay parent salary of $10.04. Also, the calculator allows 16.8 hours. I'll accept 10 hours.
Computer Operator I is a curious category. For 10,000 years moms didn't need a computer. I'm disallowing this on that principle.
Cook - Institutional is also difficult. Institutional cooks serve hundreds at a time. Mom serves a handful. In the interest of fairness, I'll allow the salary level at $14.18, but I'm going to reduce the 12.1 hours to 7 in this age of microwaves and car side to-go.
Laundry Machine Operator is a fair category. I'll allow both the salary of $10.04 and the 7.5 hours.
Van driver is also fair at $16.39 for 5.9 hours. Likewise with Janitor at $12.53 for 6.1 hours.
Finally, I'll allow the rate of $10.77 for housekeeper. However, I believe 18.9 hours is generous. I know people who have housekeepers and they come over for no more than 8 hours per week. Their houses look terrific. I'm sure mom perform jsut as efficiently as an illegal alien.
The good news for mom is that, at least according to Salary.com, she has no responsibility at all for any bedroom duty with dad. That's a pity, as I'd imagine that could considerably increase her compensation. Since I don't have a definitive authority on prostitute rates, I'll leave this one alone.
My recalculated total shows mom working just over 50 hours per week. If we don't allow overtime, she makes $32,751. Since the Minnesota state house will probably pass a law demanding pay and union representation for mom, she could pull down $46,138 with overtime. That seems fair, especially in a world rich with European au pairs who most certainly don't haul in anywhere near six digits in annual income.
Finally a thought on what dads can learn from this study. Cherish the time you spend tossing the ball around with your young children. After all, those are billable hours!
Happy Mother's Day to all!