Being a mom could be a 6-figure job
If mothers were hired to do all that they do, they'd be well compensated, says one survey.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Raising children to be productive members of society is an invaluable contribution. But you don't get cold cash for that kind of work - this society values only those economic contributions one makes outside of the home.
So it's worth asking just how much would a mother be paid if she did all that she did in the world of real paychecks?
Salary.com on Wednesday released its annual market valuation of a mother's work. After talking with 400 stay-at-home and working mothers, it determined the 10 major jobs a mother performs at home and the number of hours she typically devotes to each of those jobs.
Researchers then tried to determine the competitive market value that an employer would pay for one person to do a blend of those 10 jobs seven days a week.
Salary.com determined that a stay-at-home mother might be paid as much as $134,121 for her contributions as a housekeeper, cook, day care center teacher, janitor and CEO, among other functions. (See full list at right.) The stay-at-home mothers surveyed said they logged a total of 92 hours a week performing those jobs.
The market valuation for working mothers – who make up close to 70 percent of all mothers with kids under 18 -- comes to $85,876, assuming a 50-hour week in the Mom role. That would be on top of whatever salary a working mother draws from her job outside the home, working 44 hours.
Salary.com's senior vice president of compensation, Bill Coleman, acknowledges that the inclusion of CEO as a function might skew the estimated pay for a mother's work toward the high end, since a CEO earns north of $600,000 a year, and while both roles involve a lot of decision-making, it's unrealistic to say that running a family and running a company are comparable in terms of size and scope of responsibility.
Running a household is more comparable, perhaps, to a top manager's job – a manager who in the workforce might make in the low six figures.
The mothers surveyed by Salary.com only reported performing CEO-like duties no more than 4.6 hours a week. That's a relatively small portion of their time -- unlike the very low-paying duties of housekeeping, laundry and janitorial work, which combined account for between 30 percent and 40 percent of mothers' time.
If you want to find out how much a mother might get paid in different parts of the country after factoring in cost-of-living differences, or to see how pay may change based on the number of kids a mother cares for, Salary.com has created a Mom Salary Wizard.