Tuesday, May 03, 2005

It's not about the money

$131,471 - that is the yearly "fair wage" estimate for an average stay-at-home mom according to Salary.com which published a report earlier this week (in time for Mother's Day, of course) on the theoretical financial value of at-home motherhood (via MSNBC). The result of this "study" (if you can call it that) eclipses by a wide margin the $70,000 a year that State Farm Insurance suggested in a magazine ad last year. $131,471... they base that figure on salaries for titles that a sampling of moms say they cover as an at-home parent. That would be a pretty good raise, considering the salary of my last job. And that would be nice, but is it realistic? Nope, and a quick read of the story shows some holes in their methodology (check out KC's take over at Cynical Mom to see what I mean).

Though it's gratifying to see something in print that places such a high financial value on at-home parenting, I have to say that as a stay-at-home dad, my role is not about the money and attempting to reduce it to such really misses the point. It doesn't matter if the job is valued at $131,000 or $13,000 a year. It's about what my wife and I feel is best for our children and what works for our family regardless of the value/cost in financial terms.

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