What a Housewife is Really Worth – 74K!!!

The idea of being a stay-at-home mom (or a stay-at-home husband) is one that often catches a lot of heat in today’s society. People either prefer to work or simply think that running a house on only one income is simply unrealistic – especially since economy and number of quality jobs have been low for the most portion of the decade. The median (adjusted for inflation) income in United States is roughly about $50,233.00. While a couple can manage to survive on this income, introducing children (or even a child) into the scenario changes the equation quite drastically – usually resulting in both parents choosing to work.

One guy, Steven Nelms, however figured out that such could not be further than the truth – in fact, he found out that he would actually not be able to pay his wife for the services she does that he takes for granted.

He calculated all the tasks she does and compared it to what a professional would charge. For example, his wife takes care of laundry; cleaning service can cost about $50-100 per visit and once a week visit equals out to roughly $5,200 a year. She goes shopping for him and runs various errands; a hired butler working four hours a week at a rate of $65 would equate to roughly 13,500. She also cooks (both lunch and dinner); a chef’s service would cost about $240 a week which comes to $12,480 a year. Adding to list are cleaning the house, taking care of the baby, planning all parties and other activities, etc.

All in all, after his research, he came to a conclusion that he would have to pay $73,960 for all the services his wife does to keep his family going; interestingly, a number she was not making when she was employed. He posted his finding on his blog and wrote, “Looking objectively at an almost insultingly conservative average of the services rendered, I cannot afford my wife.” He added,

“And let’s remember, there’s no sick leave with childcare, there’s no paid time off, there’s no 401(k). All of the incentives that someone who makes over 70K a year would normally enjoy are not part of this deal. All of the worker appreciations, merit bonuses, and recognition that comes with being a part of an office are out too.”

Being a stay at home mom or dad may not seem like the coolest thing to do – in fact for some reason people find it okay to loathe people that take such paths (mainly because it is not very progressive according to today’s standards) – but it is an honorable lifestyle and by no means an easy one. Taking care of children and running a house is no easy task. My mom was a housewife till I was 14 years old and did not realize how much she actually did for the family until I saw Nelms’ post; she is definitely getting the best Mother’s Day present this year!


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