January 18, 2012

A Homemaker's Value

I came across an article on Yahoo today that addressed something that's been in the back of my mind for awhile now. It's called "How Much Is A Homemaker Worth?" via Investopia.com. I think it's been often noted that homemakers are undervalued in a society (such as ours) where the idea of being a "superwoman" (i.e. someone who does it all) is generally admired, praised, and flaunted. There's also been somewhat of a backlash to the "superwoman" image due to the media's way of categorizing mothers and pitting them against one another in a battle of what is the best way to raise a family. I'm currently not a mother, but I am interested in the value of doing our chores, whether we're men or women. I believe everyone has a reason for choosing to do the things they do and to live the life they're living, in the uncontrolled circumstances that they're in. And let's not forget that one person's happiness might be another's nightmare.

On Cooking: According to the American Personal Chef Association, a personal chef makes about $200 to $500 a day. Grocery delivery services charge about $5 to $10. So let's pretend that you pay a personal chef $200 a day for 5 days a week, plus a grocery delivery charge of $5 once a week. In a year, or 52 work weeks, this would cost $52,260. Of course, you probably wouldn't have a personal chef, and maybe you eat out 5 days a week, at a price of about $50 a day, then that would equal $13,000 a year.

On Cleaning: Professional maids or house cleaning services (which generally cover sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing sinks, dishwashing, and making beds) charge by the hour, by the number of rooms, or by the square footage of the house. So cleaning a 1,300 square ft., single-story home with 7 rooms costs about $79-$150. A 2,200 two-story house with nine rooms costs about $104-$180. Additional tasks such as cleaning ovens/refrigerators and other things cost extra. So let's say you thoroughly clean once a week and it would cost $118 for a professional, that would be $6,136 a year.

PERPETUAL Cleaning Schedule by CleanMamaPrintables

On Child Care: Probably the biggest reason some mothers decide to stay home. For full-time, live-in childcare, this requires a professional provider to include health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, holidays, dental and vision coverage, plus bonuses. According to the International Nanny Association's 2011 survey, nannies make about $600 to $950 a week on average. So $600 a week, plus benefits, equals about $31,200 a year. This wasn't mentioned in the article, but I wonder how much daycare costs? Although, as a homemaker, you're doing the work of a nanny, so essentially you're receiving the services of a nanny, but much much better.

Set of 1 placemat and 2 napkins by piggledee

Driver: Homemakers probably run lots of errands and drive most members of the family around. The cost of a personal driver that uses the client's own care costs about $1,000 a year plus 33 cents to $2.03 per minute, with an elite membership at companies like Red Cap. So a year of services plus an estimated 8,000 miles driven at 50mph for $0.33 per minute equals $4,168 per year.

Minnie Was An Aggressive Driver by janethillstudio

Laundry: Profesional laundry services charge by the pound, such as Susie's Suds Home Laundry Service, Inc. in Texas. They charge $0.90 to $1.00 per pound to wash, dry, fold, hang, and steam your clothes. Comforters, blankets, rugs, and winter clothes cost about $12-$15 each. So let's say, at $0.90 a pound, you have 4 pounds of dirty clothes a day for 5 days a week, that's $936 a year.

3 Bags Natural Laundry Soap by SmithFamilySoapworks

Lawn Maintenance: Some homemakers don't necessarily do yard work, but if they did, mowing, trimming/pruning plants, and debris removal would cost about $30 a week. So that's $1,560 a year.

1955 Mid Century Folding Lawn Chair Craft Plans by cemetarian

And the total amounts to.... $96,261 a year (with a personal chef), $57,001 a year (without a personal chef and eating out instead, although having a homemaker really is like having a personal chef...). This is not including all the tips you'll have to give to everyone who you'd have to hire to run your household. And this definitely doesn't cover everything a homemaker does, not to mention all the comforts of being taken care of by someone who considers the taste/habits of every single person in your family. Does this article from Yahoo sound about right to you? What do you make of this?

Keep calm you're a good mom by MomGoodz

Cake Time - Judith in the Kitchen by MayTempleton


Kathleen said...

Oh my! Your stats are amazing... but I'm definitely not surprised! ;-)

KrystalsJewelry said...

wow thats pretty crazy... great post!!!

OnePerfectDay said...

It's shocking that so much hard work goes unappreciated.

Shared on fb.

Glitterbird Glamour said...

It's as true as ever, women are the "atlas" on whose shoulders every family stands.

Bella the Bead said...

WOW!!! What a great post!!! I think you need to add in about a cool $50K more if you're the mother of teenagers. It would be classified as "hazard pay!!"

all that glitters said...

I really love this post, it makes you think about what we do in the home in a completely different light. Love the stats too, great post

nangatesdesigns said...

Love this post... I stayed home with my kids and this really puts things into perspective. I agree with the above post about the 'hazard pay' - so true!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

I thought it would be more. I do think we as a society undervalue women.

Victorian Swag said...

I thought it would be more too honestly. I have two little ones at home under the age of four and I stay home with them for the simple fact that there's no one on the planet that can do for my own kids what I can. No one no matter how much they're paid could love them more than I do.

Krystal said...

It'd be more, truthfully!! Full time nanny, personal chef, maid, chauffeur, personal assistant, etc. But still a good post, love it and so true.

Krystal - http://bellystickers.blogspot.com/
Following from promotional frenzy

Mt. Baldy Glassworks said...

I would cook more often if I got paid $200 a day for doing it. But, in reality, my husband does appreciate me and my culinary experjob with the pictures of products to highlight the blog!

Linda B said...

Love the pics you chose for this post and the topic. I'd love to be able to hire a chef and maid, and ... I'd rather make pretty jewelry.

Bumblebee and Sophie said...

Great post, we are going to see a financial planner this week, I will figure out my worth and add those figures to the mix!!

Lexiekinprints said...

Wow, great post!
I can fill in the blank for the daycare cost. Its $1000 per month for us, that is on the high end for our area.

saraelynch said...

excellent compilation of how things boil down.

PaintedMemoriesByRosella said...

No matter how far women's rights have come, we are still undervalued!
Let's see I've been married 44 years but we didn't have children for 5 years so 39 x $92,000 would be $3,588,000 owed to me! Wouldn't that be fabulous if I could only collect!

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