If Stay-at-Home Parents Were Paid for Their Work, They’d Make a Shocking Amount

In news that stay-at-home parents will probably not find terribly surprising, they’d be compensated to the tune of six figures if a salary accompanied the gig. According to data collected by Salary.com, stay-at-home parents would earn a grand total of $162,581 per year if they were paid.

The amount of work stay-at-home parents do is often underestimated and undervalued, so this study totally vindicates the moms and dads who work approximately 96 hours per week when all is said and done. Researchers interviewed 15,000 stay-at-home moms to come up with this number — and the study found that it would be an understatement to say that these parents wear a lot of hats.

For starters, it’s considered a “hybrid role” that includes a seriously wide variety of jobs, such as academic advisor, art director, CEO, dietitian, event planner, janitor, logistics analyst, photographer, plumber, teacher, psychologist, tailor and tax accountant. (I’m exhausted just reading that list, but probably not as exhausted as the parents who, you know, actually do all this hard work.)

Still, we’re sure some naysayers will say that salary sounds too high. But it adds up correctly in our book when you take into account what parents would spend on things like food and childcare if one parent wasn’t able to stay at home full-time.

“My husband would need to put the kids in daycare so he could return to work,” mom Jackie Semmens wrote in Mother.ly. “He’d probably have to hire a housekeeper and, while I don’t think there are any personal chefs for hire in our small town, he would doubtlessly spend more money on take-out. For those nights that he worked late, and weekends when last-minute projects came up, he’d need a sitter. He’d probably have to hire someone to help with the yard work, too.”

Of course, in order for one parent to stay at home, the other needs to earn a salary high enough to support the family — because that $162,581 paycheck isn’t going to arrive anytime soon. And just because both parents have full-time or part-time jobs doesn’t mean they’re not still doing a lot of the work that stay-at-home parents do. (And let’s be real — most of that work usually falls to the moms.)

All parents are rock stars, but it’s sometimes assumed that stay-at-home moms and dads have more time to kick back than their employed counterparts. Plus, the phrase “working moms” is often thrown around, implying that a stay-at-home role isn’t a whole lot of work. But it is, and you don’t have to take my word for it — the data doesn’t lie, and stay-at-home parenting is a valuable role in more ways than one.

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