Monday, May 15, 2006

The value of a stay-at-home-mom

There's a kind of cool salary wizard at Mom Salary Wizard to calculate what moms should make for their "mom job". (There are versions for SAHM's and WOHM's)

According to the wizard, I'm worth $154,096 a year. In contrast, had I stayed at my teaching job, I might by now be making close to $50,000 a year.

And I think it's nice that the "value" of having a parent at home is being recognized. (This article popped up on My Yahoo as one of the top stories last week. ) I think it's certainly a better article than the ones that talk about how a woman is wasting her life, her intelligence, and her self-worth by staying home with the kids. But mainly, I don't need the justification, and I think it reeks of materialism. The joy that I get from staying home is not in realizing the monetary value of what we're saving (although G. will repeatedly tell me, when I consider returning to the paid workforce, how much my staying home SAVES us...). The value and the benefits that I get are the things that are not countable.

I did not start out my parenting "career" as an Attachment Parent, but I grew into it, following my daughter's lead. The more I followed her lead, the more I wanted to BE with her--fulltime. And so I quit my paid job when she was a little over two, and haven't looked back in nine years.

And I read a wonderful quote posted on my friend NewMama's website. Kim Pekin, the President of Natural Family Boutique, said: "I think that love of parenting is one of the biggest benefits of attachment parenting....[while] 'detachment' style parenting makes parenting into a job, another thing on your list of things to do."

I think the two ideas are similar. If you read an article that tells you that, as a stay-at-home mom (or working mom...) you should be making some exhorbitant amount of money, then a part of your mind might start counting out money/fees/charges in your everyday life. But if you realize that the benefits of being home (or being with your child after work...) are your true payment, then you realize that you're not missing out on anything. In fact, you're the wealthier one.

1 comment:

sewingsuzee said...

So nicely said! And true.