Mother's Day: Is Motherhood Really A Job?

Laura Vanderkam
motherhood a job
motherhood a job

Every year in time for Mother's Day, Salary.com produces a figure showing how much you'd have to pay for the job of "mom." The answer is always in the six-figures for stay-at-home moms. It is based on mothers' estimates of how much time they spend doing various tasks, which -- like all time-use estimates -- tend to be higher than what time-use studies have found. The dollar figure for motherhood also involves adding a lot of cash for overtime.

In the past, Salary.com has not added the same proportion of overtime to employed mothers' hypothetical salary total. In part for that reason, the "motherhood" paycheck for employed women tends to be about $50,000 lower (though most families that employ full-time nannies while both parents work do not pay that as an annual salary).