Moms, we know the value of our role within our families.  Although some days I find myself drifting to sleep feeling guilty about my growing disdain for housework, about losing my patience with the kids, about not being very proficient in the kitchen. Children, especially little ones don’t really have any idea about what moms do all day. And, for the most part they probably don’t really care.  Which is okay.  They are little.  Moms are sort of like magic elves that work out of sight making sure the children have freshly washed clothing to wear and healthy food to eat, paying the bills so the heat and lights stay on, keeping them bathed fairly regularly, making doctor, dental and haircut appointments, signing up for extracurricular activities and list goes on and on.

Have you ever imagined what the financial value of your “mom” work would be?  Well, according to Salary.com in 2013 stay-at-home moms work an average of 94 hours each week.  Moms who work out of the house, put in an additional 58 hours tending to their families and home.  Wow! Now wonder we are an exhausted pack.

Let’s see, according to the survey conducted by Salary.com, the roles we take on include CEO, laundry operator, computer operator, housekeeper, cook, day care teacher, van driver, janitor, psychologist, and facilities manager.  What diverse skills we have!

For 2013, the site estimates that stay-at-home moms should have earned a total salary of $113,568.  Working moms earned $67,436.

I’m really not  a fan of these descriptors, “stay at home” and “working” moms, but have yet to come up with anything more to my liking so will stick with it for now.

My knowledge on this subject isn’t nearly nuanced enough to offer a solution. Should companies offer moms & dads longer paid family leave?  Should the government offer assistance?  I really don’t know.

Select text from Tara Siegel Bernard’s New York Times article on February 22, 2013:

Despite the myriad benefits of paid leaves, the number of employers that offer the time off is dismal. “We know maternity leave is associated with lower infant mortality rates,” saidJody Heymann, dean of the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, L..., and author of the new book “Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving.”

While the United States takes great pride in its family values, it is the only high-income country that does not offer a paid        leave program. (Eight countries in all don’t offer the benefit, according to Dr. Heymann’s research.) Most of Europe and Central Asia — or 38 of 53 countries — provide 26 weeks or more of paid leave for mothers, according to Dr. Heymann’s research. “Twenty years ago there were a few other advanced economies that did not yet provide paid leave, and now, the U.S. is entirely isolated,” she said.

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I do know that what moms do, what all moms do matters. It matters a great deal not only to our children, our partners, but to our communities and the future of our country.

So, what is it exactly that our kids think we do all day? I’ve asked mine and will post their video responses a bit later.  Would love to hear what your kids say!

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Tags: at, career, family, home, leave, moms, paid, paying, reinvention, stay, More…working

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