A friend of mine sent me this salary calculator - What is a Mom's Work Worth?. Pretty interesting but at the same time, completely depressing and thought-provoking.
According to Salary.com, my work as a mom is worth $147,639 a year. Well, let me be clear----this is NOT reflective at all of what is in (or not in) my bank account so something is wrong!!!!
My salary report shows that the majority of my "mom" time (as opposed to working the day job time) is spent either as a Cheif Executive Officer or as a Day Care Center Teacher. In other words, I spent most of my time managing the household/family and taking care of/teaching my daughter. That is pretty accurate.
(Sidenote: Dont get offended---I am a working mom and that is the only perspective I have on the situation and so the only perspective I can write from. I remember what it was like to be single but the memories are fading fast. Right now, my life is focused on finding the balance between being a mom, a person, a wife, a professional, and a friend. This is my view on the situation; doesnt make me right or wrong and it doesnt make you right or wron either!)
The calculator got me thinking. A lot of my friends are still single or are not parents yet. I envy their evenings full of shopping, running errands at whatever pace suits them that day, and dinners out at any old palce they want to go to. I work 40+ hours a week at my day job to bring home a paycheck that barely covers the car bills, day care, and a few household items. My evenings are filled with bathtime, blankie searches, temper tantrums, and spoon sirplanes just to get 2 bites of dinner into a 2 year old's mouth.
You see, when I leave work, I dont get to just go home. I am leaving one job to go to the next. Sure, I may need to leave the office at 4 pm during the week to take care of my daughter but how does that make me less of a hard working employee? Trust me, I am not leaving the office so that I can go home and party! I am cleaning up dirty diapers and folding laundry for the fourth time that day! And when you are sitting on your couch watching tv at 10 pm, I am on my computer working on the things that I had to stop at 4 pm; I have to work at home because I have to prove the rest of the office that I am still a damn good event planner; that being a mom hasnt somehow harmed my abilities and dedication to the office. (This is part of the Mommy Track issue I wrote about the other day--just because I sing the ABCs and I know all the characters on Dora the Explorer does not mean that I lost brain cells!)
But the job I am going home to....its a non-paying, 24 hours a day, thankless job. If someone actually posted the job description as a classified in the Help Wanted section with the headline "No sleep, No free time, No Pay!", who the hell would respond to that!?!?!?
The job at home is the hardest, most demanding, and most rewarding job I have ever had. There are days when I dont know if I am going to make it; there are days when I miss my "pre-Mommy life"; there are days when all I want to do is sit on the floor and cry. But....there are also Grace's hugs and kisses on her way out the door to day care; there are first steps and first words; there are days that I cannot imagine my life any other way.
SO, pay or no pay, I am so glad that I have 2 jobs---the event planning is fun and it does pay some bills and being a mom is the best thing I have ever done.
Average Weekly Hours at the Day Job: 45
Average Weekly Hours at the "Mom Job": 61
Average Working Hours Per Day: 15
The worth of a mom's work? Priceless!
(BUT if someone wants to pay me, let me know!)