The recent attack by Democratic strategist and Obama adviser Hilary Rosen on the work of stay at home moms struck a cord for a lot of people, including me. Through the years on the radio, I’ve given plenty of anecdotal stories about the hard work my mom and now my wife have put in and continue to put in on a daily basis, raising their respective families. I suppose it’s fair to say that I get a tad bit defensive about the topic only because I know the great value of having a stay at home mom, and I also know the crock it is when people suggest that doing so isn’t “working.”
Obviously some people don’t mean the comment to be offensive, nor are they truly attempting to attack the value or significance of being a housewife. Many simply mean working outside the home when they say the word “work.” I also don’t want to turn this into a political correctness thing where everybody has to use precise terminology when referencing stay at home moms, lest they become the victim of an onslaught of hostility. My problem isn’t the terms we use, it’s the attitude and the perspective.
Rosen embodied much of the left’s views on the seriousness of being a housewife. To them, it is a decision that some women make that while perhaps laudable for its goals, is still something to be lamented. The world has lost the influence of a woman, they muse. Hardly. By staying home and raising their children, women influence the world in a far greater way than working in any office ever could. That isn’t cliché, it’s truth.
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But nevertheless, family focused women continue to bear the brunt of the left’s shattered expectations routine, having to defend the fact that they don’t “bring home a paycheck.” It made me start thinking: as a teacher I get a lot of email forwards from other teachers that all talk about the value of teaching and its importance. Some of them are inspiring, some of them are humorous, and then there are some that are a little defensive. One of the emails I remember getting was entitled “What Teachers Should REALLY be Paid,” and it was a run-down of all the various tasks a teacher took on in the course of a day and what the relative compensation was for similar jobs outside of education. It was interesting.
So I started wondering if there was a similar assessment for what stay at home moms would be bringing home if they did the very same tasks outside the home. Lo and behold, Salary.com had the answer:
Amid renewed discussion of the value of stay-at-home moms thanks to a Democrat advisor’s decision to accuse stay-at-home mom Ann Romney of having “never worked a day in her life,” a popular study has found that such moms should be making six figures for their 24-hour workdays.
In this year’s survey of thousands of stay-at-home moms, Salary.com came up with $112,962 as the right compensation for the domestic daily grind - considering the market rate for the hours worked as cooks, teachers, child psychologists, drivers and chief executives.
Previous calculations in the past four years have put the number between $115,432 and $122,732.
Based on what I saw my mom do, and what I watch my wife do, I think this estimate may still be a tad low. Why instead of complaining about the betrayal of the feminine mystique, aren’t these liberal feminists demanding the government start paying stay at home moms what they’re worth? Though it would be a nice change, I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas.