It is not easy running a household and it may even be more challenging than any corporate job we may work.
There has always been a misconception that stay-at-home parents, who are usually mothers, are living an easy life. Just because they are at home does not mean they are having a spa day every day. Mothers put in the same amount of work, if not more, as an employee would in their office. It is not easy running a household and it may even be more challenging than any corporate job we may work. There are more hours to put in and there is almost never is off-time. It is unpaid labor that gets underestimated. But a report has finally been able to affix a monetary value to the work stay-at-home parents put in.
Every year, Salary.com publishes the pay stay-at-home mothers would get if their efforts were treated like other jobs. According to the most recent report, a mother would be earning a six-figure salary. The report stated: "This year's study gave consideration to traditional roles – like a housekeeper, dietitian, and daycare teacher – and newer roles – like network administrator, social media communications, and recreational therapist." In 2019, the number they arrived at was $178,201. This was a $15,620 or a 9.6% increase since the preceding year.
The pandemic and quarantine over the past year and a half, has wreaked havoc on the job market for women and made work at home even more burdensome. Despite all the progress in society, household work is still considered a woman's job, even though she has a full-time job, just like her husband. Either working mothers have been stretched thin from juggling office work and household work or were forced to quit their jobs to become full-time carers for their children. Almost 1-in-2 or 45 percent of mothers with school-age children were not actively working last April, as per the U.S. Census Bureau data. They were either on paid or unpaid leave until they lost their job.
‘So in the single year… we wiped out three decades of progress of women in the workforce.’ — Women, particularly mothers, have been disproportionately impacted by a loss of jobs during the pandemic pic.twitter.com/iQTmzzl586— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 20, 2021
Stay-at-home mom Amber Jaye Robinson told Parents.com, “I have been asked on multiple occasions what I do all day, while others take the ‘I could never do that’ approach. People are now praising me and reaching out for my schedule. They want to know how I structure my day. All of a sudden I don't seem so crazy about having super strict nap times.” Belittling the efforts of stay-at-home mothers is not a new phenomenon. It's only when they have to do the same thing for a day that they understand the effort that goes into it.
"Parents hold the ultimate hybrid job at home. They’re CEOs, judges, academic advisors, and so much more,” Sarah Reynolds, Vice President of Marketing at Salary.com stated. “The role of Mom requires a diverse skillset that commands serious market value in the talent market, and with new demands on Mom’s time arising every day, we only expect their market value to increase in the future. The immense dedication and work ethic of modern moms does not go unnoticed or unappreciated, and we were not at all surprised at the increased salary we calculated this year, nor do we expect this pace of growth to slow over the next five years.”
#COVID19 has exacerbated existing gender gaps.— Gender & Health Hub (@genderhealthhub) December 4, 2020
Have you seen our new #Gender and #Digital Health Infographic Series? https://t.co/upQIVAEAbY #16Days #OrangeTheWorld #GenerationEquality #SayNoToOnlineGBV #EndViolenceAgainstWomen #VAWG @UNU_IIGH @gatesfoundation @cabreulopes pic.twitter.com/jVol9axIFi
Heather Bolen, a mother of two told BBC, "For all of the skill sets that I have, both from my corporate life, from international moves, from my own education … I felt so embarrassed for having stayed home with my children. I was completely incredulous that I felt shame." This was in reference to her gap from working after having children. The prospect of mothers returning to the workforce does not look promising because of how their break is treated. But thankfully, the conversation around stay-at-home parents is changing. It is being recognized for the real work that it is and hopefully, corporates acknowledge it as well.