Being a mom is the hardest job on earth, so why don’t we get paid

Okay, you know what I hate more than anything? Well, not ANYTHING. I mean I hate a few things more. Like Hitler. And olives. But I digress. Do you know what I hate a whole lot? When I’m standing there with my rugrats and someone asks me if I work. Duhh, do you think these poop machines are raising themselves?

The truth is I used to ask that too BEFORE I had kiddos. Now I’ve changed the way I ask it. These days I’ll say something like, “Do you do anything in addition to the ridiculously hard, super challenging, often disgusting job of taking care of your kids?”

But it got me thinking. This is bullshit. I mean I left a job where I got paid a lot of money for sitting at a desk surfing the web and shooting the shit and going on awesome boondoggle trips. And to think, I used to call that work! Now I work my ASS OFF schlepping two crotchmuffins from activity to activity, wiping their asses, listening to them whine, listening to their grating music, touching poop and boogers and getting down on all fours to scrape crusty old Cheerios off the floor. And for what? $0. Yup, ZERO. Nothing, nada, zilch. Helllllllllo, Mama needs a raise.

I mean, yes, emotionally I get rewarded handsomely when my kids look at me every day and say:

KIDS: Mommy, thank you so much for doing everything you do for us. We are so incredibly lucky to have you with us all day long waiting on us hand and foot. (Shaking head, NEVER HAPPENS)

So in the least, I’d like to know how much my salary should be. Yeah, I know no one’s ever gonna actually pay me for doing the hardest job on earth. But I’d just feel a little better knowing what I’m worth on the job market. So here goes. My calculation of what a Stay-At-Home-Mom’s salary should be.

First I took the salaries of all the jobs a mom does each and every day, and no I didn’t just add them all together.

Housekeeper- $25,000/yr

Nurse- $73,000/yr

Teacher- $58,000/yr

Tutor- $64,000/yr

Chauffeur- $31,000/yr

Dishwasher- $24,000/yr

Chef- $57,000/yr

Personal shopper- $27,000/yr

Nanny- $25,000/yr

Psychologist- $74,000/yr

Sleep specialist- $62,000/yr

Bartender- $32,000/yr

Executive assistant- $46,000/yr


Then I calculated (with a calculator because my brain is basically oatmeal at this point) the average of all of these salaries- $49,286 a year. Hmmm, wait a sec, that seems too low. How can I manipulate this? I forgot! Who the hell works 40 hours a week as a mom? NO ONE. Nope, as a mom you never get a break. I mean yeah, I guess technically you get a break when you sleep at night, but not really because really some kid’s hacking up a lung or having a midnight poop session or pitter-pattering their adorable little feet down the hallway into your room so they can stare at you while you’re sleeping until you wake up and shit a brick because someone’s nose is like two inches from your face when you open your eyes. So nope, no mom works just 40 hours a week.

So let’s multiply this average salary by 3 because really a mom works at least 120 hours a week. AT LEAST. I mean if you think about it I’m leaving off 48 hours still for the weekend which is kind of bullshit because we don’t even get time off from our “job” on the weekends. Sure hubby gives me breaks, but we’re talking like a few hours to go buy toilet paper and wax so my bikini line so it doesn’t turn into hair shorts and shit like that. 

So here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. Drum roll please. Buh duh buh duh buh duh buh duh buh duh buh duh buh duh. How much should a Stay-At-Home-Mom be making?

$147,857 a year

Oh, and in case you’re like, yo biatch, WTF, why are you ignoring all of the awesome moms who work outside of the house AND take care of their rugrats when they come home? Amen to that!! You working moms F’ing rock. So if you have a full-time job outside of the house, here’s what you should be making IN ADDITION TO the paycheck you make from work.

$98, 571 a year at home PLUS the amount of your paycheck

So there you go. I know Mr. Jerkwad Nit Picky is probably going to read this and say it’s bullshit because really I’m a housekeeper like twice as much as I am a tutor, but I was too lazy to do the more complicated math. Oh, wait, did I say too lazy? I meant I was too busy working my 120+ hour job wiping poopie tushes and trying to scrub pink Pedialyte vomit out of the fibers of the carpet. And anyways, who gives an F if it’s like 200% perfect or not because really the point is that moms deserve bigger salaries.

All in favor of moms going on strike until we get it, say aye! I vote we all go to the Caribbean and wait for this to be resolved. I mean isn’t there some law that says everyone has to get vacation time anyways? Can you imagine how awesome that would be?

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There are 15 comments for this article
  1. Lorin Mask at 9:02 am

    You forgot IT specialist or CIO…I also fix things all electronic at your house…”Moooooooooom, the printer/fax/Kindle’s not working!!!!, yelled from somewhere in the house. Also, snow removal and yard maintenance. Plus, artist for all things crafty. Even planner for all the parties. I’m sure there’s more! 😉

    • Lorin Mask at 9:03 am

      oops, typo…I meant “all electronic at MY house…”

  2. Rene at 9:23 am

    I can’t claim the “all things IT” since my husband is an IT Systems Engineer and he dies that part. However, I do claim the “all things involving the school.”

  3. Holly at 9:28 am

    I recently stumbled upon your blog and I totally enjoy it!!!! I read your very well put thoughts and think Amen, I’m totally not alone! I recently went back to the full time work force (recently, I mean last week) after being a stay at home mom for almost three years. So now I fall back into the full time mom/ working mom category!

    It’s funny on my way to taking my beautiful little mini’s to school this morning I had to remind them of all that “I” do before they even open those little eyes, before I head off to dropping them off and then going to work and then what continues when I walk in that door somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 depending on traffic!!!

    I went into my ten year olds room this a.m. to “make her bed” cause she should totally be doing that one on her own by now but I am a sucka… and I find dirty undies on the floor I yell “Oldest Chicklet” come pick up your gross undies… And remind her that I am NOT her maid (haha) that she needs to finish the job! She proceeds to raise her voice to me and tell me I am mean and that I am not a nice mom….. What the F? I totally can relate and totally could go on with fantastic stories like this that date back to the beginning of 2004…. Under appreciated and never told thank you mom! But what do you do? I love these three little crumb catchers with all my heart and even though there are days when I think a one way ticket to Hawaii sounds amazing I would miss the little shits and would totally not enjoy, well the first 24 hours might be enjoyed but after that I’d want them in my arms…

    Thank you making me smile and my days better!!!!

  4. Elena at 9:56 am

    Bump that number up for another thousands a year. You are also a freaking stylist/hair dresser/manicurist. Yes I get that at some point toddlers get all fashionistas and pick their own clothes. But hey, we are still doomed clipping their ever-growing-at-the-speed-of-light nails and tying to slap a pony tail or get ther hair looking half gromeed before you storm out the door.

  5. Shannon at 11:15 am

    I agree see you in the Caribbean!!! Haha I wish but one could dream!!!

  6. Micaela Tarantola at 3:43 pm

    Yet another more comprehensive list of the things I have to look forward to once my munchkin becomes mobile! But even as a working mom to a 5 month old…my paycheck and mom “salary” combined is not enough!!! I think motherhood can’t carry a price tag…simply because no one could afford to pay it!

  7. hopeinfreefall at 6:34 pm

    For anyone who wants help with the “what do you do” category of questions, there’s an amazingly insightful blog post/comment section from a website for folks with disabilities that is super helpful. There are so many other ways to tackle this questions and it’s been a huge help for me, so I figured I’d share it for fellow Baby Sideburns fans. Obviously, being a stay at home mom and having a full time disability are different, but the root of the issue is the same. People see us as though we sit at home eating bonbons and playing on the internet all day. I’m a full time mom who homeschools (thankfully with the help of my partner) who also has been battling a chronic illness that continues to worsen for the last eleven years. So, you know, the question, “What do you do?” since it has so many societal markers about “what is your contribution to the job market” and similar concepts, is a pretty loaded question. Anyway, I’m having a rough day so I’ll stop babbling and share the link already. >_> (The comment section is actually really helpful here and is safe to read because this community is full of awesome. I know some comment sections can be insane but, I promise, this one is worth the reading.)

  8. jessics at 12:48 pm

    Ha… get me a ticket I’ll join you! I work full time and raise a very sassy 4 yr old girl! Although she’s my world mommy sometimes needs to remember she’s also a gf, daughter, auntie, and friend to others plus the time for myself. I get up 6 am with her, hubby goes to work, comes home by 4 and i go to work till 12am or 1 closing my store!!! I need a good drink and a hot pool boy to stare at lol

  9. Sunny days at 11:32 am

    You’re not paid because kids don’t have any means to do so. Who should cut you a check? Often men go to work, bring home a paycheck, and support their wives financially. If you want to be paid, you need to get a paying job. You can be a parent and get a paycheck, too.

  10. Lance Dugby at 6:47 pm

    So should single males get paid for all of these things too as I’m pretty sure that I do housecleaning, IT work, dishwashing and almost everything else on this list? You get child tax credits that single working men are PAYING you for every year. So what is our benefit for providing this to you? Nothing. Also, you can’t compare it to a real job as you don’t report to anyone and there are not any severe consequences (termination) for failure at a task. You want to give yourself a nurse salary and a CEO salary?? Laughable to say the least unless you want to get rid of your healthcare coverage that I’m sure your husband pays for. Stay at home moms don’t provide any intrinsic profitability to this country. Tax dollars and probably parents paid for you to go to school for 18+ years and you are basically saying FU to the economy by not utilizing any of those skills to better the environment in the country. On top of all of this, you made the selfish choice to become a mother. Nobody made you do it. I climb mountains (which I guarantee you don’t do) but that doesn’t mean I should get paid to do this incredibly dangerous and laborious work because it is a selfish hobby – just like being a stay at home mom and mooching off someone that is being productive. No company on Earth would pay you $150,000 per year to transfer your responsibilities to their firm unless you’re highly trained (and then the job wouldn’t relate at all to motherhood which requires zero training or education). 120 hours a week of work? Also laughable as no one in the work force gets that much overtime and you are reaping the benefits of someone else working. You can’t tell me that you’re being productive all day when the kids turn 5 and spend 6-7 hours a day at school. You wouldn’t cook breakfast for yourself if you were alone? Just stop kidding yourself and realize that some very patient and also contributing parent is working towards real earnings and productivity so that you can pursue your dreams of being a mom, throwing away your education, and so that you can live a stress free life in which there are few repercussions for bad performance. Give me a freaking break and realize how much you are draining the economy by choosing to procreate and putting yet another liability on America’s Balance Sheet.

  11. Tanks at 2:08 pm

    I’m sorry. You’re NOT a nurse. Nurses go to school, receive specialized training, work ungodly hours and deal with the dying and chronically ill every day. You’re NOT a psychologist, a trained chef, an IT expert, any of those things. Do I think being a mom is hard? Hell yeah. But you’re not on the same level as a trained professional who went to school and spends 40+ hours a week honing their craft. So please stop with the SAHM salary. You are a privileged woman who gets to stay home with her kids. Many of us can’t do that. You get free rent, free food, free vacations, free health insurance. Many of us can’t claim that. Entitlement and whining at its finest!