Guess what! In 2011, Forbes magazine publicized a stay-at-home-mom’s annual salary as $115,000! The calculation was developed by a survey from salary.com. It counted these 10 jobs as typical for a SAHM:
“A day-care teacher, as household CEO, psychologist, chef, housekeeper, laundry, PC-or-Mac operator, facilities manager, janitor, and driver.” Forbes said, “The breadth of Mom’s responsibilities is beyond what most workers could ever experience day-to-day. Imagine if you had to attract and retain a candidate to fill this role?”
WUSA9 jacked us up to $143,000.00, in 2016, but the base number was $48,509 — for a 40-hour work week, the rest, overtime.
In my case, I can add educator to the list. My 22-year-old, 20-year-old and 14-year-old sons have never spent a day in public school. So I can add salaries for principal, administrator, counselor and teacher to my list. Two years ago when my husband left the family unit, I added blogger to my repertoire. Yep, another non-paying job. So now I’m 49, a single Mom, homeschooling my third son through high school. I genuinely cannot envision starting at a bottom rung and working my way up in a new career ladder. Not that it can’t be done at my age, but I still have the homeschool job, the family house, and three tenants. Full-time, full-concentration won’t fly. I have applied to several part-time jobs, especially those with health insurance, but the ones that require a resume? I’m at a bit of a loss. Lately I’ve been plugging away at testing for community college credit. Maybe that is something I can put on a resume. Homeschool Mom doesn’t seem to work. I love that salary.com did that survey and that Forbes magazine published it. It’s nice that all those jobs added up in value to someone somewhere. To be honest, just because we do all those jobs, doesn’t mean we are good at them all, or that we like them. As far as schooling, I subcontracted everything that was over my head. Beyond elementary, the main goal was to teach them to learn any subject by their own diligence. God knows they have gaps just like any public schooled student.
By salary.coms measure the jobs I qualify for are, first, “A day-care teacher.” Uh no, I did my duty with the toddler years. I hope the next short-stuff I deal with is a relative, i.e. grandchild. Next is “Chef.” I have seen and cleaned one too many pots of spaghetti to want to go anywhere near a kitchen. My high schooler already cooks more than I do, maybe he will go culinary. These four, “Housekeeper, laundry, facilities manager, or janitor?” I spent years drawing a map to the trash bins, now that the boys finally know where they are I want to enjoy a year or two with help before I’m all alone with trash duty. I have introduced boys to a string of vacuum cleaners so long maybe I qualify as a match-maker. But between them and the laborador I have plenty of janitorial duties to keep up with while I’m at home. In pretty short-order (being late on a few favorite shirts will take care of this one) I got the three to do their own laundry, so if I don’t do it for them, you can’t pay me enough to do it all day somewhere else. I think driver was on that list too, but I hate driving so much I think it’s possible I was descended from royalty. My kids are millennials, so my computer skills were obsolete by the time the first one was a teenager, so no-go there.
The CEO, psychologist and administrator positions are where I did the most work. It is just too bad that a translation to a salary is a non-starter. I’ve heard that a good CEO has to spend money to make money. I’ve got half of this down pat, we spent a lot of money and made a lot of stuff, just not money. I would say that my kids are very psychologically well-balanced, but damn if I know if that is because of me or in spite of me.
That degree sounds more and more important for me now, but I’ll admit, the prospect of being a newbie in a field as a fifty-something does not sound very inviting. That degree also assumes I can get one of us through high school at the same time.
But for now, this is my resume. I will find something to help keep the roof over our heads as the boys finalize their walk into independence. I will keep learning as I teach. Tell ya what, I’m looking forward to settling into a sustainable routine so I can continue to fill blog pages with the “breathing’s of my heart.” If being a SAHM taught me anything it’s that the best things in life don’t necessarily fill my pockets.