If you had $1000 to donate to a charity, which of the following would you pick?
Working Inside and Outside the Home
Author: Jeannie Fleming-Gifford
CEO, Facilities Manager, Cook, Teacher, Psychologist, and Computer Operator, among others. These are some of the roles defined in a day’s work of being a mom.
Salary.com determined that a stay-at-home mother could be paid as much as $134,121 for her contributions as a housekeeper, cook, day-care center teacher, janitor, and CEO, among other functions. The stay-at-home mothers surveyed said they logged a total of 92 hours a week performing those jobs.
Meanwhile, those mothers who also continued to work outside the home would earn $85,876 in their mom role, assuming a 50-hour week, plus whatever salary the working mother draws from her job outside the home, working an average of an additional 44 hours.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all earned that type of money for the role of being a mom (of course the adoration of our family is worth something too)?
Whatever the financial worth of motherhood, it seems that the emotional price is heavy as women weigh the worth of staying at home or working outside the home after the birth of a child.
Focus on what works best for your family. Don’t let everyone else tell you what is best. Sometimes it’s as simple as listening to what your gut instinct is telling you. Also be open to really looking at your situation and assessing it. If things aren’t going well, be open to change. To no one’s surprise, most women deciding to return to work stated financial and medical insurance as the two reasons for doing so.
Sometimes there are benefits of returning to work, such as the quality of a childcare program. It is true, quality childcare programs today offer everything from state of the art facilities to extracurricular activities (from foreign language to music!). Identifying the right caregiver is one of the hardest and most important aspects of returning to work.
It should also be noted that there are other options that can be considered for women looking to be at home, but also seeking an income. Outside of the traditional beauty supply and home décor sale businesses, there are other business opportunities to consider. Telecommuting to the office, freelancing, contracted work, and even data entry offer the opportunity for women to be more at home than away while still maintaining an income and possible benefits.
Whether at home or at work, all women need to maintain balance, keeping themselves happy and healthy.
Salary.com noted the worth of moms, both working inside and outside the home. There are many hats to wear in this role and many paths to take in doing the "job". The good news is that there is no one right road, no one answer. There are many options and considerations to make. Whichever path you do choose, most importantly, enjoy the ride.
Tips for Making It Work
- Teamwork: Consider and use your resources. Talk either with your spouse or other support systems and consider the implications and expectations of those around you; what they can do for you and what they can do for your child.
- On the Same Page: Before deciding to leave the workplace, be sure you and your partner have similar expectations in terms of parenting and home responsibilities.
- Remain Active: Throughout parenthood, whether through your profession, volunteering, or hobbies, remain active and engaged, maintaining a sense of self. Healthy parents = healthy kids.
- Show Me the Money: Consider your lifestyle and the finances that you need to make it happen. What are you willing to do without? What are your goals as a family? What do you need to make this happen?
- Be Confident: Whether working in the home or outside the home, be confident about your choice and respectful of others. Women do it differently. Families do it differently. There is no one right path to the destination of raising happy, healthy kids.