Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hardest job but it DOES NOT cost $134,121

Mom's are the best. Sorry Dads, if your kid skins their knee, or is throwing up, or has an issue with another kid...they want comfort from mom first and foremost. They are just better at the touchy feely nuturing that kids want and need. Dad is WAY better at wrestling on the floor, playing catch, helping with math, building new toys, fixing old ones, and so on.

Dad's, well most of them, can barely even handle watching the kids (especially when kids=2 or more) for a few hours. If you're one of those dads who can good for you...I can't. My family and friends know that I can't and my famous line on this is that I would rather go fight in Iraq than have to be the sole custodian of my two kids for an extended period. I think it stems from me having basically what I'll calling engineer DNA in me. I want things to be in order, for most actions and reactions kids (and adults) have to be logical. To be able to reason with those around me....ok, I know you're laughing at this point, but there's more.

I can pick up the kids from school, take them to the doctor, I can clean, I can do laundry and if we are going to eat something tasty or complex or just downright amazing I'm the one who cooked it (sorry honey, but you know that's true). BUT, except for cooking, I would rather someone else do those things. Yes, along with being engineering anal I'm also selfish. Well, I accept my flaws and know I'm not going to change. Thank God my lovely wife accepts this as well.

When I saw the various articles about a study released today on what it would cost to pay someone to do all the things a fulltime stay at home mom does I saw two problems with it. First is the jobs the study used as a basis for the $134,121 they come up with. I'm sorry but very few moms I know even come close to having the skills to be called facilities manager, computer operator, and a few of the others that I'll just ignore so as to get in less trouble with this post! It's almost never the case that mom alone is acting in those roles. Dad is often fully responsible, even in my case, for some of those duties.

The real hard work of being parents of kids in the range of time zero to 12 years of age (I think by 12 you start putting them to work!) is picking up the house, all the hardcore cleaning, the grocery shopping and cooking and the laundry. Well, we had a great person who would do all of that (although we didn't have her do all of it) for about $2k a month. We wouldn't, and most shouldn't, want anyone other than mom or dad to do the other duties the study used as its basis for value....else you might as well sell your kids since you're not participating in their lives!

So the first thing wrong was the duties they include as part of mom's value and we deleted some of those. The second thing wrong was the shopping factor. You see, if mom has hired help and works guess what two requirements she has met for her to be the consummate shopper? Time and money. The hired help gives her the time, and the job gives her what feels like her own discretionary money (regardless of how you do finances, it feels different to them).

My analysis says a working mom with hired help costs more than the sum of the cost of the hired help and mom's salary. I realize this might only be a valid analysis for me since my wife has affairs with someone named Louis Vuitton, Mark Jacobs and Miuccia Prada (the later suggests she goes both ways!). And in real dollars a full time stay at home mom replacement (for the jobs my wife and I would have someone do) is around $24k a year...and by the way that is not for an illegal alien thank you very much!

In the end my wife, my kids mom, performs the priceless task of holding all of together. She allows me to be who I am and provide the best for my family...she provide most importantly for me, selfish me, who needs lots of attention. So whatever the cost, the value, you attach to mom it's not enough. In virtual dollars she's worth more than retired Exxon Mobile chief Lee Raymond.


Anonymous said...

No, a stay-at-home Mom is not worth $134,121---she's worth 10 times more!! You mentioned shopping, driving kids around, housework, but failed to mention doing all this stuff simultaneously. We Moms are multi-taskers, where you Dads are not. Yes, you help with homework, fix stuff around the house, etc. but you do NOT do it in a timely manner or with the patience that Moms do it with. You may think your wife is only doing 1 thing, but in reality, I bet she's doing many things (and maybe your wife isn't the best example b/c it sounds like she's got help), and she's doing them efficiently! There's no amount of money that could take the place of your kids' Mom taking care of them...and I know that you know that!

Tiny said...

Honey is that you? I know you're awesome but you're going to have to show me some video proof of you driving Tiny-jr to baseball while simultaneously cleaning the toilet! :) And I believe I did say you are priceless!

Schadenfreude said...

I'm with ya, T.

My wife is amazing and she goes all out for our little crouton, but 134k? Puhlease. My wife and I both work, and we have a nanny who comes to the house for about 7 hours a day. Multiply her pay by about 3.3 and you dont come NEAR 134k.

And I hate to say it but especially with sons, there comes an age where boys want little to do with Mom. They want Dad...Dad's the cool one. Only Dad will do. So what's that do to the salary numbers? Last I checked when there was little demand for a position, they downsize.

So how bout we just let parents be parents, take care of the kids in the respective ways the sexes are best at doing it, and stop trying to put a number on it.

Maybe trying to justify and quantify how important the job is should be subordinate to actually doing it.

soxwatch said...

Raymond's payout might seem excessive but careful analysis of the numbers show that oil industry executives have received gusher pay packets. It's not coincidental this is happening at a time when people are paying record prices at the fuel pump. For more analysis of how the oil industry its executives, read:

Tiny said...


Hmmm...well this post wasn't about Raymond's pay package (which I don't think is too high or inapprorpriate) and by the way has nothing to do with SOX. Turns out I'm a Sarbanes Oxley expert and my company automates financial controls and every aspect of SOX along with the financial close and financial statement(dislosure) preparation. It's for the public company comp commitee to decide what they pay their execs. If the share holders don't like it they can vote a new board (which is where the comp commitee sits).

Splash Two said...

Wow - a jump from mom's to oil executives. You never know what you'll get in the comment section.

SOX - could it be that gas prices are high because the cost of a barrel of oil is high? Go figure.

And no, oil executives don't set the price of that barrel of oil.

As to Tiny, you're wife is WAY TOO good for you! ;)

Glock 26 said...

"if we are going to eat something tasty or complex or just downright amazing I'm the one who cooked it"

Downright amazing? WTF? Dude, I admit I've had some tasty vittles at your pad (albeit with 3000 calories per serving), but I have yet to taste anything that is "downright amazing"!!! Either you need to put your hyperbole pen away, or I need to come to dinner!

Tiny said...

hyperbole my ass....ask Mrs. Tiny...I've had comments like "amazing", "better than I've ever had in a restaurant", and so on....and my skills continue to grow!...scary isn't it!

And yes you need to come over.