How Much Salary Should a Stay at Home Mom Earn?

My wife, Tracy, recently went out of town for a few days.  This left me in charge of our two daughters – Ava, age 6, and Ella, 3.  I know how hard Tracy’s job is (I actually stayed home and took care of Ava for 8 weeks shortly after she was born by using the Family Medical Leave Act) but I definitely see it in a new light now.

During this time, I started wondering how much a stay-at-home mom was worth.  I know Tracy gets paid nothing but what she does for our daughters is priceless. recently did a study around Mother’s Day that showed how much a stay-at-home mother would get paid if they earned a salary for the work they put in.  This figure came out to more than $61,000 a year!  Here is a how they came up with this amount:

Mothers Day Index

I know this study was somewhat generous and the careers some of the jobs were tied to were a bit of a stretch but it definitely made me think.  Tracy and I both feel that having her stay home and raise Ava and Ella is very important and we have sacrificed around $250,000 (the amount she would have been paid had she stayed in the classroom rather than at home) for her to do so.  This figure might be higher than the actual amount since we would have had to pay for child care had Tracy continued to teach but it is still a pretty good amount.

Stay at Home Mom

I know that having one parent stay home is not ideal for every family.  Some feel that it is important to have more money coming into the house.  I have no problem at all with that – you have to do what is right for your family.  Tracy and I discussed this long before we had children and felt that having her be a stay-at-home mom for as long as possible was the best situation for our family.

Being in charge of the kids for just one weekend made me appreciate Tracy in an entire different light.  I think she does an amazing job but sometimes it takes walking in someone’s else’s shoes to really see all that they do.  Tracy, thank you for being the great wife and mother that you are!

Photo credit: herzogbr

About Danny Kofke

Danny Kofke is currently a special education teacher and author of “How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s Salary.” His frugality has enabled him to pursue a job he is passionate about and, at the same time, support a family of four on his salary alone.

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  • krantcents

    I don’t care how much you pay, because no one will care for those children like Mom or Dad. We focus on the cost versus the benefit of a caring parent. Simply priceless. When our children were small my wife worked part time. There were only 2 hours per week that she or I were not there.

  • Super Frugalette

    You forgot negotiator! I have to negotiate between my two kids all the time.

  • Lee

    You’ve way undersestimated:
    # hours child care in the real world (parenting is 24/7–sorry but it’s true)
    $ per hour in some locales (large metro areas it’s $17-$22/hr + bene)
    $ per hour interior designer–try more like $50-$100/hr in most metro areas

    All-in-all for a lot of areas this annual salary is WAY too low–I don’t care if it is based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • NextGen Writer – Blog

    Wow, that is a hefty calculation… You saved me from doing math which I hate ;) I am a freelance writer mum and I have a few extra expenses every month… But these bidding sites are damaging our hourly rate big time :(

  • Guest

    So this is what a stay at home mom should be getting paid? What about the single mother who works 5 days a week and still has to do everything listed above?