Follow The Stir

Rant

Stay-at-Home Moms Deserve a Salary

by Michele Zipp on December 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM

money in jarI learned about a friend's sister who gets paid to be a stay-at-home mom and felt grossly underpaid. I love being a SAHM, but come Friday, there are no checks for me to cash, no monetary number put on the work that I do all week with the kids, no salary. This mom in particular gets paid by her husband every week for essentially being the CEO of the household. I don't know the amount she is paid, but I believe it's substantial, as she has her own bank account and expenses that are designated for her to take care of out of that pay.

I was fascinated by this. When I got married and had kids, my husband and I merged our bank accounts. I was a working mom for a couple of years until I began staying home with the kids and freelancing last year. It works for us, but I will admit there are times that I wish I had my own money, something that really reflects what I do each day, and my own account.

For example, whenever I buy my husband something -- for the holidays or his birthday -- it's not always a surprise because he sometimes sees the purchase listed in our bank statement before I give him the gift. There are ways around this, of course, if I paid with cash is one way, but then I have to share why I'm taking money out so he's aware and our bills aren't affected. Same with credit cards since he is technically the CFO and takes care of the bills. 

I also don't like having to ask for money. I don't like feeling like I have to. It makes me feel like I'm asking for permission, for an allowance as if I am 14 again.

I'm going to go buy myself new jeans.

Don't you have a million pairs already?

I need a million and one.

Of course, I'm not just talking about frivolous purchases. But we all deserve those too once in a while.

It's my own fault I'm not more involved in our banking, but when we married and divided up responsibilities, I was happy to give that one up. But there are times I can't help but feel that was a mistake. I'm an adult; I don't want to feel like I have to justify my purchases, but without really having a grasp on our financials, I kind of have to discuss it.

Which is exactly why all stay-at-home moms should get a salary, and perhaps even have their own bank account, or just be more involved in the banking. How much should that salary be? That all depends on how much money is coming in. And with some couples, putting a price on how much the job of a SAHM is worth could cause some major issues. This also goes for stay-at-home dads. What should the stay-at-homes get? Ten percent of the "breadwinner's" salary? Twenty or thirty percent? Should we be in charge of buying the clothes, paying the phone bills, getting the groceries? 

This salary could end animosity. It may give stay-at-homes more self worth by putting an actual monetary value to all we do. It could also make SAHMs as happy as working moms, as studies have suggested those who work outside the home are healthier and less prone to depression. It could even end arguments between couples. Until it's time for a raise. Which SAHMs should be up for every year. I think it's a concept worth discussing.

Do you think stay-at-home moms (or dads) deserve a salary?


Image via Tax Credits/Flickr

Filed Under: a mom's life, childcare, work

Comments

29
  • ruthl...
    -- Nonmember comment from

    ruthless1

    December 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM
    What kind of marriages do these people have? My husband and I are a team...we have money...property...a bank account...and it is all "ours" regardless of how it gets there. I am a SAHM but when my husband does the taxes, for instance, he says "WE" made $X this year. That is because we are a team and we work together for our family. My contributions dont bring in actual cash but they are just as important, and he tells me so on a regular basis.
  • Caera
    --

    Caera

    December 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Stay at home moms deserve a salary for taking care of your own household and children?

    NO THEY ABSOLUTELY DO NOT

     


  • Cynthia
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Cynthia

    December 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM
    I've read many pieces on SAH's worth and it's in excess of $400 000/year for all the roles they juggle and the fact that they rarely have time off or sick days! As a SAHM, I think this is fair, but not reality, esp in today's economy. I would be thrilled to have even $50/month with no questions asked to do with as I please. Unfortunately this also isn't going to happen right now because the money just isn't there with the way my husband's job took a hit in the last few years. My choice right now is to do more work either outside the home or something from home to make the extra money which will just go to helping with the expenses to pay things down faster anyways.
  • MamaH...
    --

    MamaHasWings

    December 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    While I think that stay-at-home mothers deserve recognition for the work that they do, a salary specifically for being a SAHM is a little overboard. There is nothing wrong with a husband giving his wife a little "spending money" for doing a good job but a daily salary? That's a business arrangement, not a marriage!


  • Net1957
    --

    Net1957

    December 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    When my kids were young and I was a SAHM I didn't need a salary. We considered my husband's salary as "our" money and it went into our joint account. If I needed something, either for the household, kids or either one of us, I just bought it with that money. I never had to ask my husband for money or give him a reason for my spending. That's just the way it was and still is. Now the kids are grown, I work full time and the all of our money is still going into the joint account for both of us as we need it.


  • Sam
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Sam

    December 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM
    If you want to get paid, get a job. If you feel animosity towards your spouse because you don't have "your own money" then you need to work on your relationship. If you don't feel like your contributions to the household and the growth of your children are enough of a reward then that's your problem. Why can't we be satisfied with our choices, not worry about what the Joneses are doing, and stop trying to put a value on the gift of raising children to be the best they can be.
  • purpl...
    --

    purpleflower514

    December 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I do get a salary- I get millions of kisses and hugs every day. I get to be the one to teach my kids to read and how much fun it is to watch MASH and Babylon 5 on cold winter days during lunch time. I get to help them learn new skills and snuggle them at nap time. It doesn't pay money but it certainly pays well.


  • Laurlev
    --

    Laurlev

    December 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM
    It would be silly to put our money in a separate account and call it my salary.
  • fleur...
    --

    fleurdelys3110

    December 21, 2012 at 12:14 PM
    Why I would never be a SAHM. Regardless if you call your husbands money "our money", you didn't physically earn it. While that arrangement may work for some people, dependence of that sort would never work for me.
  • Mason...
    --

    MasonsMom503

    December 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM
    I agree with Laurielev. I'm jealous at times of SAHMs because of the amount of time they get with their kids! But then sometimes I'm happy to go to work just to get some alone time!

    Have you thought of selling off stuff you own and don't use? Ebay, craigslist, whatever. Open a paypal account, you can get a paypal debit card. Then you have a "seperate" account of the money you earn. Just a suggestion. :)
1-10 of 29 comments

To leave a comment, log in as a CafeMom member:

Log In

OR, use our non-member comment form: