Happy Mother's Day To The Most Undervalued Workers In The World

I admit, as a mother, I'm very biased on this. There are days where I am constantly moving, from 6 in the morning, when I get up to make breakfast and school lunches for my kids to well past midnight when I get that one last load of laundry in the dryer before collapsing into bed. There are a million and one things I have to keep in mind at all times: schedules, finicky diet preferences, homework assignments, birthday parties, the location of any and all needed sports equipment, electronic devices, gym clothes, shoes, etc. It never ends and each day I feel less behind than the day before is a triumph. I worked for more than a decade in corporate settings and I can tell you that there is no job that is more exhausting, more taxing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually than being a parent. But likewise, there are no jobs that are more rewarding...at least in ways other than financially.

What's mom worth? On the one hand, you could say that she's "priceless." On the other? "$61,436 a year."

That's according to Amy Danise, senior managing editor of Insure.com, a website that supplies insurance information. Danise and her colleagues divided up mom's function into 14 different jobs (cook, driver, nurse, etc.), then used Bureau of Labor Statistics on hourly wages to see how much you'd have to pay if mom were outsourced.

If you didn't have her, for example, you might have to spend $6,285 a year on transportation (taxi driver or chauffeur, priced at $13.43 an hour). For cleaning, you'd have to pay a maid or housekeeper $9.40 an hour, or $7,104 a year. [..]In the 14 jobs attributed to mom, there seems to be a glaring omission: Things she does for dad. Can you put a price on that? People, of course, do but we won't get into that.

Danise acknowledges this deficiency: "That's the function we can't put a dollar value on: love and support."

After all, there's no job category for somebody loving and kind who looks under your bed to assure you there aren't monsters, or who consoles you when you drop what would have been the winning fly ball; nobody who suffers through your piano recital or rides the carousel when she'd really rather not. And no mortician is going to help you bury your pet rabbit.

So, thank you, mom. For all that and for so much more, there really is no value. It's worth all the gold that probably isn't in Ft. Knox.

Julia Howe wrote a poem in honor of the establishment of an official Mother's Day and on behalf of everyone here at C&L, Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there.


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