I absolutely loathe those evaluations of “the value of a stay-at-home mom.” You know the ones. They tally up the average wages of occupations like nanny, chauffeur, chef, tutor, housekeeper, and nurse and come up with an approximation that her annual salary should be in the neighborhood of 27.4 million dollars.
Give or take.
And then a few working moms jump in who are all “Well I do that PLUS work full-time so my value is even more!”
You guys. Seriously?
I thought those calculations were dumb when I was working full-time outside the home. Now I stay home, and my opinion remains unchanged.
This past weekend our truck needed a major, unexpected repair. The same thing had happened to another wheel a few years ago, and when we took it to the mechanic it cost $1700 to fix. I figured we we’d be writing a check for a similar amount to get it fixed this time, but then something happened.
I drove up to the house, found our truck up on jacks, with my husband underneath.
Within a couple of days it was back up and running, good as new. For maybe $150.
It got me thinking – there may be value in a stay-at-home mom, but there’s also value in having a handy husband.
I started to reflect on all the things my husband has done just in the past couple of years: vehicle repairs, RV maintenance, 2 full bathroom remodels, painting the exterior of our home, landscaping and irrigation installation, and a million other small repair and maintenance projects around our house.
There’s a lot of value in that. But nobody’s adding it up.
Ladies, it may be a little thrilling to see what our monetary value could be in the marketplace. And it gives us a little validation that can be hard to find in the day-to-day.
I find it a little insulting.
After all, if we started to do the same thing for dads and started giving him monetary credit for “babysitting” so we could have a night out with our girlfriends or run to the grocery store without kids in tow, people would be up in arms.
Because that’s just silly.
We can’t have it both ways.
Mamas, there is so much more to life than money. But I also get that in a culture which tends to boil everything down to some sort of dollar value, it’s easy to get caught up in it.
But it’s time to stop buying into it, moms.
Our value doesn’t come from how much (or how little) money we earn, could potentially earn, gave up to stay home, or have in our bank accounts.
Our value comes from the One who gave it to us. Who entrusted our kids to us. Who walks beside us every day.
And whether you work, stay home, or some blend of the two, that’s way more than any contrived salary other people come up with.
I know, mamas. It’s hard. So much of our work is unseen. And even the things that are seen go unnoticed. And even the things that are noticed go unacknowledged.
But thankfully, none of that gives you actual worth – or takes away the worth you already have.
Because none of that has anything to do with a paycheck.
Moms, let’s stop it. Let’s stop looking for our value, worth, and validation in external things and start remembering where it really comes from.
Because the truth is, your value is priceless – and that’s true whether anyone else believes it or not.
How do you feel about those stay-at-home mom salary calculations? Do you like them, or do you find them ridiculous? Let’s start a conversation!
Stop finding your value in money and learn to manage the money you already have in ways that follow God’s principles. Crown Financial Ministries has tools available for you to see whether your current money management strategies actually align with your priorities, and tips on how to make it so if they don’t.
Don’t buy into the lie that your personal worth is equal to your net worth, but instead learn to be a good steward of whatever financial gifts you’ve already been given. See how Crown Financial Ministries can help.