There are some out there who think that stay at home parents aren’t really contributing. Bollocks to them, I say! It doesn’t follow that just because we’re not bringing in a wage, our time is somehow worthless. Just for fun, I sat down and calculated out what I’d be paid if I was homemaking as a “real job”.
House cleaning: When I worked as a domestic cleaner, the smallest amount of time you could hire a regular cleaner for
was three hours a fortnight. That’s probably about what I do in my own home, just spread out in dribs and drabs instead of happening in one fell swoop.
3 hours a fortnight at $18/hour: $27/week
Feeding people: There’s two ways to look at this one. Am I a personal cook, making things for a household, or should I count the price difference between scratch cooking and what a similar menu would cost if bought as takeout or convenience food? I tend towards the latter, as it’s more realistic for families where all the adults work full-time.
At a quick glance-and-tally session at my local supermarket, the price difference between what I make from scratch and what I could buy premade adds up to about $50 a week.
Child-rearing: Rates for this vary a lot, and I don’t have much experience with out-of-home costs for childcare. A quic
k Google told me the average rates for childcare can vary a lot. Fro this one I assumed the Chipmunk would need to be looked after by someone else for 10 hours a day, five days a week while I was off Earning a Real Living.
Family Daycare at $4.50/hour: $225/week
Fancy Schmancy Daycare Centre at $75/day: $375/week
Garden maintenance: There’s a fair chance my garden wouldn’t be very large if I worked outside the home, and that it wouldn’t as many food plants growing. Tending vegies takes time I probably wouldn’t want to find as a working professional. However, for the sake of completeness, I’ve included some maintenance time anyway.
3 hours a fortnight at $25/hour: $37.50/week
GRAND TOTAL: $339.50 – $489.50 PER WEEK!
Would I pay someone to do ALL these tasks if I worked outside the home? Of course not. But it does give an interesting perspective to the whole argument. Especially when you consider that some people DO outsource all these things, and more, because their work schedules are so hectic. (Light bulb changing service, anyone?)