Here’s a neat article that assigns work values to the many tasks taken on by a homemaker in the course of a week. I’m a little skeptical that the 80+ hours totalled here is a reasonable average but this seems to be a better approach than the recent Salary.com study that assigned a huge value of about 116,00 annual to stay at home mom work. Here is the calculator they provide. That really does not jive with a rational view of how to pay people for doing work. As the first article notes one realistic approach is to ask “what would somebody else do all this work for?”, though they also note that we undervalue domestic work in our economy. I agree but don’t think we undervalue it enough to justify the claim of 116k. For example if that was actually available to people to do the work you’d see a huge number of other professionals “apply” for homemaking jobs, which in turn would bring down the wage as demand for the job soared.
What is a realistic number? Good question…working on that and paying myself handsomely for doing it.