50 months.

It was brought to my attention recently that I have spent at little over 4 of the last 6 years either pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can I get a “wow”?

That really paints being a mother to young children in a whole different light.

A topic that keeps coming up in my reading and conversations lately is the respect that mothers deserve, yet rarely get. Do we need to start reciting statistics in order to get some props? I think we do. This is how people respond to things. (Ever notice how all the stories featured on magazine covers have numbers or lists?)

So here’s a number: $138,000. According to the website mom.salary.com, this is how much my paycheck would be if I received one for being a stay at home mom. OK – it’s the high end, but I’m a super good mom*. This salary number includes all the tasks a stay at home mom is usually responsible for (chauffeuring, meal planning, housekeeping, facilities manager-ing… you get the picture). They also have a calculator to determine how much a work outside the home mom would make on top of her work salary.

Need more numbers?

  • According to this article on BabyCenter, the average cost of center based daycare in the US is nearly $12,000 a year per child. For a SAHM, this is money she is saving the family. For a WOHM, this is (part of) the price she pays to work. (And the average child care worker earns less than $20,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just sayin’.)
  • As I stated earlier, I chose to breastfeed both my girls until they were 14 and 15 months old, respectively. Had I been buying formula during that time, we would have spent at least $2000 in the first 12 months – this doesn’t include the cost of bottles and accessories. Though I was able to save us the $$ by breastfeeding, moms who work outside the home might have to spend several hundred dollars on an electric pump OR use formula part or full time.
  • We use cloth diapers for my youngest during the day (she wears disposables at night). Had we been buying disposables this whole time, we would’ve spent around $2700 according to diaperingdecisions.com. (NO – I don’t know how much we’ve spent on cloth and accessories, but my guess is $300-$400. You can CD for much less than that, though.) I’m home so it’s not an inconvenience for me, but how many WOHMs have a child care provider that will use their cloth diapers?
  • In Canada, new moms get 15 weeks paid maternity leave (mandated by the government). In the US, the average is 6 weeks (not mandated by the government). BUT this is for working moms. Stay at home moms get 0 weeks. 
OK. So maybe this is just a bunch of numbers and I’m not really making a concise point, but what do you expect? This is just my silly blog and I am trying to do 5 other things right now. And I did nothing in the supposed two years I was “off”(that I was not breastfeeding or growing a baby), except renew my CDA and reconnect to my yoga practice. And probably some laundry – never-ending battle, you know.

* “Super good mom”-ness for the purpose of this blog post is evaluated by me and me alone. The evidence to support that claim may or may not be there, depending on day of the week and time of day.