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If one parent works and the other parent stays home, should the working parent help around the house and with the kids?
Let’s break this down. My wife is a full-time mom. I wouldn’t say she doesn’t work. Only that she doesn’t get paid. But what if she did?
Low hanging fruit first, daycare. This one’s easy. Day care is $1,200 per kid per month. We have 3, so that’s $43,200 annually. Alright, that’s not too bad. But oh wait! She also cleans up all of our messes and washes our clothes. Housekeeping with laundry service generally runs $200 a day. That’s $73,000. I didn’t give her weekends off because, remember, I’m not helping out and this shit still needs to get done!
Oh, I forgot about how she cooks too. Let’s say she cooks 7 times a week. Chef services are about $55 per hour if you supply your own ingredients. $20,075 down the drain.
Also she does physical therapy with my son. We’ve had therapists come to the house. That’s $100 an hour! At 3 times per week, throw another $15,600 into the pile, please.
That doesn’t even begin to cover all the other things she is: psychiatrist, chauffeur, advocate, personal assistant to 6-year-olds, mail screener, exterminator, nursemaid, best friend. Don’t even think you can put a price on that stuff, but let’s call it another 80K. That’s what Leonardo DiCaprio pays for his personal assistant.
So when we add it up we get a $231,875 annual salary. Personally I think that undervalues her, but that’s fair market value for my wife if I do nothing at all to help.
So when we add it up we get a $231,875 annual salary. Personally I think that undervalues her, but that’s fair market value for my wife if I do nothing at all to help. I can’t afford to pay her that, so really I’m getting a deal. Of course that’s the wrong way to think about it. The right way to think about it is that you have a partnership. And partners help each other out.
I could come home from work and let my wife do the dishes and cook the meals and put the kids to bed all by herself. But I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror knowing she was tired and stressed while I was sitting on my ass. And I doubt I would have stayed happily married for as long as I have.
Corey Herbert has been a father since 2004. He has twins. Read more from Quora below: