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I Tallied Up The Market Value Of Everything My Stay-At-Home Wife Does And It’s … A Lot

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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!


Flickr/ Or Hiltch

Fatherly IQ
  1. How often do you and your spouse argue over the family budget?
    Rarely. We set it together and stick to it as best we can.
    Sometimes. We try not to, but it’s occasionally unavoidable.
    A lot. It’s a regular source of contention.
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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: