Tuesday, May 8, 2007

If you needed a reason to stay home with your kids...

If you need reassurance that what you do is valuable:

Survey: 10 jobs moms work would bring in $138,095 a year


Story Highlights• 40,000 mothers responded to survey at Salary.com
• Mothers explained what their job entailed, how many hours they worked
Salary.com says mothers work at least 10 jobs, put in 92 hours per week
• Company used median salaries for jobs, calculated work hours for each

(Reuters) -- When Tricia Himawan was a financial analyst, she worked 50 hours a week and earned about $75,000 a year. Now, she works, by her estimation, about 119 hours a week doing 11 different jobs, and, for 10 of them, she makes ... nothing.

"I work nonstop as a mother," says Himawan, of West Orange, New Jersey, as she breast-feeds her nine-month-old son Jonas and watches over 4-year-old Juliana.

If she were paid for her work as a mother, she would be earning almost $140,000 a year.

That is the conclusion of research conducted by Salary.com, a firm based in Waltham, Massachusetts, that specializes in determining compensation. Himawan was one of 40,000 mothers who responded online to Salary.com explaining what their job entailed and how many hours they worked. (Book urges mothers to stay in work force)

The typical mother puts in a 92-hour work week, the company concluded, and works at least 10 jobs. In order of hours spent on them per week, these are: housekeeper, day-care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive officer and psychologist. By figuring out the median salaries for each position, and calculating the average number of hours worked at each, the firm came up with $138,095 -- three percent higher than last year's results. (Audio Slide Show: Evolution of motherhood)

Even mothers who work full-time jobs outside the home put in $85,939 worth of work as mothers, according to Salary.com.

"My work is my family right now, and my backbone is about to break," says Himawan, who now also works at home as a real-estate broker."My baby is on my hip 24 hours a day."

If you need convincing that it is wise financially:

This is an excerpt of an email Nick sent me while listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show:

He was talking to a lady who wanted to quit her job and stay-at-home with her kids. Of course, they were worried about how they would make it work financially. He did some math, subtracted the income they'll lose and added the daycare costs. Then he asked how many meals they actually cook at home. She said hardly any because they don't have enough time after they get home from work. He also asked how many of those meals were fast-food and she said the majority of them. He told her that if she would cook 75% of the time or more that they really wouldn't take a huge hit in their lifestyle. He said "it's a little cheaper to work full-time and eat junk but most people would prefer spending more time with their kids, eating healthy, and having a little less each month." He also said, "my wife stayed home when we got married and didn't have kids, stayed home when we first had kids, stayed home when we became rich, stayed home when we went through bankruptcy, stayed home when we both didn't have jobs, and has stayed home as we've built back our wealth.... I wouldn't change any of it. It's what she felt called to do and I wasn't going to let money change that."
I thought it was interesting that he said food is more expensive when both parents work. The other thing he said was more expensive is gas. Not many people think about those extra expenses but he said if they would a lot more people would stay home with their kids.


Yesterday Focus on the Family sent out a letter from Dr. Dobson in which he talked about having children and raising the next generation. In it, he talked about what a noble and even spiritual thing it is to have children and raise them well. Our society is heading more and more toward the feeling that children are too inconvenient. Children are expensive, time consuming, and require sacrifice, all things that our society would rather avoid.

Two examples at opposite extremes are: in Seattle, there are nearly 40% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs. Now, I would expect those to be different, but not That different. To be blunt, liberals don't have as many kids. :)

If people decide to stop having kids, there is a distinct possibility that the population rate in the US will begin declining. This is happening in Europe. More people die every year than are born. Does this strike you as weird? That's one reason the economies in Europe are so bad - there aren't enough people to keep them growing.

I can email you the letter if you are interested, but the biggest thing I took away from it is simple and yet profound. It is God's will for married couples to have and raise children. It's not just some by-product of sex. It's not an accident. We are carrying out God's will in the earth just by raising Godly children. And hey, if the liberals quit having kids, maybe someday we'll outnumber 'em?

Dobson goes so far as to say: "At this point, it is critical that I make a few important distinctions. My intent here is not to heap undue guilt on married readers who, for any number of reasons, do not have children. I am fully aware, as well, that there are many couples out there who desperately desire to have kids but have not been able to do so as a result of infertility, miscarriage and other physical complications. Neither is it my goal to criticize those who have not yet found a spouse or those who, through the specific leading of the Lord, have chosen
to remain single.

My comments are directed primarily to married couples who view having children as
simply another “lifestyle choice”—and an undesirable one, at that. I believe that attitude
contradicts what we know from Scripture about the blessing of children and the high
calling of parenthood."

And then he quotes Alfred Mohler: “My concern is with those couples who, now freed by contraceptives from the ‘threat’ of children, have simply decided that they will choose to be married but will choose not to have children. The rise of ‘lifestyle’ childlessness is a new thing
among human beings—much less among Christians—and it is a willful rejection of
God’s procreative purpose for marriage.”

He continues: "In his blog at albertmohler.com, Dr. Mohler sums up the argument this way:
Marriage, children and sex are part of one package. To deny any part of
this wholeness is to reject God’s intention in creation—and His mandate
revealed in the Bible . . . Those who reject children want to have the joys of
sex and marital companionship without the responsibilities of parenthood.
They rely on others to produce and sustain the generations to come . . . The
church must help this society regain its sanity on the gift of children. Willful
barrenness and chosen childlessness must be named as moral rebellion.

Dr. Mohler’s perspective might seem harsh, but it is difficult to take an honest reading
of Scripture and come to any other conclusion. Consider this familiar passage from the
book of Psalms: “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is
the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with
their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5, NIV). It is a serious error to intentionally
avoid or reject something that the Lord calls a “gift” and a “blessing,” especially in the
interest of pursuing selfish financial gain or fleeting pleasure."

Anyway, I found all of that riveting. As difficult as raising kids sometimes is, and Dobson is the first to say that, it is God's will. Pretty encouraging, I think...


  1. Great information in this post! We haven't yet been blessed with children but I am so happy that when it does happen I can be home with them the majority of the time. It is amazing how much money we have saved with me working from home, I can only imagine once we are a larger family how important it will be. I have several friends who have decided to not ever have children. I can accept it if God makes the choice for you but I can't see making it for yourself.

  2. Wow, a great post, Sara! This is a side that you don't hear often-very refreshing and good to know I'm headed in the right direction! :)