A stay-at-home mum should earn a $225K salary if they were paid, says new survey

This is what a stay-at-home mum would be paid according to a new survey
This is what a stay-at-home mum would be paid according to a new survey Photo: Shutterstock

We all know that being a mother is one of the toughest (yet most rewarding) jobs in the world.

But how much would a stay-at-home mum earn if they were paid a salary? That's the question the team at Salary.com set out to answer, by "putting a price tag on a priceless job."

And the answer is ... US $162,581 or approximately AUD $225,000 a year. (For perspective, the national full-time median salary hit $66,000 a year in 2018. 

To come up with this very precise - and rather large - figure, the analysts selected a handful of jobs they say "reflect a day in the life of a mum."

It's quite an exhaustive list: CEO, Art Director, Psychologist, Laundry Manager, Nurse, Judge/Magistrate, Bookkeeper, Dietician and Plumber to name just a few of the "core competencies."

Stay-at-home parents even received a pay rise this year, with a salary increase of $5,000 from 2017 earnings. That said, the calculations are based on a 96-hour working week or two-and-a-bit full time jobs. (Last year, one study found that mums work the equivalent of 2.5 jobs, clocking on at 6:23am and off at 8:31pm, so this part of the survey certainly checks out).

Keeping in mind that this isn't exactly scientific research and it's been conducted in time for US Mother's Day, there's still a fair bit to unpack here.

Depending on whether you're a stay-at-home mum, a full-time working mum or a mum who works part-time, you're likely to look at these results in a number of different ways. And that's OK. They certainly raise a few talking points.

Can you really put a price on motherhood? Should you? Does adjudicating sibling fights really classify you as a "magistrate". Does unblocking the toilet really make you a "plumber". Is motherhood a "job" when there's no sick leave or holiday pay and your boss (who likes to micromanage) is still in nappies? And given the pay gap - would dads get paid even more for the same role?

These are just some of the questions we - and mums around the world - are pondering. 

When it comes down to it, however, there's one thing we can all agree on - paid or not, motherhood is certainly a labour of love.

And for the record, we reckon stay-at-home mums are worth every penny and more.