Salary.com recently published its annual assessment of the unpaid labour performed by the typical stay-at-home mom. Its assumptions are laughable, of course — and I say this as someone who actually knows something about what it takes to raise pre-schoolers at home, and finds it infinitely more gruelling than any actual paying job.
So how to respond to such nonsense? My natural inclination is to be petty and insulting. Maybe point out that the same folks who prattle on about how moms should be paid $500/day think nothing of shelling out (say) $50/day to the daycare worker who watches their kids.
Fortunately, my dear parents were visiting from the west coast, and my father offered his usual blend of sardonic wit and non sequiturs. My letter to the editor of the National Post, published today, is his voice entirely:
So, a typical stay-at-home mother performs US$134,121 worth of unpaid labour. As a stay-at-home father of two pre-schoolers, I figure my own unpaid salary should be somewhere around US$174,183. Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, after all.