As mothers I’m not sure that we pause to think of the economics behind everything we do (and I don’t think it matters if you’re a SAHM or one that works). We’re the ones that get up with our kids in the morning and drop everything to rush to school when they’re sick. Many of us pay all the bills, do all the grocery shopping and run all the errands. We are the CEO’s of our little slice of the world making decisions that affect the livelihood of everyone around us.
Moms choose to wear many hats- short order cook, cleaning lady, nurse, coach, math teacher and psychologist. And, we’ve learned to be adaptable and flexible making changes in parenting strategy on a moment’s notice. We’re often circus performers as we can juggle, tame wild beasts and clown when needed. We work at least ten different jobs in one day depending on the needs of our families.
So, how much are we worth? This question was posed on Facebook in a group of some of the most talented women I’ve ever met. Some of them have been working moms forever. A few came back to work last year after staying home with kids. All of us wound up unemployed, looking for the next big thing and asking the same questions. What’s our value? I’m a researcher by nature so I Googled it.
It seems that the average working mom is worth $124,892 with a base salary of $34,000 and $90,000 of overtime for mom duties (wouldn’t that be great if we got paid that for all we do? The overtime, I mean). But it really doesn’t answer the bigger question of how do we as mothers value our expertise in so many areas when looking for a job? And how do we have the courage to ask?
Last week, I was presented with an opportunity that honestly was a pretty good professional fit. Until we got into all the nitty gritty. I was going to have to work 8-5 with no flexibility. And, I was going to have a 30 mile commute three times a week. As a mom, that didn’t really work for me. I was too far away from my child in case of emergencies and I’d probably never see her with school and dance.
But the biggest deal breaker for me was the compensation. I was offered a base salary that was $5,000 below what I made when I came out of grad school in 1994 (when adjusted for inflation). And, the commission potential was less than I made in the 2004 (the last time I worked a traditional 8-5 job). With 20+ years of experience, coupled with the fact that they contacted me which meant they were really interested, I was quite frankly insulted. So, I declined.
Professionally, I am worth a helluva lot more than that. Personally, I value myself as a good mother and feel that our lives work well just the way they are. So, I am still sticking to my plan to look for the perfect fit. In the meantime, I’ve secured a couple of clients and will work for myself. That means I can still work all my other jobs- chauffeur, professional organizer and amateur tennis player- just to name a few.
I know what I’m worth. How about you?