Economists have weighed in on how much they think a stay-at-home mom should make if she were paid for all the good things she does for her family. (Photo by Lordn/Getty Images)

Mother’s Day is a time to recognize moms for the many things they do for their families. But is that recognition ever really enough? Moms are priceless. I mean, you can’t attach a dollar amount to all the things a mother does, right? Well, some people have tried.

According to, economists using U.S. Department of Labor data have calculated the market value of the work moms do. The Labor Department’s American Time Use Survey indicates that a married stay-at-home mom with a child under age 18 spends around 6.4 hours a day on childcare and household-related tasks. A breakdown of how that time is spent shows how much stay-at-home moms would get based on the average pay for those jobs.

Market Value of a Stay-at-Home Mom’s Labor

  • Child care – 2.63 hours. The average hourly wage for day care services is $13.22, so if a stay-at-home mom got paid that much, it comes to $34.77 a day.
  • Housework – 1.57 hours. The median hourly wage for housekeepers is $14.40, and if a stay-at-home mom got that pay, she’d earn $22.61 a day for cleaning.
  • Food prep and cleanup – 1.79 hours. The average hourly pay for a chef is $24.11, so if a stay-at-home mom earned that much, she’d make $43.16 a day for cooking.
  • Travel related to kids – 0.31 hours. The Labor Department says passenger vehicle drivers earn an average of $18.05 an hour, and if a stay-at-home mom made that, she’d get $5.59 a day for driving her kids.
  • Lawn and garden care – 0.10 hours. Grounds maintenance workers earn around $17.26 an hour, so a stay-at-home mom would get $1.73 for lawn work if she made that wage.

Adding all that pay up for 365 days a year would give moms an annual salary of $39,368.90. That’s not nearly enough! You better get the mom in your life something really nice for Mother’s Day.

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