Would You Want a "Mommy Salary"? - FamilyEducation

Would You Want a "Mommy Salary"?

October 18,2011
Lindsay Hutton

Being a full-time, stay-at-home parent is hard work. In fact, many would argue that it is the hardest job you'll ever have.

In any other profession, being a full-time chef, childcare provider, housekeeper, chauffer, and nurse (just to name a few of the titles stay-at-home parents tout) all at once would earn you a pretty hefty paycheck each month.

But  full-time parenting doesn't pay a thing. (Aside, of course, from the invaluable time you get to spend with your child. But we're talking money here. Cold, hard cash.)

And there is one influential businesswoman who believes stay-at-home parents deserve more than that. She thinks they should get paid, to the tune of 10 percent of their working spouses salary.

As Wendy Luhabe, who at one time was recognized as one of the 50 leading women entrepreneurs of the world by the U.S.-based Star Group, explains in her interview, money is the currency that we use to define value of a contribution we make.

Working as a full-time parent without getting paid has the potential to lead to resentment-- resentment for feeling undervalued, and resentment for giving up a career and paycheck to raise a family.

Finances are a sticky subject. In fact, most experts would say that finances are one of the biggest stressors in a marriage. So how do you manage money when one parent works and the other stays at home?

Is the stay-at-home parent allowed to go shopping for shoes, as she might with her own paycheck?

Is the stay-at-home parent given a stipend, such as the suggested 10 percent, that is hers or his to do as they please?

Does the stay-at-home parent manage the budget, so he or she knows when there is a little extra cash to spend for fun stuff?

Every family is different, and there isn't any right or wrong way to this situation. But we're curious-- are you a stay at home parent? How do you and your spouse figure out household finances, stipends, and spending?