Mothers worth more than you thought

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

According to NBC News producer Jay Blackman, I'm worth a lot of money.

His Monday night story, "What is a mom's work worth?" laid it all out on the line.

"They say it's the small things, but when it comes to mothers, the small things really do add up. Whether it's driving to karate, making doctor appointments, or paying the bills, Mom's job is never done - and she does it all for free."

His story was based on what experts at Massachusetts-based Salary.com say a mother's time is really worth. They take the Top 10 jobs mothers do - from van driver to cook to laundry machine operator - and calculate the value of the job, how much time a mother spends on it and how much we'd have to pay if we hired someone to do all that work.

"The average stay-at-home mom works a 40-hour work week, plus an additional 56 hours of overtime, while the working mom works 40 hours a week for her employer, 40 hours a week at home and puts in another 17 hours in overtime."

I know that it seems there's never enough time in a day to get done all that needs doing, but I'd certainly never considered putting a dollar value on it.

Blackman noted that mom.salary.com features a calculator that allows one to figure out how much a mom's yearly salary would be.

OK, I'll admit, it made me curious.

According to the site, the experts determined that the time mothers spend performing 10 typical job functions would equate to an annual salary of $122,732 for a stay-at-home mom. A working mom's "at-home" salary would be an average of $76,184 - depending on where she lived - in addition to the salary she earns in the workplace.

I decided, what the heck, let's see what I'm really worth.

So, I punched in some numbers, and this is what I got:

Job Hourly Rate Hours Worked

Housekeeper $8.37 312

Cook $11.60 260

Computer Operator $13.30 624

Facilities Manager $29.84 156

Van Driver $13.43 520

Psychologist $31.45 208

Laundry Machine Operator $8.54 468

Janitor $8.80 156

Chief Executive Officer $59.70 208

The total: $73,688.

While a little ridiculous, it wasn't a bad way to spend a spare three minutes.

Of course, the results were actually a bit depressing ... I had no idea I spent that many hours doing laundry in a year's time.