Feminism and parenthood

Feministing had an article about the Salary.com study that “a mother’s love is worth 117,00 per year.”

First of all, what the hell does that mean? I thought love was something you couldn’t put a price on? I thought that was the last remaining hold on out price. We put a price on our time, now we should put a price on our love? What the fuck is that shit about?

If a stay-at-home mom could be compensated in dollars rather than personal satisfaction and unconditional love, she’d rake in a nifty sum of nearly $117,000 a year.

I’m more annoyed than I can say right now.

So onto the Feministing bits.

As if women who contribute at home get a once-a-year chance to brag about how much they’re worth – and then it’s back to cleaning up socks with no compensation. Am I just jaded?

Yeah, just a little. There’s a little more to parenthood than cleaning up socks. Parents are a little more than underpaid daycare providers (?!?), taxi drivers, cooks and cleaners. To boil it down to that is to trivilaze the importance of parents (and BOTH parents. Dad’s do stuff around the house too. They drive, they cook, they care for children, they do house maintenance. Maybe not always on the scale of what mom’s do but they are still important for the raising of a child).

Do we put a price on nurturing? On comforting? On coaching soccer so the a bunch of kids can play because no one else stepped up? On helping with homework? On sacrificing work commitments so you can watch their class play? On giving advice on how to deal with a bully or a friend who’s having trouble? On cuddling your baby? On watching your child go off happy to school? Fostering self-confidence? On seeing them go off to college with most of the skills they need to succeed?

There’s some good comments on the feministing site.

They calculate that number to help people understand that mothering IS work-I’d be happier if this was calculated for stay at home parents instead of mothers, but if people continue to insist that raising PEOPLE is not a worthwhile cause, they’ll still need to do them.

I mean, it would be nice to get a paycheck sure – but just to have more money, not because that would somehow validate my worth as a mother. I recognize that I am extremely lucky to be able to stay home with my infant right now – but it is still hard ass work. And as “icky lovey dovey” as it sounds to some, the rewards ARE better than money. This does not make me a better mother than those who work. But it is my choice and I am happy with it. –jennifer

Exactly, there people. Money is not the point. Some of the rewards are better than money. Knowing that I will have a capable adult someday is the goal I keep focused on. It makes the little things much easier to deal with. It does make it worthwhile in the end.

Some things are more important than money. Because, when you die you only get the legacy you left. And money isn’t much of a legacy.

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