Posted by Tim Stobbs on April 20, 2009
So for the next two days I have the rather unusual fact that my wife is in a course and I’ll looking after the kids by myself. I don’t expect any revelations out of these days as I’m already aware of how hard it is to look after kids full time. I already deeply respect and value what my wife does.
Yet this respect is hardly universal between parents. Childcare in general doesn’t get a good standing for a lot of people. Actually I keep coming across articles about trying to put a dollar value on what mom’s do in the home. A recent one in Today’s Parent I believe put the value between about $65,000 to $120,000 a year depending on weather mom worked full time or stayed at home (I’m going from memory here as I don’t have the article in front of me).
Exercises like that I find are absurd. We are trying to value something in terms of money that shouldn’t be. It’s demeaning to reduce raising your children in terms of just money. I don’t raise my children in hope of a profit so why should I assign my wife’s work with our kids with a fictitious salary.
The truth of the matter to me, is it comes down to repect. Do you repect the person that cares for your children? I think that is perhaps what these exercises are looking forward. Valuation and respect in terms that most people can relate to (even those without kids). Yet I personally don’t respect people in terms of what they make, so in that regard I find these exercises meaningless.
So why do they keep showing up? Are they signs of low self esteem from stay at home parents? Or is it a sign of how over money focused we are as a society? To be honest I’m not sure which or if it is something else entirely. What do you think?