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02 May, 2006

A Band of One

I’m not surprised:

NEW YORK - A full-time stay-at-home mother would earn $134,121 a year if paid for all her work, an amount similar to a top U.S. ad executive, a marketing director or a judge, according to a study released on Wednesday.

A mother who works outside the home would earn an extra $85,876 annually on top of her actual wages for the work she does at home, according to the study by Waltham, Massachusetts-based compensation experts Salary.com.

To reach the projected pay figures, the survey calculated the earning power of the 10 jobs respondents said most closely comprise a mother's role -- housekeeper, day-care teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, chief executive and psychologist.
In my native country the Philippines, men didn't lift a finger around the house because women had household help. Not because they were rich, but because labor was so cheap a typical upper middle class family can afford it.

Coming to this country and doing house chores myself was an adjustment, but I didn't mind. I took pride in being able to do things I depended on others to do. Having led a sheltered life, running a household on my own gave me a sense of independence and control.

But it's not easy, especially if one has kids and a full time job. It's astounding how much women are expected to accomplish on a daily basis, and most of us accept it like it's the most normal thing in the world.

Actually, what women do at home is priceless considering it’s a 24/7 job. In spite of the conveniences, housework is hard work. At the very least, the men of the household should do their share without being asked and offer to help as much as they can. Being able to count on that without argument or struggle goes a long way towards saving our health and sanity.

Of course, vacation getaways and body massages also help.

posted at 11:06 PM by City Muse

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