Mother's Day Index: Mom's value is up

As any mom knows, parenting isn't a full-time job. It's a 24/7 calling requiring a mother lode of skills: nursing, chauffeuring, cooking, accounting, investigating and more.

If you put a dollar sign on the typical things Mom does around the house, her market value would be $65,284, according to the 2015 Mother's Day Index.

Sure, that's a pittance compared to a mom's true value, but it's up 3.7 percent over last year's figure of $62,985 and 9.1 percent over the 2013 figure of $59,862. The annual index is an informal look at the common things moms do for their families and is based on the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics median wage data. It does not include income moms earn outside the home.

Estimating Mom's salary

Roughly a third of respondents in a recent survey think Mom should earn more than this year's index, and 43 percent think she should earn less. Almost a quarter of respondents think the index figure is in the ballpark. When asked how much moms should be paid for the things they do around the house, here's how they answered:
  • Nothing: 2 percent
  • Up to $10,000: 4 percent
  • $10,001 to $25,000: 12 percent
  • $25,001 to $50,000: 25 percent
  • $50,001 to $75,000: 24 percent
  • $75,001 to $100,000: 17 percent
  • $100,001 to $200,000: 7 percent
  • Over $200,000: 9 percent

Women tend to think Mom should be paid more, with 38 percent of women in the survey saying her salary at home should top $75,000, compared to 28 percent of men who say the same. And while 22 percent of men say Mom's tasks are worth less than $25,000, just 16 percent of women say so.

Life insurance for Mom

The topic isn't just an idle question for debate around the water cooler. The services a parent provides are an important consideration when deciding how much life insurance to buy. Life insurance isn't just about replacing income in the event of a wage earner's death.