There is no way you could possibly relate to this blog unless you have children and you have chosen to stay at home and care for them. However, I think the only way to open people’s minds and create change is to discuss ideas that the majority might call “crazy.”
Any married man with kids knows damn well that having a job is a welcome getaway come Monday morning. I’m not implying that parents do not like their kids. I’m saying that even the super moms and dads of the world welcome any time to themselves. Unfortunately, for most stay-at-home moms, alone time means locking themselves in the bathroom only to be interrupted seconds later.
From within my happily married circle of friends, I’ve noticed that the stay-at-home moms are completely exhausted and crabby by the time their husbands come home from work. From early in the morning until late in the evening, their job continues. They don’t get a quiet commute home to collect their thoughts or listen to music. They don’t get a 12-hour reprieve from the office. Instead, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, they work and live in the same space. Some may be fortunate enough to hire a babysitter here and there so they can meet a friend for lunch, but oftentimes those babysitting hours are used to go to the grocery store or to complete other errands specific to the household. You may say, “Well, that is part of their job.” And you are right. It is. However, to be fair, it is the only job I know of that isn’t a paid position.
I do believe that most stay-at-home moms are happy staying home with their children. However, it is human nature to want your hard work recognized, valued and praised. And, let’s be honest, how many of us would continue to go to work day after day knowing we were not going to earn a paycheck? I know I wouldn’t.
Being home with your children is a reward. Meeting their every want and need is priority, but every once in a while, it sure would be nice for those stay-at-home moms to make money of their own. Instead, they have to desperately try to figure out how to move money around month-to-month in order to buy that pair of shoes they have been eyeing. Mind you, most families are living paycheck-to-paycheck every week, so the idea of having a salary that allows them to stay at home and raise kids seems fantastical. But, what if committed, practical budgeting allowed for just that: extra money to compensate for all of their hard work?
I decided to ask my BFF Julie, who is a stay-at-home mom, if she would be part of an experiment. I want to see if her family will be able to monitor their expenses down to the cent for three months. After 90 days, we’ll audit their expenses and see where they can make adjustments in order to add a salary for mom. Needless to say, Julie is excited about trying out my experiment and, surprisingly, so is her husband Matt. When I asked him why he was so game, he replied, “Happy wife, happy life.” Sounds like a smart man to me!
What do you guys think? Do stay-at-home moms deserve a salary?
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