It’s tax-time in Canada. That time of year when we look at the numbers and realize our monetary worth. For a stay-at-home mom, it can be a bit depressing.
As I assemble all of our tax documents and start plugging the numbers into the latest tax software, it is like a slap in the face. Yes, here it is in black-and-white. My personal total income for 2010 was...$2400. And that was courtesy of Canada’s Childcare Benefit program that provides me with a whopping $100/month per child under 6. (For childcare? Really?? How far is that going to go? But I digress). Surely I am “worth” more than that!
Each year, Salary.com releases it’s Annual Mom Salary Survey. For 10 years, Salary.com has been calculating how much an employer would have to pay to hire someone to do all that a moms does, figuring that a mom does a hybrid of ten different jobs at a small “company”: laundry machine operator, janitor, van driver, computer operator, housekeeper, day care centre teacher, cook, chief executive officer, psychologist, and facilities manager. In 2010, they calculated that a stay-at-home mom would earn CAN$132,288/year for working about 99 hours/week.
Now that’s more like it. Or is it?
Last week, a “plague” descended on our house. It started with my son then within hours all three kids were vomiting every couple of hours for three days straight. The cleaning, the laundry, the nursing, the comforting! And to make matters worse, I started to feel ill on the second day and by the time the kids started to feel more like themselves, the plague had felled its fourth victim: me. For at least three days, my bedroom looked like a M*A*S*H unit with four bodies strewn across our king size bed- and puke bowls scattered among those bodies.
Upon reflection, I’d like to amend Salary.com’s figures. They should include a nursing salary (at least part-time) as well as hardship pay (did I mention the laundry and cleaning of all kinds of bodily fluids?) and of course hazard pay (if I wasn’t cleaning all those bodily fluids, I likely wouldn’t have been exposed to that nasty virus myself). Add that all up and I’d estimate my hypothetical salary at least a million dollars. Maybe two. At least I don't have to pay hypothetical income tax.
Now if only I could get a non-hypothetical paid vacation.