I’ve had this thought in my head for a while now. I’ve been thinking that I can’t afford for my wife to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. Now, I don’t at all mean to offend anyone with this post. I just have to say that for me personally, I can’t afford it. I’d like to explain exactly what I mean by that so that no one thinks I’m in any way devaluing Stay-At-Home Moms. On the contrary, I mean that I quite literally cannot afford my wife to be staying at home. Here’s why…
My wife stays home and takes care of our son every single day. She changes his diapers, feeds him, plays with him, puts him down for his nap, and comforts him when he’s upset. And that’s just the bare minimum.
A child can typically get that attention at a day-care. But on top of that, he is her only focus. There are no other children to tend to. He gets all of her. All of her love, all of her time, all of her energy. She is always there, always near, and always listening. Obviously, this is part of being a parent. You take care of your child and you raise your child. But let’s face it. In our day and age, every service (and I mean EVERY service) is hirable. There is a company ready and willing to do just about anything.
So while, yes, my wife is my son’s mother and it is a natural result of being a parent to love and care for your own child, there is also a very quantifiable dollar amount that can be attributed to the services rendered. I am in no way trying to simplify, objectify, or devalue the priceless love of a mother for her child. But let’s be real. Payday feels good for a reason. Because you’re seeing your hard work appreciated in a tangible way that lets you “treat yo self”. And this is exactly why I can’t afford my wife being a Stay-At-Home Mom. The national average weekly salary for a full-time nanny is $705. That’s $36,660 a year.
We make ends meet comfortably and are by no means scraping the bottom of the barrel. But according to the 2014 tax brackets, we fall nicely into the second tier, right in the $12,951-$49,400 tax range. Even if we were making the maximum amount allowed for our tax bracket, the services rendered of caring for our child every single day of the year would absorb the majority of our income. Flat out, no question, game over, I cannot afford my wife to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. And that’s just the beginning of it.
A regular cleaning service costs anywhere between $50-$100 per visit, depending on how big your space is, how deep of a cleaning you want, and especially whether or not you have pets that shed like crazy. FYI, I’m convinced our dog is short haired because he sheds every inch of it every minute of every day. It never even has a chance to grow. We also have a toddler, so those of you who are unfamiliar, that means a tissue box left unattended for approximately 18 seconds is completely emptied with its contents strewn across the apartment. Same with wipes. Toys rapidly find their way from his bedroom to the living room. Remotes go missing. The dog’s water bowl sometimes gets spilled. Books will occasionally fly off their shelves. So on and so forth.
Picking up the apartment is part in parcel with keeping the place presentable. Not to mention the natural progression of dirty dishes, dusting, vacuuming, etc., etc. So assuming you want the place to stay relatively clean, especially whenever you have people over, you’re looking at $100 per week at the bare minimum to stay presentable. That adds up to a whopping $5,200 (again, excluding the extra deep cleaning, or quick pick up for hosting company).
Does your wife ever run errands for you? Buy the groceries? Get you a new pack of white undershirts? Personal shoppers on average run around $65 an hour. (That’s excluding the couple thousand dollar membership fee required to utilize their services.) Average the amount of time spent at the grocery stores or department stores per week at 4 hours and you’re looking at around $260, and that’s an extremely conservative average. That’s $13,520 a year.