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Mom's value in dollars dropped again, annual reckoning says

The annual Mother's Day reckoning that places mom's value in terms of real-world wages says her value has dropped for the third time, but it's still higher than most moms think.

Each year, insure.com uses wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to put a dollar amount on what it would cost to hire someone to do mom's work, considering only household tasks. This year, that value is down to $59,862, a slight drop from 2012's $60,182 and 2011's $61,436. Even so, the report said, 56 percent of mothers estimate the value of their household tasks at amounts under $40,000. Another 7 percent put their value at more than $100,000.

"Average wages for typical Mom jobs have been dropping, pushing down Mom's annual value," said Amy Danise, editorial director for insure.com, in a release announcing the new numbers. "But the cheaper wages make it easier to hire someone else to do Mom's jobs, if a family wanted to outsource Mom."

Or if they wanted to give mom a break. There are some tasks moms don't like. When asked, 27 percent of the moms that were surveyed said their least favorite task is cleaning up, while another 19 percent said yard work. Thirteen percent would be happy to skip doing family finances.

According to the report, it is when mom is being an accountant and auditor, tackling family finance, that she makes the most per hour: $24.90. But it's not much of her overall value; she reportedly does that just a half-hour a week, compared to the 40 hours she spends as a childcare provider earning an imaginary $9.65 an hour.

Mom also spends some time as a cook, chauffeur, teacher, nurse, meeting and convention planner, hairdresser, personal care aide, yard maintenance worker, designer and private investigator, among other jobs.

The tasks the surveyed mothers "like the most" or "dislike the least" are taking care of the kids, 30 percent; cooking, 15 percent; and shopping for the family, 15 percent.

And if someone would outsource some of that effort, moms say they'd spent the extra time with family (40 percent), traveling or visiting cool places like museums (11 percent) or doing exercise and sport (9 percent).

That's not what dads said. Fathers predicted mothers would spend time with the family (25 percent), shopping (15 percent) and reading (8 percent).

The survey is based on responses of 500 women and 500 men with kids at home under age 12. They were surveyed in April.



EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

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