A Special RichLife Mother’s Day Salute
In the financial industry, you assign value with numbers. You do the math, calculate sums, and then based on what’s written in black and white, you determine more or less what things are worth. But not everything in this world can be so neatly quantified. Some things in life require that you look beyond the numbers – particularly where our mothers are concerned.
Human Assets: Time, Energy and Thoughts
Our assets can be broken down into two categories: physical and human. While we can almost always earn more money or get more stuff, our human assets are limited. We only have so much time, so much energy and so many thoughts we can hold at once in our heads. This is why so many mothers struggle with one of the first and most difficult decisions every parent must make: the question of whether or not to go back to work after having a child.
What are the Deciding Factors?
The decision begins with the numbers. Financial advisors help by supplying worksheets to calculate income. This income is pitted against the monthly bills – the rent or mortgage, utilities and debt. Then we ask, “What expenses would increase if you went back to work?”
- How much would you have to spend on child care?
- On traveling to and from work?
- On the drying cleaning of work clothes?
Knowing your numbers will help you get clear about your financial picture, but numbers aren’t the whole picture.
What Does it Really Cost?
Deciding whether to work outside of the family home is a personal decision affecting both the wallet and the heart. It’s also different for every individual. Some mothers need to work; others make sacrifices. One thing is universal: the cost in human assets.
- What does it cost Mom in time away from her child?
- Time with her spouse?
- Time in lost sleep?
Our energy isn’t usually measured by numbers, but you can see what it costs by reading your mother’s face and body.
- Does going to work give her energy?
- Or take energy away?
- What does it cost mom to be home all day with the kids?
- How much energy does it give?
Our thoughts also affect our health and our well-being.
- How many thoughts a day does mom spend worried about the safety of her child?
- Worried about how what she just said or did will affect her child?
- Worried about you, her grown-up child?
And the Survey Says . . .
Annual surveys conducted by Salary.com, a division of human resources consultant, has attempted to assign a number value to the myriad of tasks performed by Mom. It calculates time spent doing the top ten tasks such as cooking, driving, helping with homework and washing the clothes, then it assigns a number value based on salaries from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These hourly wages are also increased to consider time-and-a-half for overtime and weekend pay.
In 2014, that annual salary for a stay-at-home mom was $118,905. For working moms who also brought in a paycheck, their compensation for time spent mothering amounted to an additional paycheck of $70,107. 
Multiply either one of those salaries by 30 years, and you get over $2 million dollars. If you consider the lifetime of mom, you’ll get numbers surpassing the 10 million dollar mark. Multiply that by the number of times Mom smiles even when she’s tired and you get an even bigger number.
But we all know that mothers aren’t just great because of what they do. Their time, their energy and their love are what really add value to our lives. When you take all of these gifts into account, it confirms what most of us have suspected all along: Mothers are priceless.
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