How much do you think your mom is worth? Hopefully the knee-jerk response would be "priceless." But in the lead-up to Mother's Day, a day when we appreciate all the things your mom has done for you -- for free -- let's do a little pretend calculation on what you might pay your mom as an annual salary if she wasn't doing all those things just out of the love and kindness of her maternal heart, with a few gritted teeth and grumblings thrown in for good measure. Let's get started. There will obviously be a big difference between her salary as your full-time CEO when you're younger, and her salary later in life in a role that is more akin to a senior adviser on the board of the firm "You Incorporated."
So how much do you think she should be paid as CEO of a corporation with one employee? If you estimate the annual salary for each of her roles as CEO, allocate a percentage of the day to each and then multiply to get an annual number, this is what it looks like:
NANNY: According to NannyNetwork.com, an entry-level live-in nanny expects a minimum of $20,800 a year. If we allocate 12 hours a day, that's $10,400.
NURSE: Registered nurses get on average $68,540 a year... if she does that for about 30 minutes per day, that's $1,428 a year - a total bargain when you consider the amount of your bodily fluid that mom has cleaned up, and the sleepless nights when she wiped your brow and kissed your snotty face.
MACHINE OPERATOR: From toasters and blenders to dishwashers and washing machines, thank goodness for appliances in your mom's life. Spare a thought for your mom's mom, who probably hand-washed the sheets and creamed the cake batter by hand too! Full-time machine operation could earn mom about $39,910 a year, more if the machine has the potential to chop off her hand, but at about one hour per day, that's $1,663 a year.
COOK: Whether your mom is a Michelin grade cook or a devotee of Kraft Mac n' Cheese, your hungry belly still needs filling. A restaurant cook only gets about $22,160 a year for slaving over a hot grill. If mom works as your personal short-order cook for 1.5 hours a day, that's $1,385 a year. But let's be generous to mom and throw her a holiday cooking bonus for the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes just the way you like them, and round it up to $1,400.
TAXI DRIVER: Let's say mom ferries you back and forth to school, soccer practice, dentist appointments, etc. for an average of 2 hours a day. If the annual average driver pay is $32,909, that's $2,742 for mom. Multiply that by 16 years, and you get $43,872. For 16 years of mobility servitude! Poor mom!
CLEANER: As a mom, I would argue that almost every minute spent in the home is a constant low-hum of cleanliness-related activities: picking up socks and picking hair out of drains etc. But for argument's sake, let's say each day requires at least 1.5 solid hours of get-your-hands-dirty cleaning up. At $21,000 per year full time, she will get $1313.
CORRECTIONS OFFICER: In New York State, a corrections officer gets $43,867 a year on average. Since mom is hopefully not "correcting" your behavior 24/7, (though it might feel like it), let's say her correctional job ranging from telling you to eat with your mouth closed to banning you from playing "Call of Duty" for a month equals 30 minutes day. That's probably equal to $914.
CHEERLEADER: Yes, your mom is your own personal cheerleader, and if she wants pom-poms, a fake tan and a tiny skirt, she can have them! Now that you've got that visual in your head, let's do the math: if it's an annual salary of $18,000, and mom is cheering you on and bolstering you against bullies and bad days for 3.6 hours a day, she will receive $2,700 for this true labor of love.
What about mom's vacation of minimum two weeks plus 11 public holidays? UNPAID
Of course all of this is just "guess-timation", but bottom line, mom's annual salary as your CEO only equates to about $22,545, not counting what you owe her in back pay.
And now we've laid out in bare, naked terms all the jobs that your mother has done for zip, nada. Doesn't it make you appreciate her more?
Go call your mom this Mother's Day and tell her you love her. Or any day for that matter. It'll be worth all the money in the world to her.