Dads still undervalued in the parenting economy

We think these numbers are funny

Every year we see the numbers on the value of an at home parent. Over at they did it on Mother’s day so thought they would also give the Stay at Home Dads a value as well but the numbers didn’t add up. Apparently at home moms are worth $115,000 a year while at home dads would be a little more than half that number bringing in $60,000 themselves. That’s a pretty big discrepancy but before you blame it’s important to note that these numbers are based on the same amount of money per hour, the moms just say they spend 96 hours a week on the job, while dads peg the number around 53 hours. Working moms say they spend 56 hours on the parenting job so apparently a working mom is more valuable than a stay at home dad when it comes to a fair paycheck.

Why the difference then? I was quoted in the article with a theory of my own:

I believe, on average, stay-at-home dads see working moms as a valued partner and so dads only count the hours they are alone with their kids,” Rohl said. “But on average, stay-at-home moms count all the time they’re with the kids no matter who’s there. Even if their husbands are home, the idea is moms are still working and on the job. I don’t think that accurately reflects what’s really happening.

What do you think is the reason for the difference in the numbers? Do dads really not spend the same amount of time parenting as moms do, even stay at home dads? Do moms overvalue the time they spend or do dads undervalue the time they spend? I would love to get some thoughts on this.

  1 comment for “Dads still undervalued in the parenting economy

  1. 06/15/2011 at 5:56 pm

    I see your point and it’s a valid one but here’s my point of view.

    I’m a WAHM while my husband goes out to work. I do the lion’s share of the chores and the parenting simply because I spend more physical time with the kids.

    If I counted the hours my husband and I worked (incl. parenting and paid work) I think it would be about even.

    The difference being though, when he’s at home and taking care of homework, baths, bedtime etc my mind hasn’t switched off because I am thinking ahead to lunch boxes (do we have enough snacks) do the uniforms need to be washed, any permission slips that need to be signed and returned to school, what time the kids need to be at their after school activities.

    So while my husband is spending physical time with them, I’m still managing the kids. So in effect we are both working on the parenting thing at the same time. Just doing different tasks.

    Interesting post.

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

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