What Should Stay-At-Home Moms Get Paid?


What Should Stay At Home Moms Get Paid? Stay-at-home moms can be some of the most overlooked professions. Yes, you heard me right: being a stay-at-home mom is a profession. I have been in the working force since I was legally allowed to at age 15. I always said I would never be a stay-at-home mom. Because of circumstances well beyond our control, I am now a stay-at-home mom to a wild, crazy, energetic, and very, very busy toddler with special needs. I’m not going to lie: there are times I feel like punching a clock is a lot easier. I loved the job I left to raise my son. Not only was it easier, but it is sometimes more respected. A few of my husband’s co-workers have been very confused as to why I don’t go to work, but the reality is that if we paid someone to do the work I do, the cost would add up quickly.

Let’s calculate just how much that would be based on costs in Knoxville, TN along with a couple of national averages:

  • House cleaner: $24 per hour 
  • Driver: $35 per hour
  • Personal assistant: $15 per hour
  • Tutor: $30-50 per hour
  • Personal shopper: $120-200 per hour
  • Personal chef: $100-500 per meal
  • Childcare worker: $13 per hour
  • Personal accountant: $37-400 per hour (this is such a broad range)
  • Stylist: $50-200 per hour
  • Emotional support counselor: $60-120 per session
  • Pet caretaker: $25-30 per day
  • Event planner: minimum $400 per event
  • Nutritionist: $100-200 per session
  • Laundry service: $2 per pound, with a minimum of 15 pounds (not including big household items)

As the parent of a special needs child, I support my child’s well-being by acting as the following professions and making use of the following items, most of which are not part of a traditional stay-at-home mom’s routine. These items and professions are extremely important and mandatory when raising a child with special needs, so we cannot forget them:

  • At-home physical therapist: $65-$84 per visit
  • At-home occupational therapist: $68 per visit
  • Feeding therapy: $83 per visit
  • Medical records coordinator: $29 per hour
  • And arguably the most important…
  • Advocate: $200-300 per hour

Just for fun, lets see how much I should be getting paid per week:

  • House cleaner: I spend a good amount of time cleaning. For arguments sake, let’s say an hour a day. Total: $168
  • Driver: In a given week, we spend at least six hours in the car. Total: $210
  • Personal assistant: As a mom, you’re an assistant 24/7, but we can approximate that an hour per day is spent doing personal assistant work. Total: $105
  • Tutor: My son is still young and requires a different type of learning support. I wouldn’t qualify myself as a tutor.
  • Personal shopper: I try not to spend a ton of time grocery shopping, but an hour a week is spent prepping and grocery shopping. Total: $160
  • Personal chef: During the week, I make dinner. On the weekends (my husband has a three day weekend), I usually make two meals. I don’t claim to be a professional, so we will charge the minimum. Total: $1,000
  • Childcare: With my son’s special needs, I need to be on high alert all day, every day. During the middle of the night, I am up at least once for about an hour. Since there is not an overtime time rate, we’ll calculate it with the base pay subtracting time for sleeping and school. With 168 total hours in a week, I spend roughly 94 hours caring for my child. Total: $1,222
  • Personal accountant: Again, I am not a professional accountant, but I am in charge of our budget and bill paying. I’ll use the average rate of $200 per hour and calculate that I spend an hour a week managing finances. Total: $200
  • Stylist: I do the minimum when it comes to styling my son, though I do lay out his clothes every night so they’re ready the next morning. Total: $50
  • Emotional support counselor: Emotions run high in our house and generally, a counselor would be seen once a week. Total: $90
  • Pet caretaker: My parents are snowbirds. When they are in Tennessee, we share custody of my dog. He cannot be left alone, so collectively, I get him for about two days a week. $50
  • Event planner: I am going to calculate this based on planning a birthday, Easter and Christmas every year. This excludes all school events and other random events. For $400 dollars and three events a year, the overall total is $1200. For the sake of the weekly charge, we’ll divide further. Total $23
  • Nutritionist: I spend a ridiculous amount of time planning what foods my son should be eating. I spend the majority of my shopping time standing in various aisles trying to find the right foods for him. I also look for various recipes, foods, etc. I spend probably two hours a week planning and working with his nutrition. Total: $300
  • Laundry service: I do laundry for myself, my son and all the household items. My husband does his own! I measured just my laundry and it came in at 13 pounds. Since there is a 15 pound minimum and I didn’t weigh my son’s, we’ll say it’s 15 pounds. Total: $30
  • At-home therapist: Nearly all the play we do at our house has a physical or occupational basis. It is nearly impossible to count the hours, but we’ll say two hours a day. Total: $910
  • Feeding therapy: My son struggles with eating quite a bit, so a good amount of time is spent working on feeding with him, at least an hour a day. Total: $580
  • Medical records coordinator: There is no end to the medical paperwork. If you know, you know. Total: $29
  • Advocate: One of the most important things about being a special needs parent is being an advocate, which seems to be a constant in my life. I spend at least one hour per doing various kinds of advocacy. Total $250

All this for a grand total of $5,377 a week, $21,508 a month, $279,096 annually!

How much should you be getting paid?

Please note: this is meant to be just a little illustration and not to be taken with full seriousness. That being said, being a stay-at-home mom can be an overlooked and thankless job. If nothing else, use this illustration to know you have incredible value. We may not get monetary compensation, but we are working hard for our family and that is something to be proud of! Also, shout out to stay at home DADS as well — you have not been forgotten!


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