Mothers are Priceless

You know you work hard all day – childcare, housekeeping, and maybe even paid employment on top of it all. It’s not easy, and it’s often thankless. While motherhood does come with its own rewards, what if you were rewarded in terms of a paycheck?

Here’s the median annual salary (in 2014 US dollars) for a number of jobs moms routinely perform (taken from a recent survey by

  • CEO     $167,900
  • Psychologist     $81,000
  • Facilities Manager     $65,800
  • IT / Computer Tech     $34,200
  • Cook     $29,200
  • Van Driver     $28,400
  • Day Care Teacher     $26,700
  • Housekeeper     $21,200
  • Janitor     $21,100
  • Laundry Operator     $21,000

If you calculate the number of hours at each of these jobs during a regular work week (including overtime pay), stay-at-home moms would earn an average of US$118,000 annually, and working moms would earn an average of US$70,000 annually in addition to their pay from their out-of-home employment. Add to that other family jobs you might do – nurse, accountant, administrative assistant, logistics supervisor – and you would probably make even more!

Studies about how moms work have found that stay-at-home moms work about 90 hours each week, mainly doing the tasks for the jobs listed above. For moms who are employed outside the home, 50 hours per week is still devoted to their “mom jobs” in addition to their paid employment.

In the US, 70% of women with children work outside the home, and many of these women are the main breadwinners for their families. While partners are doing more, a disproportionate share of the housekeeping and childcare still falls on moms.

While the pay scale may be different around the world, the fact that moms put in many hours of skilled labor without a paycheck is true nearly everywhere. Take a moment to appreciate yourself and all the work you do. Remind other moms that they are doing a great job, and call your own mom to thank her for the time she put in at all the odd jobs without pay.

Then, remind yourself of the rewards you do get – watching your children learn and grow is sometimes payment enough.

Written by Michelle, childbirth instructor, lactation consultant, and mother to 4 busy kids

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice.  All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.

5 Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Daycare

Enrolling your child in daycare is a pretty huge parenting milestone. It is quite often one fraught with worry and anxiety, as you try to find the right daycare for your child. You may feel nervous about leaving your baby with strangers, and feel worried about how your baby (and you!) will cope with the separation.

Daycare can be an enriching, engaging and exciting environment for babies and toddlers. The range of activities on offer, regular routine and abundance of other children to play with mean many young children love daycare. Many babies and toddlers form strong bonds with their daycare key workers, allowing them to enjoy a strong attachment with an adult outside of the family.

Picking a daycare for your child may not be easy. Some parents just ‘know’ as soon as they walk into the right setting, but for others it can take months of deliberation to settle on the perfect daycare. However you decide to approach this decision, here are five important things you should consider:

  1. First impressions

First impressions are important. As a parent, you’ve probably gotten quite good at trusting your gut instinct. Sometimes it’s not quite possible to put your finger on why something doesn’t feel right, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore that bad feeling in the pit of your stomach. Think about your first impression. Does it seem like a happy place? Do you feel welcomed? Do you like the staff? It’s not just your first impressions that matter, think about how your baby reacts too. Does he seem happy and content in the new environment? Does he respond well to the staff members during your visit?

  1. Observations

Pay attention during your visit, you can learn a lot about a place by simply observing what’s going on around you. What are the children doing during your visit, do they look happy and engaged? How are the staff responding to upset or clingy children? Are they looking after the children in the way you would like them to take care of your own baby? Are the children being properly supervised? How are staff handling undesirable behaviour?

  1. The basics

It would be lovely to choose the daycare based solely on whether you love it, but in reality, there are other things to consider. Costs can add up, so you’ll need to do your sums and work out whether the daycare you like is within budget. Find out whether meals and diapers are provided, or whether you’ll need to buy these yourself, as this may affect the total cost. Do the daycare hours fit well with your work schedule? What happens if you’re late for pick up because of bad traffic or a late running train? Is the daycare easy to get to? These may not be the most glamorous of questions, but it’s important to consider them when making your decision.

  1. Recommendations

One of the best ways to find out what a childcare setting is really like, is to speak to other parents. A personal recommendation is worth a lot, so find out what other parents think about the daycare. If you don’t have any friends with children at the daycare. you could wait outside at drop off or pick up time and see if any of the parents can spare five minutes to tell you what they think. This way, you’ll get an unbiased opinion based on experience, which will give you something to go off when deciding where to send your child.

  1. The day to day

Facilities and activities can vary greatly between different childcare settings. Some may have amazing outdoor spaces, whereas others may invest more time and effort in trips outside the daycare gates. Newer settings may have better equipment, and some settings focus more on structured activities than others. Which of these matters most to you will depend upon what you think is most important (and more enjoyable) to your child. Find out how much time the children spend outside, and the sorts of activities the children engage with during a typical day. Are they free to play as they wish, or is there an element of structure within the day? How is undesirable behaviour dealt with, and does the answer compliment your parenting style?

Have you chosen a daycare setting for your child? And if so, what were the most important aspects to consider when making the decision?

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2016. All rights reserved.