Salary experts estimate the market value of a stay-at-home parent's labor (child care, housecleaning, cooking, laundry, driving, etc.) at about $118,000. This hollowly cheerful calculation has always struck me as patronizing, with the effect, if not the intention, of further diminishing our status. Moms -- aren't they the greatest? They should be pocketing as much as a registered pharmacist or the mayor of Chula Vista, Calif., yet they'll happily accept payment in the form of adorable gap-toothed smiles. An implied, faintly sinister coercion -- a good mom doesn't want money -- fuels a system that relies on our unpaid childcare, household chores and volunteer work but offers no safety net.Could this be another reason the Raley's "It's A Mom's World" ads bother me so much? Maybe. It's all in there.
I like to think this situation could change if more women were in control of hiring. Gaps on the resume are seen as such a negative. I think that's because, for men, why would you have a gap? What were you doing? For women, a gap is far more likely if she has children. But you're out 10 minutes and suddenly it's assumed you can never catch up on the game. Unfair assumption.