How much is a mother worth?

Did you pay much attention to the budget the other night? The government is focusing on WORK. They’re going hard to get all of us layabouts – mothers, the disabled and long term unemployed, back into doing something PRODUCTIVE.

It’s interesting isn’t it? I’ve spent most of this week recovering from the school mega-fete last weekend. I’ve been quite involved this year, and we raised heaps of money for the school that the Education Revolution can’t provide. Post fete, the note has come home requesting volunteers for weekly maths classes. That’s to supplement the teaching staff that the government can’t fund.

So who will do all of these community jobs, once all of the mothers are back being ‘productive?’ Because, unfortunately, in our society everything comes back to a fiscal value, so if we’re not paying tax, we’re not valid.

Here’s a couple of fiscal sums for the government to ponder about what a mother is actually worth…

Weekly laundry (6 bag washes + 5 shirt wash/ironed) = $75
Weekly cleaning = $60
Nanny (29 hours @ $22/hour) = $638
Tutor (3 hours @$35/hour) = $105

So there’s a total of $878, that doesn’t include administrator, nurse, nutritionist, driver, counsellor or chef.

So if I go back to full time work, I’ll have to earn about $1400/week ($72,000k a year), so that I can earn enough to outsource my life. But the government will be happy, they’ll be getting their cut of $500/week.

And they can continue to pour that money into the mental health services for disenfranchised and depressed teenagers, who perhaps would have an easier time of life if they had someone to come home to and talk with in the afternoons.

Now THERE’S a job that is apparently worth nothing.

What will it be??? You'll have to download to see!

So while we are at home, frivolously mothering our children, let’s spend some time on something seriously silly – some pixel colouring-in. Fun for both boys and girls, a cute introduction to numbers and colours. I’m not telling what the final picture is, you can discover that for yourselves, while you’re just laying about.

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13 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Pauline said,

    Couldn’t agree more. Watching my little boy play whilst posting this (lazy I know!), I feel so privileged that I can be home in these early years. Why oh why should we be made to feel insignificant, lazy, and worthless. This is the most important (and difficult) job I’ve ever had.

  2. 2

    Jane said,

    I couldn’t agree more. Working in child care and seeing all the little guys who spend 8 hours a day or more away from their parents. It’s way too long and most of them spend the time after 2pm watching the door and then getting upset when someone else’s parent comes in. Part time seems to be not so bad.

  3. 3

    Leanne said,

    Thank you for constructing into words so beautifully the raging fight I have in my head justifying my ‘tiredness’ at the end of a busy day ‘laying about’! I often have the ‘work’ discussion with my husband and have recently been employed as a night filler so as not to disturb my days of ‘laying about’. So now I am productive for 4-5 hours of the 18-20 hours I am now awake for – yay me! I am a mother to 3 (4 if you include the husband!) the youngest not in school (he has just turned 3). I love reading your work, thank you for the sanity break.

    • 4

      wendyblume said,

      Thanks so much Leanne, sounds like you are doing more than your fair share! Sounds impossible, but find time for yourself in there somewhere… you are the backbone of your family. Good luck xxxxxx

  4. 5

    Rhianna said,

    Oh so very true and well said.

  5. 6

    Kris said,

    Is it maybe because the PM is not a mother herself so she has no idea?

  6. 7

    Simone said,

    It has infuriated me also that the perceived “rich” apparently sit on their butts and watch Oprah whilst the lower income people aren’t.
    I am stunned the blatantly insulting comment has been left alone by the press- maybe they really do think all people do is watch Oprah.

  7. 8

    melinda said,

    I just can’t articulate the way do but totally agree so “Here, Here”.

  8. 9

    Jo said,

    I agree whole heartedly. I too help out at my eldest’s school and youngest’s daycare for fund raising….. But of course that is not worth anything as not taxable income. Happy to work but lazing about seems to be producing happy and healthy kids and not candidates for the mental health system. So I’m going to keep on lazing and feeling blessed that I can do it 🙂

  9. 10

    Ben Mullings said,

    I agree with everything there, except for singling out mental health care as budget cost. The amount of tax that goes to mental health care is abysmal by proportion to other health issues that do get funding. Having a good mum who is emotionally available is helpful, but doesn’t resolve the problem in a heck of a lot of cases. And then there are mums that need mental health care as well – it’s not an easy job.

    • 11

      wendyblume said,

      Totally agree Ben. I guess my point is that the job of mothering is so undervalued, and there’s a notion that once your kids hit high school you’re totally done. Which is rubbish of course. That’s just the time when having an available parent who can guide you through is so valuable.

  10. 12

    My kids are 7 & 9 and I’ve just gone back to work. Apparently kids at primary school don’t need their Mums at home – and every week there’s another notice asking for volunteers to help with reading, uniform shop, fundraising, and so on! Thankfully I’ve been able to find a job during school hours so I’m still home after school to be with my kids, but that doesn’t help out at school!

  11. 13

    I love this post – and so agree!! I was talking to a mum once who worked full time, and I said, “I don’t know how you do it, with two kids at school and twin babies!!” and she said, “Well, some of us can’t just laze around all day doing nothing!” I was gobsmacked!! With four kids 6 and under I certainly wasn’t lazing around all day!

    Love your site! 🙂

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