This article was written prior to 15 March 2021, before the launch of the new Financial Advice Regime, and was published for information purposes only. It is not being actively promoted by Momentum Life. Momentum Life does not provide financial advice about the suitability of their products and cannot take into account your personal situation or goals. Before you decide to take out a Momentum Life Policy, you should read the relevant Policy Wording document which contains the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the Policy, and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure the insurance policy is suitable for you.
Being a stay-at-home parent is a full-time job. The American website Salary.com calculates the average “Mom Salary” each year, estimating a stay-at-home mum’s (or dad’s) worth in 2019 at just over $178,000 USD, or about $266,000 NZD.
Whilst the roles presented in their calculations may not reflect every parent’s daily life, this research does open an intersting conversation.Stay-at-home parents do a lot of work for their families—work that's too often undervalued. The skills these family members bring to the home woud be hard to replace if they suddenly weren't there to do all these important jobs.
What do stay-at-home parents do?
Stay-at-home parents (SAHPs) wear a number of different hats. They are typically the primary caregiver for their children, but may also fill this role for their spouse, their parent or in-law, or another family member. This often includes managing everyone’s schedules and arranging transportation to and from appointments and events.
SAHPs are frequently responsible for housekeeping—laundry, sweeping, washing dishes, taking out the bins, and any other cleaning jobs. And those are just the things that need doing inside the house! A stay-at-home parent may also do the gardening and car maintenance (or be in charge of arranging these services with professionals and supervising their work).
There’s also cooking and everything that goes with it. SAHPs plan weekly meals, pack lunches, and prepare breakfasts and dinners. They may also do most of the household’s grocery shopping, which might include looking through weekly adverts to find the best deals. This often means working within a household budget, juggling multiple financial priorities and making sure the bills are settled each month.
Of course, this is only a small sample of what SAHPs do on any given day. They may also check homework, provide minor first aid, plan birthday parties, prepare tax returns, coach a youth sport team, volunteer and their child's school, fix a leaky faucet…
So the question should really be, “What don’t stay-at-home-parents do?”
The true value of a SAHP may not be clear until you consider how your family might cope if they were no longer there.
It’s not an easy thing to think about, but if your partner were diagnosed with a terminal illness or passed away suddenly, the household finances would likely be impacted. Childcare and sitters may be needed in the evenings or during school holidays whilst you're at work. A housekeeper might be needed to help keep on top of laundry and cleaning. You could find yourself spending more on take-out dinners or pre-packaged snacks during busy times of the year.
Even if a stay-at-home parent doesn’t bring home a traditional salary, they do make a real financial contribution to the family.
Show some appreciation
For all the work stay-at-home parents do, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Mums and dads working in the home are “on call” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their job is to keep their family happy and healthy, in part by insuring the household runs smoothly. It can be easy to forget how much needs to be done every day to maintain this domestic bliss.
Showing your appreciation of a stay-at-home partner can be as simple as regularly thanking them for all they do. And some help with the dishes after dinner goes a long way, too!
A version of this article was first published on 12 February 2017.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal situation or goals. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs and seek independent financial advice, if required, to ensure an insurance product is suitable for you.
Any product information is correct at the time this article was published. For current product information, please visit the Momentum Life website.