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Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Life, Parenting, Soapbox | 10 comments

What are you worth Mamas? Asking what your mum salary should be

what is your mum salary

Let me start off by saying that most people don’t become parents as a career choice!  One day these tiny people come into our lives, and we discover that we work harder at being a parent than we’ve ever worked before in our lives.  Ever.  On top of all we are already, and all that we do, we suddenly add so much more to what we thought we could handle.  And then we go and handle it!

Whether you are a stay at home parent, or juggle work with family life, this job is no picnic.  Career becomes an even greater challenge, and new roles come are required – from chef, to nurse, to taxi driver, to carer, to playmate, to personal administrative assistant and chief diary organiser (these kids have serious social schedules!).

And then things like being spontaneous is much tricker, as there are now other people to consider, and their needs often mean military-style planning to get things sorted.

As a child, my dad used to love to randomly announce that we were going “on a drive”.  We would pile into the car, and he might drive into the deep countryside in Trinidad.  We watched sugar cane fields blur through our windows, or he might quite frequently pull into the airport car park, jump out and stride over to the terminal, with us trailing behind.  He would ask at the desk for standby tickets, while my mother wrung her hands, worrying about clothes, nappies, food etc for the children.  He would shrug and brush her worries aside, “we’ll just pick up what we need, don’t worry about it!”.  Off we would go for impromptu weekends on a neighbouring island, where thankfully we were always able to find a hotel room available, as to this day dad still refuses to book in advance – apparently it spoils the fun of being in the moment.  My mother took to keeping a bag in the car, with a stash of spare underwear and snacks, much to dad’s frustration.

Of course we gain enormously – when little arms wrap themselves around my neck, or announce as they zoom along on a scooter that they love me more than the sky tied to space, in those moments, nothing tops that.  Au revoir spontaneity, who needs that when I have galactic love?!

There is of course, a huge amount of balance required when you are a mother – and the whole point of my blog title is about trying to find balance, between being a mama and being more.  Making space to maintain and nourish yourself, away from the roles of being mother/wife/chief bottle washer and grazed knee kisser, is an added challenge, but oh so necessary.

When I made the transitions from full time working girl, to full time working mum, to stay at home mum (which seems to include even more “on” working hours, as there isn’t even the reprieve of a commute, but I digress!), to melding freelance marketing and writing work, with being a yoga teacher and stay at home mum (read about this journey here), I had moments of devaluing myself, of feeling like because I wasn’t earning as I did before, that somehow I was diminished.  I also felt like I had to negotiate me-time, something that now felt like a real luxury.

Dinner conversations with people who would ask “what do you do” made me cringe, and what made me cringe even more was to realise how much of my own self worth I had placed in a job title, and in my ability to fill my bank account each month, at least for a week!  At times when I moaned about how unequal I was feeling, suddenly no longer being financially independent for the first time in my life, one of my best girlfriends would carefully remind me that there is tangible value in the roles that we do.  Managing a family’s social diary, magically getting errands and household chores done, being on call – if someone else was to do it, it wouldn’t come cheap!

balance as a parent

The other day an email dropped into my inbox, and after reading, I clicked through the link to answer a few questions to discover my “Mum Salary” – let me tell you, I feel pretty underpaid!  Here are my results below.  I keep going back and tweaking my answers, and so far my salary hasn’t dropped below £40k!  It’s a bit addictive I have to say, and great to share with friends in the same boat!  The thing is, all these roles we juggle are the same, whether you’re a FTWM or SAHM – this isn’t a competition, it’s about knowing what we’re worth.

What should your mum salary be

Fancy trying out the survey?  It’s a brilliant conversation starter!  Click here to find the Sun Life survey and discover what your Mum Salary would be.  By the way, I was printing out my CV the other day, and smiled to notice that I had included being a mother on there, and explained what skills it had brought to the fore.  Our roles are massively important, on an emotional level which can never be measured or valued, but also on a practical level too.

 

 

Top image from EU Mom

 

Linking to Brilliant Blog Posts and PoCoLo

*This is a sponsored post, but good food for thought!

 

10 Comments

  1. Great post Zaz! I could not agree more. There really there is no one to compete with it is all just our ego! And knowing that frees you to appreciate the most precious unpaid yet rich moments of life in the knowledge that sadly they will never come back and oh that makes it worth more than any salary anyone can pay us! Priceless!
    💞🌺💘

    • What a wonderful comment and such wise words! Thank you so much – you are right, we have to be in the moment and appreciate all that we have.

  2. Aw this is brilliant, we don’t get sick pay or holiday pay and it’s a never-ending job huh (but we wouldn’t have it any other way)-can I say a cool million?! x

    • Absolutely relentless job, but you are quite right, wouldn’t have it any other way! xxx

  3. Being a full time mum is the hardest but also the best job in the world. It did take me a few months to get used to it with my older daughter, but would definitely do it again. I would hate missing out on all the stuff i do with both my girls if i was in a day to day job with long hours. Off to take the survey now 😉

  4. Brilliant app! I am worth more than £75000. That’s it, I will ask for a pay rise when I am back to work.
    #brillblogposts

  5. Thanks for posting this – I am going to check it out now! I am currently still in the stage where I cringe at calling myself a full time mum and I am really trying to find the value in what I do. A friend of mine did put it in a nice way though – I am essentially earning the household the equivalent of what we would be spending on nursery fees if I went out to work. So I like to remind myself of that when I am feeling particularly hard on myself. #BrilliantBlogPosts

  6. Ooo fab! Will pop over now and see if I need to give myself a raise ☺ Seriously though I feel privileged to be able to work for myself, from home and still do the scool run, go to school events etc and be there for tea time and bed time 99% of the time. For that it’s a priceless job for sure x

  7. Oh here I am reading this and it is right on time! Thank you so much. It is all so overwhelming at times even when I have faith in God and feel like I know what I am doing, I still feel inadequate! So glad to know we as moms are in it together for the long haul.

    I so enjoy your posts and kept missing them because I clicked spam in error on bloglovin´!! So, I am back with you and so happy. Enjoy your week!

  8. We aren’t allowed to be sick or take a day off or decide for a day that we’re not putting food on the table but it I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a tough job being a mum but the best job too. I love being able to work from home and be there for my kiddo – for that I am very grateful. Now I just need someone to pay me my real salary! 😉

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