“They’re trying to quantify us…measure our value,” I thought to myself.
We’ve all read those articles by economists who try to estimate our value as stay-at-home moms. Here are a few headlines –
The annual Mom Salary Survey May 2021: $184,820.Salary.com
The wage a mom would earn for the eighteen or so jobs she must tackle throughout the day is $126,725 in 2022.Insure.com
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You will never be able to estimate a stay-at-home mom’s value.
No matter how high they estimate a wage for motherhood and homemaking, we all know it’s a bunch of bull. I wanted to yell through the screen, “Not even a million dollars will cover one labor pain!”
There is no price we can put on months of pregnancy pains, labor, postpartum depression, nursing babies all through the night (for years), deep conversations with our children.
And, can you put a price on a mother’s love or nurturing ?
Some people might pay a salary to babysitters, nannies, personal chefs, chauffeurs, but that is not the standard that determines a mother’s value. Rather, this concept was created by a society where schools and universities think their job is qualifying people for careers.
I can tell you first hand that after a receiving a degree in “education”, it completely ignored the importance of home and family. It’s no wonder I felt uncertain about my role and unequipped for it. And many of you have expressed the same sentiment.
So what do we do?
As women are naturally inclined to follow others, we begin searching for mentors or solutions online. Where do we end up?
Instagram...of all places.
We doom scroll and see perfect pictures of influencers in their home. We think to ourselves, “Oh they’re house is clean and fabulous! Their life must be perfect!”
Follow. Follow, follow, follow.
There. That’s it. I’ve got it all together now.
Newsflash – Instagram influencers are building a brand, not a home.
“But it’s free, Eaman.” Exactly.
You are the product in what we call the attention economy.
Every post on Instagram is like an add and your attention is being hijacked.
Here’s the point – When we copy the people making money off selling advertising to us, it’s no wonder we don’t become more successful homemakers — that’s never been the goal. Their goal is to encourage mothers to buy more things.
Advertising works by making you feel dissatisfied with your life or situation.
Embedded in the gorgeous photography are the seeds of discontent with real homes, where nothing ever turns out the way it does on a production set. Homes that are lived in often don’t reflect the look we’re going for.
But unlike the influencer’s staged homes, our homes are a different kind of stage: for the drama of real life.
While influencers use home as a tool to build a business, we can use our home as a tool to build people.
WOMEN are uniquely CREATED to be life-givers and nurturers. If we focus our efforts on building up healthy kids with good character, the world will be better because of it. God Willing.
The Most Important Job in the World
Functioning families are the strongest institution in society. Moms strive to nurture their kids with all their imaginative and productive force. Dads work hard to support and safeguard them.
A woman’s strength lies not in her ability to do what a man can, but rather in her capacity to do what he can’t.
In child bearing and rearing, nurturing, taking the resources available to her and making a home in which life’s most significant relationships thrive.
The business done in the home is nothing less than the shaping of the bodies and souls of humanity. The family is the factory that manufactures mankind.G.K. Chesterton
Our value is from God.
Is it worth investing our efforts in home, without any financial reward, perks, or recognition from others? Absolutely!
After all, a mother gets a richer reward than a paycheck.
Where should I go for help and support, instead of Instagram?
It is natural for women to want to seek out mentors. There are two things I recommend –
1 – Seek out the older mothers in your community.
Find any that love and cherish their families? Ask them questions.
Don’t be frustrated when their responses don’t match your expectations of what you think it should look like or how it should go.
Listen and learn wisdom.
And, if you happen to find like-minded moms of a similar age, consider yourself blessed! Get together, swap advice, meals, and most importantly, encourage each other during your day-to-day, messy, real life.
2 – Read books that value Stay-At-Home moms.
Sometimes a good book can be medicine, which your heart may need right now, especially if you haven’t found any good mentors.
Peruse through the book list below. Click image and read through the description and/or perhaps a few reviews and purchase a few that you feel will be of benefit to you.
Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes is a short read with each chapter like a stand alone story.
Mother Culture by Karen Andreola made me feel like my role as a homemaker is the best one in the world. I’ve pulled quotes from it and written them in the front of my homeschooling planning binder so that I see them often and feel encouraged on a daily basis.
It’s non fiction but reads more like a journal of Karen’s thoughts. She also wrote A Pocketful of Pinecones and Lessons from Blackberry Inn which are written as stories.
I enjoyed them all. I don’t think you’d be likely to find them at a library, but they’re good enough that I’d recommend purchasing one and seeing how you like her style.
A Place to Hang the Moon is a good reminder of how important your present job is for those you are nurturing.
Anything by Sally Clarkson, including her blog and podcast, are very good.
It’s been years since I read A Lantern in Her Hand, but I remember it talking highly about the role of the mom in the home.
Doodlemum is written by a journalist who was drowning in home life with three young kids and decided to start sketching her family life. It’s interesting as it has no words, and yet I often pull it out just to laugh and reset.
Anything by Cindy Rollins will be lovely as well.
The Last Thing You Need To Know About A Stay-At-Home Mother’s Value
The Lord has a plan and a purpose for your life as a wife and stay-at-home mom. He (AWJ) holds you in high esteem as He (AWJ) has entrusted you with the most important job.
There’s no university she can attend to earn a degree in mothering. Motherhood doesn’t earn her badges or provide her letters after her name. What she does, she does for love. She labors in love, and she is loved in return. Without this vocation, the world would suffer.Karen Andreola
As with the commander of an army, or the leader of any enterprise, so is it with the mistress of a house. Her spirit will be seen through the whole establishment; and just in proportion as she performs her duties intelligently and thoroughly, so will her domestics follow in her path. Of all those acquirements, which more particularly belong to the feminine character, there are none which take a higher rank, in our estimation, than such as enter into a knowledge of household duties; for on these are perpetually dependent the happiness, comfort, and well-being of a family. In this opinion we are borne out by the author of “The Vicar of Wakefield” who says:
“The modest virgin, the prudent wife, and the careful matron, are much more serviceable in life than petticoated philosophers, blustering heroines, or virago queens. She who makes her husband and her children happy, who reclaims the one from vice and trains up the other to virtue, is a much greater character than ladies described in romances, whose whole occupation is to murder mankind with shafts from their quiver, or their eyes.”Isabella Beeton (Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management)
New to homeschooling? Read this.