Dads: You're Only Worth Half of What Mom's Worth. Happy Father's Day.

Family Matters on 06.16.11
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This Sunday, dads all over the country will see firsthand just how appreciated they are thanks to all Father’s Day gifts they’ll receive. Yet as much as these patriarchs are valued, their true worth is only about half that of that of moms. 

At least according to Salary.com, which does an annual survey to estimate what a father should earn per year. To arrive at that number, they polled over 1,000 dads, both the working and the stay-at-home variety, then used the answers they provided in conjunction with something called the “Certified Compensation Professional benchmarking principals.” (Um, I was under the impression there’d be no math?)

According to the survey, working dads put in 30.6 parenting hours per week, thus translating to a $33,858 annual salary. The stay-at-home dads parented for 52.9 hours per week which equates to $60,128 per year. Not too bad, I suppose, if you’re into putting a price tag on something like that. 

Yet the amount is paltry compared to the would-be pay of stay-at-home moms. And we know this because Salary.com surveyed the mommies in May and they reported parenting 96.6 hours per week, thus garnering a $115,432 a year. (It’s unclear if some those earnings go toward subcontractors such as Rent-a-Grandma.) 

What about working moms, you ask? They reported parenting for 55.9 hours in addition to the presumed 40 they clocked at their “real jobs” (talk about your work-life balance), thus entitling them to a salary of $63,472. 

Egads, folks. Now, I’m no math major, but how can a working mom earn more for parenting ($63,472) than a stay-at-home dad ($60,128)? One stay-at-home dad has a theory. James Rohl (aka Portland Dad), who authors the fantastic blog Stay at Home Dad PDX, had this to say: 

I believe, on average, stay-at-home dads see working moms as a valued partner and so dads only count the hours they are alone with their kids. But on average, stay-at-home moms count all the time they're with the kids no matter who's there. Even if their husbands are home, the idea is moms are still working and on the job. I don't think that accurately reflects what's really happening. 

Or, maybe moms are just tired of getting the shaft when it comes to pay in the workplace and are, thus, riding the clock a bit at home?

I'm being somewhat facetious, folks. At least about the riding the clock thing. But I do think that James is on to something. That's not to say that a good mom isn't worth every penny of these fictitious salaries. For everyone knows that a good mom is of infinite value. But a good dad is of infinite value, too.

And, for what it's worth, you'll note that half of infinity is still infinity. (There's that math again.) 

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