What’s Your Mom Worth? This Study Asked How Much Full-Time Moms Should Make

Stay-at-home mom salary
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I had this conversation with my mom the other day:

“I could never be a stay-at-home mom,” I said. “I’d lose my mind.”

“You do realize you don’t just sit around the house all day, right?” my mom responded.

Yeah, I realize that, especially because my mom was a stay-at-home mom the entirety of my childhood. I meant it more as “I don’t know if I could handle all that stuff you do.”

As early as I can remember, my mom woke up before us, ironed our clothes, packed our lunches, tended to our pets, dropped us off at school, stocked the fridge, cleaned the house, paid the bills, did the yard work, picked us up from school, fed us snacks, helped us with homework, made dinner, fed us dinner, did the dishes, dealt with any breakdowns, put us to bed — and did whatever else my young, naive self was unaware of.


You get the point. Moms are busy. Moms are admirable. Moms have arguably one of the toughest jobs.

So if Mom were to earn a salary, how much would it be?

Considering the work involved, it seems like a stay-at-home mom salary should be pretty high.

Credit Sesame, an online platform that provides consumers with free credit scores and tools to improve those scores, surveyed 1,000 people to get to the bottom of this hot-button question.

How Much Should Mom Get Paid? Here’s What 1,000 People Said

The Credit Sesame survey started with a simple question: If being a mom were a full-time job, what would the pay be like?

Here’s what folks said:

  • 38% said $0 to $49,000
  • 27% said $50,000 to $99,999
  • 20% said $100,000 to $149,999
  • 9% said $150 to $599,999
  • 6% said $600,000 plus

On average, respondents said moms’ salaries should be $70,811.83.

Before gasping in offense (like I did), compare that number to the average household income, which was $58,673 as of April 2017.

The results get more interesting when broken down by demographics.

For example, women were more likely to think moms should get paid more than men. On average, men said moms should get paid $60,163 per year, whereas women said moms should get paid $81,410. That’s a difference of more than $20,000.

Looking at the results by age, those who were 35 to 44 said moms should be paid the most — an average $78,968. The younger ones, like the 18- to 24-year-olds, answered with lower amounts, at an average $60,480.

They just don’t understand.

And by region? Apparently Southerners feel the most generous toward Mom. They thought, on average, mom should be paid $76,406. The West Coast didn’t agree, reporting moms should be paid an average $62,849.

Because We Can’t Afford to Pay Mom a Salary… Here’s How to Celebrate Mother’s Day on a Budget

Credit Sesame has a great point. Just think about what you’d pay for someone to drive you around, cook your meals and clean your house.

Unfortunately many of us children don’t have enough money to pay mom a salary, but we can show her our appreciation on Mother’s Day. (Which, I mean, we should do every day, but that’s another story.)

Here are some ideas that won’t cost you $70,000:

  • Buy her flowers. It’s a simple gesture, perhaps overdone, but a fresh pop of brightness in her space will make her smile all week. Plus, it won’t break your bank — and you can even save with these deals.
  • Treat her to a mimosa. If you download cash-back app Ibotta and take mom out for some bubbly, take a picture of your receipt and it’ll deposit up to $5 back into your account. You’ll get $10 for submitting your first receipt, too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! We think you’re worth a zillion bucks!

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what our moms would do. After all, they’re our guiding lights.

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her mom is her mentor, her therapist, her best friend and her roommate. And she’s OK with that.