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How Much is a Mother Really Worth?

Show Ma the money!
How Much is a Mother Really Worth?
ILLUSTRATOR Gab Gutierrez
Show Ma the money!

What’s the hardest job you can think of? Nuclear safety inspector? That’s got to be pretty tough. How about chief financial officer for a multinational company? Imagine the work hours on that. What about being the PR manager of a senator-comedian this past couple of weeks? Definitely a nightmare.

Who knows, maybe your own job even crossed your mind, because who hasn’t buckled under the pressures of work? No matter what the job description is, the common denominator for all jobs is that the paychecks are earned. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Unless, of course, you’re a mother and you literally give your kids free lunches. Dinners and breakfasts, too.

Mom’s Value

Moms do more than just cook, but let’s start with that. The average salary of a chef is about P40,000 per month. If she goes the extra mile and makes sure that she’s serving up meals that are catered to the nutritional needs of the family, a dietitian earns about P12,000 per month.

Moms who do the cleaning themselves should receive P5,000 per month, which is the average salary of a housekeeper. If the mom drives for the family, such as bringing the kids to school, she should earn an extra P14,000 per month. The bodyguarding will probably be part of the package.

Even if mom doesn’t do the work all by herself, helpers don’t magically come knocking at the door ready to work. Usually, mothers are also the ones who seek out and hire helpers. They conduct interviews and background checks. They are the ones who train them for tasks and resolve any issues that may arise from their behavior and performance at work. Someone who works in human resources makes about P20,000 per month.

Well-trained staff members like drivers, gardeners, and housekeepers need direction. It is typically mom who traditionally takes on the role of manager. She takes care of the scheduling of tasks, supervising of the household helpers, and makes sure that the household runs smoothly. An experienced manager typically earns P55,000 monthly.

Running a household also involves paying the bills, budgeting, and keeping track of where the money flows in and out. A bookkeeper would earn an average of P14,000 monthly.

Mothers also take on more specialized tasks. If a child needs help with an assignment and the mother steps up to help, she could charge an average of P100 per hour, the average rate of a private tutor. If we assume that the child gets an hour of homework each school day, that comes out to P2,000 per month.

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If there are small kids in the home, mom makes sure that they are safe and cared for. A childcare worker typically earns P18,000 a month. When someone gets sick and mom helps care for him or her, there’s value in that, too. A staff nurse with moderate experience earns about P17,000 per month.

Professional cuddlers have been on the news recently, and they charge up to US$80 per hour. Something to think about the next time mom gives you a hug.

The Bottom Line

Of course, finding out how much mom should make isn’t as easy as adding up the figures listed above.  You need to take into consideration that much of pay depends on location and experience, plus that most jobs have an expectation of multi-tasking anyway.

Also, salaries are ultimately subject to negotiation and additional benefits such as vacation leaves and performance incentives. Overtime is also a factor. There’s also the added complication that the work of mothers that concerns the children are considered as investments, meaning that the full value is to be realized at a future time. You can’t help but also factor in that a mother works out of a sense of love and duty rather than financial gain.

Taking these into account, the grand total of a mother’s worth is priceless.  So for Mother’s Day, call your mother and tell her that she’s your queen.

*Average salaries culled from glassdoor.com, jobstreet.com, and payscale.com 

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