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Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst

Mom for president: A Mother’s Day appreciation poll

Insure.com's annual Mother's Day Index is hitting the trail this year -- the campaign trail.

While highlighting mom's monetary worth for five years in a row, we took a hint from the presidential primaries and asked 1,000 Americans about their moms’ fitness to be Commander in Chief. We asked them about mom’s road to the White House, what motherly advice they’d give to the candidates, and asked actual moms what they covet as gifts for their special day.

Mother's Day Infographic

Don’t make me come over there

In this election year, we’ve seen a lot of name-calling, tantrums and finger pointing. Sounds like they could use a mom. You know, that special someone who can set you straight with one very powerful eyebrow raise. A mom who, when you start acting a little too big for your britches, makes sure to tell you that no one likes a know-it-all/tattletale/sore winner/sore loser/fill-in-the-blank.

Actually, POTUS and Mom have a lot in common:

  • Keeps the peace in the “house.”
  • Has to prioritize everyone, equally, all the time.
  • Never able to just “run a quick errand.”
  • Takes a lot of flak for things that go wrong – even if it’s not really their fault.
  • Wants what’s best for you – even if they don’t know how to help achieve it.

Road to the White House

As much as mom was on your case to finish your homework before bedtime, it’s no surprise that 25 percent of all respondents said that education would be their mother’s platform as president.  After all, moms want everyone to have access to a quality education, because they’re really counting on you becoming a doctor or a lawyer one day.

Here are the platforms for moms:

  • 25 percent - Education
  • 23 percent - Gun control
  • 18 percent - Balance the budget
  • 16 percent - Job programs
  • 16 percent - Foreign relations

Separating the responses between the sexes, 27 percent of women reported that mom’s platform would be education, while 27 percent of men said gun control.

First things first

Now that Mom is in the White House, what would be her first order of business? And we’re not talking about meetings with heads of state or signing bills into law. What would she really do the second she got the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

  • 28 percent say Mom would first get settled in her new digs by rearranging the furniture. Perhaps some feng shui in the Cabinet Room wouldn’t hurt?
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents said their moms would immediately pick out the newest White House china pattern – a long-standing tradition of the first family. Almost 20 percent reported that Mom would hire the chef and start tasting food.
  • 14 percent said she’d head out to Camp David
  • 14 percent said she’d go mow the lawn

Air Force One

The rigors of the presidency can take their toll, so one perk is being able to catch a flight on Air Force One to anywhere you want.

  • Nearly 30 percent of respondents envisioned their moms wanting to jet set off to a tropical beach vacation.
  • 23 percent chose a jaunt to a European city.
  • 22 percent said mom was off to see extended family.
  • 15 percent of respondents replied that their mom would probably drop in for a visit.

If your mom would use the private jet of the highest office in the United States to come see you, maybe a visit to mom’s house would be a good idea for a Mother’s Day present. Hint, hint.

Mom could set them right

Moms are charged with teaching a lot to their kids, like the difference between right and wrong, playing fair, and telling the truth. Maybe moms could offer up some great lessons for those currently seeking the presidential office.

We asked respondents, “What advice would your mom give to the current candidates?”

  • 21 percent - “You're only as good as your word.”
  • 20.4 percent - “Be good, and if you can't be good, be careful.”
  • 17.7 percent - “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.”
  • 16.1 percent - “When in fear or in doubt, run around and scream and shout.”
  • 12.5 percent - “By the inch, it's a cinch. By the yard, it's hard.”
  • 7.1 percent - “If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.”  
  • 5.2 percent - “You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.”

The advice was scattered – probably since most of the candidates could stand to hear it all – but 21 percent of all respondents said they imagined their moms lecturing candidates, “You are only as good as your word.” That answer garnered 26 percent of women’s votes; however, the men’s top answer with 22 percent was “Be good, and if you can't be good, be careful.”

Mom is Most Like JFK

We all have role models, and often Mom ranks right up there alongside some pretty iconic ones. It’s not hard to see how mom might embody some of the best qualities of our past presidents: Mom is a founder, a leader, a communicator, a unifier, an advocate or a gracious host of a warm hearth.

We asked respondents to tell us which past president their moms are most like. Here are the responses from all respondents:

  • 21.7 percent:  John F. Kennedy – American royalty
  • 19.8 percent: Ronald Reagan – The Great Communicator
  • 19 percent:  Abraham Lincoln – Champion of Unity
  • 13.8 percent : Bill Clinton –  Life of the party 
  • 13 percent: George Washington – Would never tell a lie
  • 13 percent: Theodore Roosevelt – Environmental activist

Twenty-two percent of women chose the Great Communicator Ronald Reagan as most like their moms, while 24 percent of men chose American Royalty John F. Kennedy.

The value of mom

There’s a lot of hard work that, as a Mom or the president, can go largely unappreciated. The president’s annual income is $400,000, and perhaps that’s not even enough for the job. But what’s a mom’s income for all that she does? That’s right: zilch. Just the sweet satisfaction of a ransacked living room, barely touched dinner plates and perhaps a well-deserved glass of wine after bedtime.

Each year, Insure.com calculates the value of moms – shining a light on just how much they do for us each and every day.  Using the most current data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insure.com divides mom’s time into hours (or minutes) of each day spent being various professionals – earning that profession’s average wage.

This year, the value of a mom’s many jobs was almost that same as last year, rising only $239 to $65,522.65. And you thought your 3 percent raise was lousy! Mom got a salary bump of less than a half of a percent!

If Mom spent a mere 24 hours of her year as president, she’d receive a healthy increase in salary of $4,615 – a 7 percent raise. That’s not bad for a day’s work!

Mother’s Day job values index

Mother's job descriptionBLS Occupation TitleHours Per Year2016 median hourly wage2016 median annual earnings2015 median hourly wageChange compared to LYMom's 2016 annual earnings
Taking care of the kids Childcare worker 2080 $10.75 $22,360.00 $11.10 -3.2% $22,360.00
Summer activity planner Social director 480 $18.20 $37,856.00 $18.68 -2.6% $8,736.00
Helping with homework Teacher/ instructor 400 $20.43 $42,484.00 $19.30 5.9% $8,170.00
Cooking Cook 728 $10.00 $20,800.00 $10.13 -1.3% $7,280.00
Driving Taxi driver/ chauffeur 468 $14.63 $30,420.00 $12.12 20.7% $6,844.50
Cleaning up Maid/ housekeeping cleaner 520 $10.18 $21,164.00 $10.00 1.8% $5,291.00
Shopping for the family Personal assistant 156 $11.03 $22,932.00 $10.63 3.8% $1,719.90
Planning parties Meeting, convention and event planner 64 $21.00 $43,680.00 $24.53 -14.4% $1,344.00
Fixing up the house Designer 40 $23.48 $48,843.08 $23.27 0.9% $939.20
Finding out what the kids are up to Private detective 40 $21.08 $43,836.00 $25.91 -18.6% $843.00
Family finances Accountant/auditor 26 $24.70 $51,376.00 $24.98 -1.1% $642.20
Yard work Grounds maintenance worker 52 $11.73 $24,288.00 $12.95 -9.4% $609.70
Nursing wounds Licensed nurse 24 $18.43 $38,324.00 $18.43 0.0% $442.20
Hair stylist Hairstylist and cosmetologist 26 $11.58 $24,076.00 $11.90 -2.7% $300.95

Mom’s total earnings: $65,522.65

 

What if Mom wasn’t around?

When we celebrate moms and remember to thank them louder and hug them tighter, we should also be aware just how much we depend on our family members. Considering everything that a mom does in a day, a week, or a year, how much would it take to replace her if she were gone?

Each year, Insure.com calculates the value of mom as a gentle – yet important – reminder that every family should have a life insurance policy in place, should the worst happen.

Insure.com’s life insurance calculator can help you estimate what you would need financially after the death of a loved one. This takes into account job-based income, debts, funeral expenses, education and inheritance. As a parent, purchasing a life insurance policy is just one more way that you can help protect and care for your family.

The average cost of a $250,000 20-year term life policy is just $160 a year for a healthy 30-year-old female. That’s less that $15 – or one salmon, avocado and quinoa salad – per month. You can find ratings on leading life insurance companies with Insure.com's best life insurance companies reviews.

Give Mom your support

Mother’s Day gives us the opportunity to recognize moms everywhere – maybe giving just a bit more thought than usual into thanking them for all that they do every day. But moms always seem to say the same thing: “I don’t need a present.” And they’re right, they don’t need one, but it sure is nice. We asked 500 moms to break their vow of maternal martyrdom and tell us what they really want (or don’t want) this Mother’s day.

When we talked to moms, this is what they told us:


Mom wants to go shopping

Nearly half of the moms who we interviewed said that a $500 shopping spree would be their preference over jewelry (17.8 percent) or even a weekend vacation (31.4 percent). Mom probably buys a lot of things – but most of them are likely not for her. This Mother’s Day, consider treating her to some shopping at a favorite store – just not the grocery store.

Ditch the ’50s gifts

Gone are the days of giving mother a household appliance as a gift. Giving a mom a vacuum is like handing her a chore. Even if she WANTS a new vacuum, it’s not a gift, it’s a maintenance tool.  Almost a quarter of moms stated the thing they would not want the most was a household appliance and another quarter of respondents said that the thing they do not want is perfume.

Along the lines of perfume, flowers also made the list – with 14 percent of moms requesting to keep the floral arrangement far away. The vote is in: No more smells.  

Moms are saps

It’s true, as much as moms want a gift card and three hours of uninterrupted time to shop, they are suckers for a handmade gift. In fact, 34 percent of moms surveyed reported that a homemade gift was the best Mother’s Day present they have received. This is great news if your Mother’s Day budget isn’t as robust as you’d like it to be, because as it turns out, she might just love your spaghetti with red sauce and a glass of Two-Buck Chuck more than anything else.

The vote is in: Mom wins!

Showing appreciation for mom this Mother’s Day is like voting: do some research, narrow the field, agree on what’s most important, then on that special day, go a little bit out of your way and show ’em some love.

Methodology

“Mom’s value” is based on occupational wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and does not include a salary from work outside the home. It is calculated using a list of common household tasks that mothers often perform.

For the data on moms’ presidential opinions and Mother’s Day gifts, Insure.com commissioned a survey of 1,000 men and woman age 25 or older who have children ages 6-20. The survey, conducted by Op4g, was fielded in March 2016.

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