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The contribution moms make to their family is priceless. However, if America’s mothers were paid for their work around the house, they would have earned an annual salary of $140,315 over the past year, according to’s Mother’s Day Index for 2024. 

Moms’ wages increased by 5% from last year’s Mother’s Day Index, which found that the work mothers did was equivalent to a salary of $133,440. This wage increase is slightly ahead of the 3.5% inflation seen over the last 12 months.

For the past 14 years, has compiled salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and used the data to calculate hourly wages for common tasks mothers do around the home. 

Such work includes: 

  • Cooking meals
  • Helping with homework
  • Caregiving
  • Cleaning the house
  • Doing the laundry
  • Providing emotional support

For instance, we estimated that a mom could spend 14 hours a week cooking. Cooks, according to the BLS, make $16.31 an hour. For cooking 14 hours a week for 52 weeks, Insure put mom’s annual compensation for preparing meals at $11,874. The editors then added the pay for cooking with the salaries for the common jobs moms do and came up with an annual salary figure. 

When we added up the true market value of all the duties that mothers perform, we reached a 2024 salary of  $140,315. 

The Mother’s Day Index is intended to acknowledge the work mothers do. For many, being a mother includes balancing a family and a home with a full-time job — doing two jobs but only being financially compensated for one.

The value of mom’s unpaid labor continues to climb

In calculating mom’s salary for 2024, editors used the same 19 job categories that were the basis for last year’s index (see table, below). Earnings increased for all but a couple of tasks. The jobs with the largest wage growth were: 

  • Cook: 10%
  • Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses: 9%
  • Maids and housekeeping cleaners: 9%
  • Child care worker: 8%
  • Personal care aides: 8%
  • Laundry workers: 8%

A couple of jobs actually saw wage declines in this year’s index. They are: 

  • Judge, magistrates and other judicial workers: -10%
  • Design services: -1%

The $140,315 salary that mothers would earn if they were paid for their household duties far outstrips the average salary for all work in the U.S. Real median household income in the U.S. during 2022 was $74,580, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Profession Hours per week Weeks per year Mean hourly
2024 annual earnings Change from 2023
Accountants and auditors0.552$43.65$1,1355%
Chauffeurs and shuttle drivers952$17.75$8,3075%
Childcare worker4052$15.42$32,0748%
Elementary school teacher*2036$34$24,4804%
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists0.552$20.09$5227%
Judge, magistrates & other judicial workers350$66.83$10,025-10%
Landscaping and groundskeeping workers152$19.13$9957%
Laundry workers450$15.33$3,0668%
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses212$29.23$7029%
Maids and housekeeping cleaners1052$16.66$8,6639%
Meeting & convention planners88$29.94$1,9166%
Mental health counselor540$25.17$5,0345%
Community and social service specialists4012$25.97$12,4665%
Design services58$36.52$1,461-1%
Other teachers and instructors1040$33.81$13,5246%
Personal care aides352$16.05$2,5048%
Private detectives and investigators58$28.98$1,1591%

*Additional job during COVID-19 pandemic

*Some professions might not perfectly match last year’s description due to editors updated selection of job titles.

Mothers and life insurance

This year’s index highlights the large contribution that moms make to American households. Unfortunately, the fact that such work is unpaid means it also is often undervalued. That is especially true when families think about their life insurance needs. 

Traditionally, many families have purchased life insurance to cover the income of the family’s breadwinner. Until very recently, dads have earned substantially more than most moms. 

As a result of that legacy, fathers remain more likely to have life insurance coverage than mothers. 

In fact, about 57% of men but just 46% of women have life insurance, according to research from LIMRA and Life Happens, two insurance industry trade associations.

Even if mothers do not work outside the home, purchasing enough life insurance to cover their contribution to the family can be a wise decision, says Todd Taylor, senior vice president and head of life insurance solutions at New York Life.

“While a parent or caregiver who does not work outside the home is not collecting income in the traditional sense, this year’s estimate demonstrates this work has significant financial value,” Taylor says. 

Alongside the grief families feel from the loss of a loved one, Taylor notes that the death of a mother or anyone else who is responsible for many duties inside the home will also have financial repercussions. 

“There is a real cost to replacing [the] critical elements of making a household run smoothly,” he says. 

Karen Terry, assistant vice president and head of LIMRA insurance product research, also believes stay-at-home moms should consider purchasing life insurance. 

“I definitely believe mothers need life insurance,” she says. “Think of everything a stay-at-home mom does that her partner would need to pay for if she were gone — [such as] child care [and] housekeeping services.” (See Terry’s advice on how mothers can get the right level of coverage.)

Both Taylor and Terry say it’s also important to account for the fact that many mothers intend to return to work once their children are older. “That’s lost income,” she says, referring to the fact that a mother who dies can no longer earn a salary the family was counting on. 

How much life insurance do you need? 

When it comes to determining how much life insurance mom needs, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. 

“Everyone’s situation is different,” Terry says. “Families should talk through their decision with a financial professional.”

For moms who work, purchasing enough life insurance to cover their income is essential. Many experts recommend getting 10 to 15 times your income in life insurance coverage.

Stay-at-home moms can determine how much coverage they need by putting a dollar figure on each household duty that mom performs – as has done in the index – and arriving at a ballpark total of how much it will cost to replace their contribution. 

Terry says it is important to remember that you will need enough insurance to cover the ongoing cost of replacing a mother’s contribution for up to several years. For this reason, you will need to multiply the amount you came up with by the number of years your family would depend on you.

“How many years until the kids are grown?” she asks. “It’s also important to keep in mind that inflation will add to these costs over time.”

Taylor agrees, saying parents should think beyond using life insurance merely to cover funeral expenses “and also estimate the multi-year cost of replacing the work the caregiver is doing in the home.”

Cutting the cost of life insurance

Whether you purchase life insurance for mom, dad, or someone else, you can take steps to lower your costs. 

“In general, taking care of yourself and keeping in good health, not smoking, and buying insurance when you’re younger can lower the cost,” Terry says. 

Taylor points out that purchasing life insurance earlier in life is especially important for those trying to cut costs. 

“Life insurance increases in cost the longer you wait to acquire it,” he says. “So, it’s often most beneficial to secure protection when you’re young and healthiest.”

However, he adds that cost should not be the only factor when purchasing coverage. You also want to choose an insurer in good financial standing that can be trusted to meet its financial obligations. 

“Consumers must balance the desire to limit cost today with the confidence they have in the company backing that promise,” Taylor says. 


United States Census Bureau. “Income in the United States: 2022.” Accessed May 2024.


Mean hourly wages are based on current occupational wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It does not include income from work performed outside the home. The annual wage and percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number. Sums may add up to more than 100. The editors determine the hours and weeks of each occupation based on their research and the values assigned to those tasks in past indexes. 

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Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher


Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.