Mom’s salary soared into the six-figure salary range as she struggles to keep up with the demands created during the COVID-19 pandemic – demands that don’t seem to show any signs of letting up any time soon. In its 11th year, the Mother’s Day Index calculates that Mom has received a significant raise, jumping up 23% to $116,022 from $93,920 last year.

Each year, the Mother’s Day Index assigns a value to all the home management jobs that primary caregivers do. From making dinner to helping with homework, solving sibling squabbles to planning summer activities (remember those?), the Insure.com team relates popular tasks to real-world job titles and calculates a salary based on the most recent wage information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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When the going gets tough, the tough… keeps doing what they’ve been doing for more than a year

For the second year in a row, moms have taken on even more than they already did pre-pandemic – raising the total number of calculated jobs to 19. The 19th task is the “bonus” job of assisting and supporting their children's education in this unusual school year.  This job was calculated with 36 weeks, instead of the short 12 weeks last year, helped drive up mom’s salary. However, many common tasks also saw a bump in pay without a change in hours.

Of the core 18 jobs, 15 saw a wage increase; the remaining three were flat or saw a small wage drop.

The jobs that earned moms the most this year:

  • Chauffeurs and shuttle drivers: +17%
  • Summer activity planner: +14%
  • Baker: +12%

The jobs that earned moms less this year:

  • Meeting and party planner: -2%
  • Landscaper: 0%
  • Instructor (homework helper): 0%

Many jobs in our index saw considerable increases, despite a significant economic downturn in many industries during 2020.

“Initially, it might be surprising to see such a jump in mom’s salary this year,” said Insure.com’s consumer analyst, Penny Gusner. “But wages were already established for 2020 in 2019 – before COVID started to affect businesses. I would expect to see stagnated growth is in the 2022 index – reflecting the constricted budgets of 2021.”

Mother’s Day job values index 2021

BLS occupation titleMother's job descriptionHours per weekWeeks per yearMean Hourly WageAnnual earnings (rounded)Change from 2020
CookCooking1452$12.63$9,1913%
Chauffeurs and shuttle driversDriving952$15.15$7,09017%
Other teachers and instructorsHelping with homework1040$23.55$9,4200%
Childcare workerTaking care of the kids4052$13.55$28,18410%
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nursesNursing wounds212$21.60$5188%
Maids and housekeeping cleanersCleaning up1052$12.43$6,4613%
Meeting & convention plannersPlanning parties88$24.90$1,594-2%
Other community and social service specialistsSummer activity planner4012$26.13$12.54014%
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologistsHaircuts0.552$15.03$3916%
Personal care aidesShopping for the family352$13.43$2,0945%
Accountants and auditorsFamily finances0.552$29.65$7714%
Landscaping and groundskeeping workersYard work152$15.13$7870%
Other designersFixing up the house58$27.68$1,1075%
Private detectives and investigatorsFinding out what the kids are up to58$24.48$9791%
BakerMaking baked goodies for bake sale, birthdays, etc.38$14.60$5,44512%
Mental health counselorTalking to kids about relationship problems540$27.23$5,4459%
Judge, magistrates & other judicial workersBreaking apart fighting kids and deciding who did what and the punishment350$46.60$6,9603%
Laundry workersWashing and folding family laundry450$13.05$2,6108%
Elementary/Middle school teacher*Taking over/assisting with educational duties during pandemic2036$27.13$19,530N/A
TOTAL183  $116,02223%

*Additional job during COVID-19 pandemic

Moms are feeling the burn – but not the good kind

If there was a single word that might describe moms this year, that word would be “burnout.”

On an average pre-pandemic day, 46% of women did housework compared to only 22% of men, according to an American Time Use survey by the BLS. Then, during the pandemic, the BLS reported that 80% of the 1.1 million people who exited the workforce were women; many were moms who needed to be at home with children to take the lead on at-home distance learning and heavier involvement in day-to-day schooling.

More than half of moms with children in school said that the stress and worry of the pandemic have affected their mental health. A recent study from Care.org revealed that women have been hit harder mentally from the pandemic environment than men, as 27% of women are concerned for their mental health during this time compared to 10% of their male counterparts.

And it’s no wonder why: From our calculations, moms are squeezing 183 hours of unpaid work into a 168-hour week – many of whom are also trying to stay afloat at paying job. Laundry is rotated during work-from-home schedules, homework is done while dinner is warming on the stove, the shopping list is written out while the kids are in the bath, and that talk important talk about your daughter’s friends happens in the car on the way to get the groceries. Research from the National Institute of Health shows that multitasking may not be the best way to get these things done, but until mom’s salary is real and she can afford an assistant, helping her out more around the house is definitely #1 on the list of things she wants this year.

Acknowledging that someone special on Mother’s DayMother's Day cupcakes

While May certainly reminds us of Mother’s Day, at Insure.com, we want all primary caregivers to feel acknowledged and celebrated. Siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors all might play an integral part in primary care. We invite you to use our Mother’s Day Index as a friendly reminder to show your love and appreciation for the primary caregiver in your home – whoever that might be.

Lessons learned from 2020

Whatever you call them, that person does an awful lot for your family, so what would happen if you no longer had them in your life? Last year, families experienced losses at a staggering rate. The Coronavirus has proven unpredictable with who would be fatally affected. Life insurance helps us prepare for the worst, though we have every reason to hope for the best.

“At Insure.com, we’re on a mission to educate people about the security that comes from having a life insurance policy in place for your loved ones. If you’re a parent, having life insurance secures financial coverage for your loved ones after your death to ensure they can still afford the same quality of life,” explains Gusner. “Your loved ones likely need to continue to pay for a mortgage, household bills, childcare, education, and the unanticipated cost of funeral expenses – averaging around $7,600. No one should have to figure out how to pay the bills while they are grieving, and with a policy in place, they won’t have to.”

However, those are only the large and immediate costs. Our Mother’s Day index demonstrates that losing the person who does the most chores in the household would cost $116,022, if you had to pay to keep up with all that was done. 

The mental and physical load of trying to keep up with everything done by that person is too much for one person to take on, and again where a life insurance policy can have a huge positive impact. Family can use that money to hire housekeeping, childcare, transport services, to name a few.

Finding a life insurance policy doesn’t have to be overwhelming

The last thing you need right now is another impossible task; that’s why Insure.com has made it so easy to get a quote and get your policy.

Insure.com’s Life Insurance calculator is a three-minute quiz that gives you an instant idea of how much coverage you should have and what type of policy you’ll need. You can immediately start comparing policy quotes from the best life insurance companies.

Mom doesn’t need another coffee mug, she needs to refill her cup

“Caregivers are struggling to find ways to reduce stress when they’re around their kids, sometimes 24/7. It’s imperative for people to find healthy ways to reduce stress to avoid chronic health problems as a result of this time,” says Gusner. “The healthier you are, the cheaper it is to get a life insurance policy, but even something like chronic high blood pressure can raise your rates.”

For Mother’s Day this year, try showing her that you understand just how valuable she is to you and your family. We’re hoping you can find that perfect gift for that special person in your family’s life. Acknowledging and demonstrating appreciation for all that she does looks different from person to person, but the peace of mind of knowing your family is provided for is something every mother will 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 and rounded to the nearest dollar amount.