Daddy’s Daycare

So for the next two days I have the rather unusual fact that my wife is in a course and I’ll looking after the kids by myself.  I don’t expect any revelations out of these days as I’m already aware of how hard it is to look after kids full time.  I already deeply respect and value what my wife does.

Yet this respect is hardly universal between parents.  Childcare in general doesn’t get a good standing for a lot of people.  Actually I keep coming across articles about trying to put a dollar value on what mom’s  do in the home.  A recent one in Today’s Parent I believe put the value between about $65,000 to $120,000 a year depending on weather mom worked full time or stayed at home (I’m going from memory here as I don’t have the article in front of me).

Exercises like that I find are absurd.  We are trying to value something in terms of money that shouldn’t be.  It’s demeaning to reduce raising your children in terms of just money.  I don’t raise my children in hope of a profit so why should I assign my wife’s work with our kids with a fictitious salary.

The truth of the matter to me, is it comes down to repect.  Do you repect the person that cares for your children?  I think that is perhaps what these exercises are looking forward.  Valuation and respect in terms that most people can relate to (even those without kids).  Yet I personally don’t respect people in terms of what they make, so in that regard I find these exercises meaningless.

So why do they keep showing up?  Are they signs of low self esteem from stay at home parents?  Or is it a sign of how over money focused we are as a society?  To be honest I’m not sure which or if it is something else entirely.  What do you think?

5 thoughts on “Daddy’s Daycare”

  1. I think it has to do with a lot of people in society “value” people based on what they do (and what they think they make). When I mentioned to a friend I was considering staying home after kids they said “but why? you have all that experience, great education, making good money, why would you give it up? I could understand if you didn’t make much…”
    Let’s face it. Stay at home moms don’t get the respect they deserve (even from other moms who work, which is scary!)

  2. It’s also a useful exercise to determine the “value” of a stay-at-home parent for the purposes of life insurance. If that stay-at-home parent dies, you’ll need to make arrangements for alternate child care, which could be pricey.

  3. Mintycake,

    Oh that is the truth. My wife has faced a few looks like “Oh your not really working. It’s just a daycare.” Which I find terribly funny as people won’t be able to work without some kind of childcare.


    Actually not a bad idea, but the values are a bit out to lunch. We did our calculations for life insurance and we don’t have my wife’s ‘income’ any where near those values. I suppose if you don’t know it could give you a ballpark number to play with.


  4. You can also find this exercise useful in the event of a divorce where the wife was a full time stay at home mom. I have heard they do this when determining alimony etc.

  5. George, I’d say when figuring out the life insurance for if the stay at home parent died, you would calculate day care costs per year multiplied by how many years the kid would be in daycare (keeping in mind the numbers change once they’re in school, etc). That can give you a ball park on a term policy.

    Obviously we haven’t redone our insurance yet as we have no kids but we would likely get a joint first to die insurance policy using that type of calculation with an optional rider to allow us to buy more insurance – or we’d buy a convertable term policy as UL’s can be used as a savings vehicle later on.

    Tim – so true. My friend’s wife stayed home and some of the comments within our circle of friends were pretty harsh.

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