Some people believe that being a stay-at-home mom or housewife means a life of luxury, and for some that is exactly what it may be. But what many people don’t consider is all the work that these women put into keeping the house running and making sure that your favourite shirt is clean and ironed, or that you have a fresh pair of socks in your draw.
Being a stay-at-home mom or housewife comprises of many duties. These include keeping the house clean, doing the grocery shopping, doing the laundry, the daily cooking, looking after the children, which includes fetching and taking them to their various after school activities, as well as being a lovely wife and mother.
But how many people actual stop to think about all these women do for us and take the time to thank them?
With Mother’s Day just around the corner (10 May), Justmoney looks at what your wife, partner, or mother is really worth.
You can’t afford a stay-at-home mom
Steve Nelms of Plano, Texas, decided to find out how much his stay-at-home wife, Glory was worth. In other words, if he had to pay his wife to perform all the duties that she does on a daily basis, including looking after their two year old son, what would it cost him?
What he found, was that taking into consideration costs such as child care, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping, tasks which his wife performs on a daily basis, he cannot afford his wife. Together these costs, if he had to pay service companies to perform them, would cost him $73 690 per year (approximately R880 595.50 per year at today’s exchange rate).
In a blog post about his findings Nelms said: “The truth is, I’m ashamed of any time I’ve ever made (my wife) feel guilty or humoured when she’s purchased something for herself. I’m ashamed that she has ever felt like she doesn’t have just as much right to our income as I do.
“The fact of the matter is that our income doesn’t even come close to covering what she does for our family. I would have to make over 100K ($100 000) to even begin to be able to cover my living expenses as well as employ my wife as a Stay-At-Home Mom!”
The local costs of having a stay-at-home mom
A recent article highlighted the cost of a housewife to be approximately R50 000 per month in South Africa. This looked at some of the basic tasks carried out by a stay-at-home mother, including cooking, running errands, grocery shopping, transporting the children to their various activities and school, cleaning, child care and helping with homework, as well as laundry and ironing.
Catering services:If you were to order your meals from a catering service it could cost you a few thousand Rand per month. For example, In Good Taste in Kyalami, Johannesburg, offers a range of catering options. However, only private catering is available on public holidays, and you need to order a minimum of two portions per meal.
For the month of April 2015, it could cost up to R2 540 for one meal a day for the month .
Concierge services:This includes things such as grocery shopping, making any necessary arrangements that may be needed around the house, and even walking the family dog.
For example, Concierge Améliorer offers a range of services, including, as the website states:
· Dropping off and fetching your children from school;
· Taking your pet to the vet;
· Calling in a maintenance man for those annoying appliance repairs; and
· Queuing for licenses and passports.
The cost of concierge services will depend on the services that you require.
According to an article by Fin24, “[If] you had to hire someone to do your grocery shopping, make family arrangements and even take the dog for a walk now and then, it could cost you at least R25 000 per month according to Cape Concierge or R250 per hour according to Black Tie Affair.”
Transport:For working parents it can be difficult to fetch and take your children to their various activities during the day. Having a company specialising in transporting your children safely from one location to the next is one of the options available to you.
For example, Soccermom Family offers transport services in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. The cost of transportation will depend on the distance travelled. The rates for Cape Town are as follows:
|Service Fee||Permanent Driver Fee|
|per trip / hour||per km|
|Category A - under 21||R 365.00||R 55.00||R 3.85|
|Category B - above 21||R 365.00||R 55.00||R 3.85|
|Category C - with PDP||R 400.00||R 60.00||R 3.85|
Cleaning services:KE Maids in Johannesburg offers cleaning services to people seven days a week. The daily rate for services from Monday to Friday are R230, with Saturday costing R250 and services on a Sunday costing R330.
However, if you use the KE Maids services more three days per week, the rate is reduced by R20. For more information on the domestic worker wages, click here.
If you were to utilise these cleaning services once a week (on a week day), it would end up costing you approximately R920 (for a four week month), or R11 960 per year.
Au pair services:To assist your children with homework, an au pair or similar service will mostly likely be utilised.
Absolut Au Pairs provides parents with a selection of qualified au pairs who are able to assist their children with homework, as well as take them to their various after school activities. The rates will differ depending on the experience and qualifications of the au pair, as well the payment option decided on.
For an hourly payment option, there is a rate usually ranging between R40 and R50, with an additional R1.75 per kilometre travelled, when the au pair is travelling for you (such as taking your children to after school activities). There is a full day minimum rate of R170 per day when working on an hour rate system.
If making use of the monthly salary option, the choices are as follows: between R3000 and R3800 per month for a half day position for approximately hours of work per day, or between R5500 and R7000 per month for a full day position.
As a working parent you would most likely need an au pair on a permanent basis, which means that au pair could cost you up to R84 000 per year.
Laundry services:There are a variety of laundries that provide, wash, dry and ironing services to the busy professional who doesn’t have time to take care of their laundry themselves. At many of these establishments, the price will depend on the weight of the laundry and the services that you request.
At Fresh Laundry, they charge you per weight category, ranging from 0kg to 4kg, up to 8kg/plus. As well as R28 per kilogram for ironing. The wash and dry rates are as follows:
|Wash Dry and fold|
If you have between four and six kilograms of washing per week, this will cost you R66 per week just for washing and dry. If you want it ironed as well, that will be an additional R168 for 6kg. That is a total monthly cost of R936, and an annual cost of approximately R12 168.
The expenses for each of these services will differ on the needs of each household. However, it is evident that on a monthly basis, would cost a minimum of about R10 000 to make use of some of these types of services, and well over R100 000 per year.
It is expensive to run a home, and even though it may not seem like a lot of work, if you look at the costs involved of hiring someone else to do the work, you realise just how much your wife and mother actually does.
Perhaps it is time to start showing appreciation for all the things that these women do for us on a daily basis, often with little or no reward or thanks.