Did you know that if you paid a housewife/husband for all the work they do, it would cost more than R600 000 a year?

As reported by Netwerk24, the amount is based on research by an American, Steve Nelms, who calculated what it would cost  if he had to pay professional service providers for the same work his wife, a stay-at-home-mom, does every day.

Based on his calculations, Rapport newspaper made similar calculations built on what local service providers would ask for. The result? All costs, excluding weekends, came to R54 770 per month or R657 240 per year.

Here’s a breakdown published on Fin24 of all the different services that housewives give freely, and what they would cost to hire from different providers:

- If you had a catering service cook your meals instead, it would cost more than R4000 a month.

- Concierge services (doing your grocery shopping, making your arrangements, etc) would cost around R25 000 a month.

- Transport services cost R3700 an upwards a month, while cleaning and laundry services cost R6050 and R2000 a month respectively.

- Need someone to look after your kids? Get ready to fork out R11 000 a month.

That’s a lot of money, right? Well, it’s also a lot of work. Most people can't afford to pay companies to do this work, but someone must. Unfortunately, this is then done without payment or much thanks.

In Manhattan, some housewives get performance bonuses. The Independent spoke to Wednesday Martin, who says that women in the Upper East Side who had no jobs, but focused on “intense mothering”, received bonuses from their husbands depending on how well the household was run or if their children were accepted into “good” schools.

Can you imagine having your husband as your boss, though? I mean, who decides these standards? How bad does it have to get before your husband wants to have you put in jail like this poor woman?

The choice to become a stay-at-home-parent is not an easy one. Yes, many do it so that they can spend more time with their children, while some are forced into it due to retrenchment or other issues.

But consider that giving up their job, even for 5 years, not only means a loss of income, but also the loss of development in their careers and personal lives, as well as annual raises, pension fund contributions and networking and growth opportunities.

So, no, we’re not saying stay-at-home-parents have to be paid a salary, but we are saying that you should take all this into consideration the next time you look down your nose at those who choose to stay home and look after their children.

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