Mother’s Day Index: Pandemic workload causes salary to soar


By: Jennifer Shelton

Date:  May 1. 2020

A mother’s value has never been clearer, as people across the world hold tighter to those with whom they are lucky enough to hug during this global pandemic. 

This year, the United States will celebrate Mother’s Day with modest celebrations – near and far -- conceived with love and a genuine desire for connection and appreciation. Handmade cards sent in the mail, dances and songs at the end of driveways, video chats with virtual hugs and blown kisses.

Each year, takes the time to recognize all that mothers do for their families. Work that is often physically, emotionally, and mentally draining – yet deeply rewarding. But unlike jobs that start with a timeclock, this work doesn’t stop and doesn’t come with a paycheck. So, the moms at wondered, “How much would a mom’s job be worth this year?”

Our annual Mother’s Day Index, in its 10th year, assigns an annual salary to the total value of common family duties. That value is based on the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics salary data and reflects the most reasonable job titles for the many hats that moms wear.

Mom’s value at an all-time high

We’ve added on four additional jobs to our list and a new and unexpected gig making mom’s value reach an all-time high at $93,920 – a 32% increase over last year.

The jobs that increased in pay the most this year:

  • 16% - Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
  • 14% - Private detectives and investigators
  • 14% - Counselor
  • 14% - Laundry

The jobs that stayed the same or decreased in pay this year:

  • -2% - Baker
  • 1% - Meeting and party planner
  • 0% - Childcare worker

Many jobs in our index saw considerable increases, despite an inflation rate hovering around 2.2% this year.  Without the new jobs being added in mom’s worth still would have seen a decent bump up of 6%.

“The U.S. economy was certainly moving in the right direction before COVID-19 began its sudden and drastic impact on unemployment, businesses and the stock market, so I’m not surprised to see such strong gains,” explained’s senior consumer analyst, Penny Gusner.


Mother’s Day job values index 2020

BLS occupation title Mother's job description Hours per week Weeks per year Mean Hourly Wage Change from 2019 Annual earnings (rounded)
Cook Cooking 14 52 $12.23 12% $8,900
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs Driving 9 52 $13.00 16% $6,084
Other teachers and instructors Helping with homework 10 40 $23.55 12% $9,420
Childcare worker Taking care of the kids 40 52 $12.28 0% $25,532
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses Nursing wounds 2 12 $19.98 8% $479
Maids and housekeeping cleaners Cleaning up 10 52 $12.10 6% $6,292
Meeting & convention planners Planning parties 8 8 $25.45 1% $1,629
Miscellaneous community and social service specialists Summer activity planner 40 12 $23.00 4% $11,040
Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists Haircuts 0.5 52 $14.23 4% $370
Personal care aides Shopping for the family 3 52 $12.73 3% $1,985
Accountants and auditors Family finances 0.5 52 $28.53 3% $742
Grounds maintenance workers Yard work 1 52 $15.15 6% $788
Interior designers Fixing up the house 5 8 $26.30 13% $1,052
Private detectives and investigators Finding out what the kids are up to 5 8 $24.33 14% $973
Baker Making baked goodies for bake sale, birthdays, etc. 3 8 $13.05 -2% $313
Counselor Talking to kids about relationship problems 5 40 $25.08 14% $5,015
Judge Breaking apart fighting kids and deciding who did what and the punishment 3 50 $44.85 11% $6,728
Laundry Washing and folding family laundry 4 50 $12.05 14% $2,410
TOTAL   163     6% $89,752


Extra Spring 2020 task for moms thanks to COVID-19 pandemic

BLS occupation title Mother’s job description Hours per week Weeks per year Mean hourly wage Annual earnings
Elementary/Middle school teacher Taking over or assisting with educational duties for distance learning children during school closures 20 8 $26.05 $4,168
        GRAND TOTAL $93,920


Mom takes on more than ever before – and it pays off

"We’ve expanded the amount of jobs this year to really encompass all that moms do, and I think it’s finally starting to show in the numbers. It’s a metric that people really respond to and can understand how much work it truly represents,” says Gusner.

In past years, the Mother’s Day Index has measured the value of 14 jobs associated with the primary caregiver’s role. This year, moms find themselves in a position of taking on even more than ever before. So, our moms updated the list to include four additional jobs:

  • Baker – From banana bread and cupcakes to cheesecakes and artisan sourdough starters, this quarantine timeline is marked with baked goods. Moms know that one of the best ways to keep the kids from messing up the rest of the house is to have them help you in the kitchen.
  • Counselor – Even before COVID-19, we asked our spouses to share their work stress, listened to children confused about BFFs and helped teens survive crushes gone wrong. Mom’s role as a safe place to express emotion has undoubtedly grown as everyone rides the pandemic rollercoaster.
  • Judge – Kids are in close quarters with each other 24/7. If you’re lucky, there’s space to cool off. Moms are often right in the middle of the fight and often have to lay down the law and even dole out sentences.
  • Laundry worker – If you’re anything like the team, you’re up to your elbows in laundry all the time. During a normal spring, we’re washing work clothes, workout wear, grungy yardwork tees, Little League uniforms… if there’s anything that works as hard as a mom, it just might be a washer/dryer set. And during a shelter-in-place order, well, we’re guessing that whatever you’re wearing right now, you should probably wash.

There’s one more important and time-consuming task given to moms in 2020. We won’t call it a bonus because being thrust into the position of being a distance learning teacher is anything but that. However, we did tack on this extra work hat and pay for mom in these unprecedented times. It’s not on the main table as we hope this is a one-time role.

  • Teacher – With schools closed across the country – many for the rest of the academic year – moms have taken on the role of primary educator, helping children navigate a new world of packet work and digital classrooms while worrying about grades, testing standards and how to mute on Zoom meetings.

Where is my village?

Moms accomplish these tasks with the help of some serious multitasking skills. Kids are helped with homework at the counter while mom responds to a work email on her phone while stirring the marina sauce. Laundry is folded while planning how to celebrate a quarantine birthday and still trying to console a kid whose sister keeps wrecking his toy setup.

Sometimes “moms” aren’t moms at all

While these tasks have been traditionally associated with mothers, we all know that parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors all might play an integral part in primary care. We invite you to use our Index as a friendly reminder to give thanks for the primary caregiver in your home – whoever that might be.

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“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.

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