“Courtney, you have a master’s degree.  Wouldn’t it be better for your family if you got a full-time job?”  No, not really.  I am more valuable (monetarily and otherwise) to my family when my primary job is homemaker.

Arithmetic (and a tiny bit of algebra) to follow…

Daycare Rates:

Infant for a week: $155

Toddler for a week: $145

After school for a kindergartner:  $62

Formula for that infant would be about $40 a week.  Human milk is free, so formula for anyone else to be her care provider would create an additional cost.

$402/wk so far.  Then, using this daycare 48 weeks out of the year would cost $19,296 for the year.  That would come from net earnings.  Daycare would cost me $23,136.69 in gross earnings.

I probably wouldn’t work as a part time employee either (as an adjunct or as a lab instructor).  That’s approximately $11,500 that I wouldn’t make. (Frankly, I call being an adjunct math professor a time consuming hobby instead of a job.  My kindergartener can’t derive the quadratic formula yet.  So, I spend six hours a week with people to whom it is academically relevant.)

With my obsession with coupons, I can buy groceries for about $60/wk (by groceries, I’m including personal care like shampoo, diapers for 2 babies, etc.).  I’ve been getting approximately 75% off overall.  That other 75% is $180 that I’m saving each week.  $180 for 52 weeks is $9360/yr.  This is $11,223.02 from gross earnings.

So, the way I see it, I make the equivalent of almost $46,000/yr because I don’t have a full-time job.  However this way, I can pack my husband lunches that I either got for free or made from scratch.  My son’s kindergarten teachers have master’s degrees.

I’m not saying that I would never take a full-time job.  I’d have to become significantly less necessary at home and it would have to have an awesome base pay to be worth my time!