Leaving your career to be a stay-at-home mom isn't always easy. And while forgoing your paycheck is never fun, recently researchers calculated how much stay-at-home parents would make each year if they were to be paid, and spoiler alert, it's a lot. According to new data from Salary.com, moms or dads who stayed home with the kids would earn $162,581.
Researchers came up with this figure by asking thousands of stay-at-home moms how much of their time they dedicate to things like housework, driving the kids around, and generally, keeping everyone in the family alive. And to absolutely no parent's surprise, stay-at-home moms disclosed they work up to 96 hours a week.
Related: A Day in the Life of a Stay-at-Home Mom
Although that salary may seem high to some, if you break down what parents would spend on things like food and childcare, it actually makes sense.
"My husband would need to put the kids in daycare so that he could return to work," said stay-at-home mom Jackie Semmens. "He'd probably have to hire a housekeeper and, while I don't think there are any personal chefs for hire in our small town, he would doubtlessly spend more money on take-out. For those nights that he worked late, and weekends when last-minute projects came up, he'd need a sitter. He'd probably have to hire someone to help with the yard work, too."
Compared to last year's data, stay-at-home parents this year got a pretty significant raise - like in the ballpark of $5,000 - so confirmed, the gig isn't exactly getting any easier!