Just for the heck of it – here are some money numbers. http://www.businessinsider.com/value-of-stay-at-home-moms-2013-5
Frankly, I think this is one of the biggest things we as a society need to acknowledge – that this is work that MUST be done and it has value. Back when people were producers rather than consumers, the home was the center of the economy. Everyone worked to produce whatever was needed, and yes – they did trade for things they couldn’t produce. But all the work had value. Now we only acknowledge work done outside the home, and only what’s done for money, as being “real” work. This has led even further to the devaluing of women and any work that women do.
I can hear you reminding me that “back then” people had to work all day, every day to make everything they needed, and our current method has led to free time for everyone.
Ummm… have you looked at the schedule of the typical American family with kids and two parents working? It’s a constant race to get everything done and someone (one guess who that usually is) is up before dawn and in bed after midnight nearly every day.
That’s because the work of the home always has to be done, whether we give it value or not. It’s become a thankless, fruitless chore that we do with resentment and frustration in the “spare” minutes we can find. The food we eat is a slow poison, we have high blood pressure and diabetes, we’re overweight and weak from not enough exercise, our children are weak and hyperactive from not enough exercise, and home is a place of endless work that’s always waiting to be done.
That’s the short list.