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Putting a Price on Full-Time Parents' Work Nets Surprising Results

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RALEIGH — From running the kids all over town to running the household, being a full-time mother is a full-time job, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you had to put a price tag on a mom's financial worth, what would it be?

Nicky Hall works full-time taking care of her children -- two boys and two girls, ranging in age from 7 to 12.

"I'm thankful that I can, because I know what's going on with them," she says. "I know what they're feeling. We're able to have that communication."

Just because Hall does not have a job outside the home does not mean she is not working.

"It's very tough when you stay at home with the kids. The schedule gets strenuous, and then it's a mental thing, also," she says.

AWeb sitenow offers a calculator to see how much it would cost to pay someone to take her place.

Here is how Hall spends her week:
  • Childcare:336 hours per week (12 hours of child care each day for her four children)
  • Housekeeping:Seven hours per week
  • Laundry:12.5 hours per week
  • Grocery shopping:Two hours per week
  • Meal preparation:Six hours per week
  • Financial planning:Half-hour per week
  • Running errands:12 hours per weekWhen you add it up, Hall's total equivalent annual salary would be$158,457, according to the calculator.
  • "Wow, that would be wonderful!" Hall says.

    Her husband, Jeff, credits his wife with their family's accomplishments.

    "Everything that we've been able to achieve is because of what she does here in the household," he says.

    The Halls like the structure a stay-at-home mom gives to the family.

    While it is not always an easy job, the rewards come in the success of the children. Their oldest daughter will head off to college in just four years.

    When Nicky thinks about that, it makes her appreciate the precious time no one can put a price tag on.

    "I feel like it's worth the sacrifice to see her have a stable life, and all of them have a stable life," she says.

    Before learning how much her work might be worth, Nicky thought asking for $23,000 a year would be a generous amount.

    The calculator is only for entertainment, but it might give families with two working parents pause to see if one of them should quit their day job. What did you think about this story?Send us feedback.

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    Debra Morgan, Reporter
    Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
    Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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