If you've watched one too many MasterCard commercials and thought being a mom was "priceless," I'm here to tell you otherwise. This is America, folks. And in this country, we can (and we will!) put a dollar figure on everything -- including motherhood.
In fact, that's exactly what the folks at Insure.com do. They put a dollar figure on motherhood as a cute reminder that mom needs life insurance. To get the word out, they create an annual "Mother's Day Index" calculating a salary for moms. And this year, according to their just-released index, mom earned $59,862.
Well, I'd like to publicly ask the folks at Insure.com for something. I'm leaning in, Insure.com. And, I'd like a raise! More imaginary money, please!
You see, Insure.com doesn't just put out a "Mother's Day Index." It also releases a "Santa Claus Index." And if you compare the two indexes, Santa makes a ho-ho-whole lot more money than moms do. For ONE NIGHT of work in 2012, Santa Claus made $135,000. No wonder he's so damn jolly. St. Nick -- whose elves and reindeer do most of his heavy lifting -- makes more than twice what a mother does and (get ready for this one!) more than six times what dads do.
Yes, there's a "Father's Day Index"as well. According to it, dad earned a measly $20,248 last year with job responsibilities like killing bugs and barbecuing. Evidently, it's 1953 in the offices at Insure.com.
So, Santa -- and not mom or dad -- is getting paid the big bucks for being an industrial engineer, labor relations specialist, private investigator and accountant. And, mom? Our earnings were determined based upon being a cook, chauffeur, teacher, childcare worker, nurse, housekeeper, meeting planner, community and social service specialist, hairdresser and cosmetologist, personal care aide, accountant, maintenance worker, interior designer and private investigator.
That was their list in its entirety. Well, I'd like Insure.com to beef up both the Mother's Day and Father's Day Indexes. Here are some more jobs they can consider adding:
Public Speaker: I'm not proud of it, but I've raised my voice at my three little boys in public once or twice. Hence, I'm a public speaker. (And, "raising my voice" is a euphemism.)
Magician: One summer, my oldest son told me that it was "Insect Day" at camp. He told me this about an hour before camp started. I made him the saddest, most pathetic-looking bug costume out of construction paper that the world has ever seen. But, I did it. Ta-Da.
Judge: The latest fracas was over my middle son, evidently, breathing too loudly at bedtime. I presided over an argument on appropriate breathing volume.
Stylist: Has Rachel Zoe ever had to explain to an enraged client why orange and red don't match?
Archivist: A parent is responsible for preserving childhood memories whether it's through photos, video or the written word. I know some of you are really, really good at this and that's really, really great. I haven't removed the cellophane from my third and youngest son's baby book yet.
Police: "Stop throwing sand... Right now! Stop! OK. That's it! You're coming with me."
Psychologist: "How would you feel if someone threw sand at you?"
Worrier: I don't care if this one is not an actual job title. If Santa gets to make extra money for being a "sleigh pilot," then someone is going to figure out how to compensate me for all of my worrying.
Bodyguard: My toddler is this-close to hurting himself badly every single day. I've stopped him from falling off chairs, getting his fingers slammed in doors and writing on my sofa. And, no, he wouldn't have been hurt if he wrote on my sofa but I would've been very hurt, indeed.
Sales: Last night at dinner I went on and on about how healthy broccoli is and how I love eating the vegetable because broccoli looks like little trees. When you eat broccoli you're a giant eating his way through an emerald forest. Blah. Blah. Blah. (No one bought it.)
Matchmaker: "Hi, can Sophie come over for a playdate?"
Actor: Sometimes I pretend that I'm listening to a story my son is telling me, and I act like I'm interested -- but I'm really thinking, "When are you going to go to bed so I can go downstairs and watch 'New Girl'?"
Linguist: A child's acquisition of language is an extraordinary and magical process and, as parents, we are key figures in their speech development. We also shouldn't say "sh%t" in front of them.
Baker: If it weren't for mothers and fathers, there wouldn't be anyone to leave out cookies for Santa on Christmas. Looks like we are kind of priceless after all.
Follow Melissa Sher on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thismelissasher