More evidence of chronic knowledge: primary caretakers are mostly unpaid labor

When I think about whether I had a good day or not, I rarely think in terms of how much I got done. When I think about success, I rarely think in terms of money. These two statements have been true about me for as long as I can remember, and there are a few folks who’ve known me just as long who would probably say that. Except for the ones whom I demanded pay me more for what I did – they thought retaining my job or wanting my job always came down to money, and I always told them, it has nothing to do with money.

They never understood me. They probably still don’t. Being able to talk someone else’s language to be able to leverage a situation into something you want is not the same as believing in what the someone else’s believe. It just means you speak a lot of languages. And in the case of money and work, more money for a job meant that I put that much of a premium on what I had to offer and what I was giving up to offer it. If the premium wasn’t going to be met, I’d make – and I made – other choices that provided me equal or better remuneration – and rarely in dollars and cents. is back with its review of how much a stay-at-home mom would earn as a salary. Another “I could have told you so” and/or “people are in denial over it” conclusion, in time for Mother’s Day.

And the bottom line again? It’s not about the money, even if it’s the tiniest bit about the money. It’s about the way our society recognizes contribution or achievement: still, with money, no matter how many commercials we see for whichever credit card that uses the tagline, “Priceless.”

Talk about sending mixed messages.

2 thoughts on “More evidence of chronic knowledge: primary caretakers are mostly unpaid labor

  1. Hi Paul – thanks for this comment, esp. the Bar M. reference. I’ll be sure to do some photos from The Event. I apologize for my laxness in replying and posting but look forward to when I can get back in the swing. 🙂

  2. Well said.I’ve never really understand the dialog about what a stay-at-home mom (and increasingly, dad) should be paid. The two partners have to figure out what they want, and what tradeoffs will be made to achieve it. Some things cost money, so one or both had better have a way of earning some (which often means some loss of liberty). Other things are really personal services (mowing the lawn, changing diapers, planning a Bar Mitzvah), and the partners need to decide together what things are going to be subcontracted (which requires more money), and which are going to be handled by one or both of the partners.This compensation for housewives dialog is really a symptom of a partnership in which the partners aren’t of the same mind. The wife says “I want more” and the husband says “I give you everything.”They’re probably not talking about the same thing…

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