Too Much Green From Mint

Mint.com just did a study to calculate how much a stay-at-home mom would be worth if she were being compensated market rates for her services. The answer? $96,000! Fantastic!

Unfortunately, they make at least one giant and mistaken assumption. At least as far as this stay-at-home- mom is concerned. I quote:

The most significant expense on the list is meal preparation. To figure the cost, researchers took into account the cost of a private chef and combined that with what it would cost to have the groceries delivered for a five-day workweek. That totaled $52,260 a year.

I think I just got a pay cut.

Oh, I definitely clock the hours at Trader Joe’s, as my readers know well, but as far as the cooking goes I’m afraid Mint has given me far too much credit. To equate my culinary exertions (or lack thereof) with the food preparation services of a private chef is little short of preposterous. I don’t think a private chef considers frozen pizza a viable meal option (in my defense: I make the one with spinach! Iron!) I don’t think a private chef would serve a toddler an Annie Chung’s noodle bowl. I suspect a private chef wouldn’t have a raw chicken phobia so severe that they would go through five pairs of food preparation gloves just putting a bird in to roast — all the while chanting “oh God, oh God, oh God!” I strongly suspect they wouldn’t serve their young clients nut butter sandwiches every. Single. Day. Finally, I suspect a private chef has more than four warm dishes in his repertoire.

I, on the other hand, have made the same meals so many times that, when my husband comes home and hears “it’s pesto night again!” I can almost see the tears of despair in his eyes. Oh, he makes a brave and grateful face of it, but if a person can die of basil poisoning it’s gonna happen in this house.

So thanks, Mint.com, for validating the work I do. I appreciate the extra bump for driving hours — who gets that these days? — and the six grand for housecleaning. I’m glad you see childcare — by a parent or otherwise — as an adequately billable expense.

But as for the cooking part? I think, for once, I’ve been slightly overpaid.

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