Mum could be worth $23k a month

11 05 2008

My mum definitely worth this much!! Love you mummy.Happy Mother’s Day!! =D

Mum could be worth $23k a month

Shuli Sudderuddin
Sun, May 11, 2008
The Straits Times



Here’s a number – $22,568 a month – that’s bound to make any mother’s day today.That is what a top human-resource practitioner calculates as the worth of a stay-at-home mum in Singapore.Mr David Ang, executive director of the Singapore Human Resource Institute, picked five roles she plays daily, from executive housekeeper to chef and driver.Assuming she works 17 hours a day, she would make $22,568 a month at the market rate for such jobs.

On top of this, he counted a 13th month bonus, leading to a princely $293,384 a year.

The Sunday Times had asked him to figure out a Singaporean mum’s worth, in the light of a study done in the United States which estimated that a full-time mother could earn up to US$117,000 (S$160,000) a year.

The US study was conducted by, a firm which studies workplace compensation. The US$117,000 sum is based on a mother doing 10 jobs, from housekeeper to psychologist and chief executive.

Another HR practitioner here, Mr Gene Yap, a human capital consultant with Aon Consulting, estimated that a Singapore mum’s work is worth $8,481 a month.

This is based on spending 30 per cent of her time on marketing and housekeeping, 40 per cent on supervising children’s activities like a teacher, and 5 per cent as a family motivator.

Both the Singaporean calculations factored in rest days, like the rest of the country’s working population.

Whether it’s $23,000 or $8,000, mothers were amused when told of the results.

‘I don’t think housewives would get that much money. Not all mothers cook or teach their children daily,’ said Madam Kee Chooi Hua, 34, a housewife with three children.

Said housewife Sandy Lim, 53, who also has three children: ‘Who will want to pay a housekeeper $23,000 a month? I enjoy my work and I don’t do it for money.’

Some working mothers like Mrs Maria Loh, 41, a financial planner, feel the figure is justified. ‘If you add all the duties a mother performs, the figure is accurate. And if she works and has to forgo work opportunities, then even more cost is incurred.’

But mothers’ roles are too important to be quantified, said several women MPs.

‘A mother’s job is priceless if done well,’ said Ms Denise Phua, 48, an MP for Jalan Besar GRC and mother of two.

‘There is no cookie-cutter price or standard solution; mothers must know how they can add value to their children’s lives.

‘I’m best at preparing my children for the future and being a friend to them. Things I’m not so good at, like cooking, I outsource,’ she said with a laugh.

Madam Halimah Yacob, 53, an MP for Jurong GRC and mother of five, felt it was impossible ‘to put a monetary value to what mothers do. It is far beyond $200,000’.

Ms Jean Yip, 48, founder of the Jean Yip hair-salon group and parent of three, agreed: ‘Mothers take care of both the emotional and physical needs of husbands and children. That’s why Mother’s Day is always more celebrated than Father’s Day.’

Ms Laurrieta Alaabons, 37, director of LAMC Productions which promotes concerts and a mother of one, said: ‘I think to give a dollar value to a mother is nonsense. A mother is a jack-of-all-trades and you cannot put her responsibility down in dollars and cents.’

Ms Constance Singam, 70, chairman of the Association of Women for Action and Research, said the value of a mother’s work is underrated.

‘The trouble with society now is that women, who often do housework that can’t be valued in economic terms, don’t get the appreciation they deserve.’

Even those in the HR field agree.

Said Mr Ang: ‘We can estimate how much the jobs might pay, but mothers are also involved in deep emotional bonds and life lessons which will stay with their children all their lives. Now, who can put a dollar value to that?’


Additional reporting by Terence Lee and Carmen Onggo

How much do you think a mother is worth in dollars and cents? Send your comments to

Stay-at-home Mum: Would you pay her $290,000 a year?

AsiaOne Source




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