Salary.com recently revealed its annual “mom reports,” which helpfully break down what stay-at-home moms and working moms are “worth” in the United States. The interesting thing about these reports is the way that emotional value gets implicitly tacked on to help back up the (fake) financial assessments. This is kind of like saying, “Sure, licensed therapists are great and all, but who can help you get over a crushing break-up like your very own mom?” It’s no secret that mothers are undervalued., but considering the real issues that exist in this country — a broken health care system, lack of universal daycare, no paid parental leave in the workplace — these infographics increasingly come across as jokes. They also come across as saying, “Hey moms, you might only get paid in hugs and kisses, but look at all of this stuff that you excel at! You’re a computer operator, a CEO, a facilities manager! You ROCK!”
Rather than focus on, say, the amount of societal changes that could be made if the U.S.’s policies changed, the charts serve as a consolation prize to “confirm mothers’ suspicions” that they’re really worth more financially than the (no pay) credit they’re given. The charts are the infographic version of a pat on the back, and they’re dumb. However, for every mom out there who’s like, “Haha, these charts assert that I’m a nurse, a therapist, a maid, a police officer, and an I.T. specialist?!?!”, there’s another mom who fully believes the hype. It seems that some women just want to drink the Kool-Aid — and, OMG, moms make THE BEST Kool-Aid, they’re like Kool-Aid Chefs, seriously — and it’s either because they truly feel that undervalued, which is certainly possible, or because they feel that awesome about their mad mommy skillz.