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What a stay-at-home parent would make if we paid them

How much a stay-at-home mom or dad should make: Here's the lowest possible salary

Stay-at-home mothers are the backbone of this country. Let’s break down what a stay-at-home mom — or a stay-at-home dad — would make if they were paid for all the jobs they have to do every day — that they do for free. Or, that they are paid in hugs.

A mother helping her child with work on the computer
Julia M Cameron / Pexels

The jobs

Depending on your household, this could vary significantly. We are going to list the basic jobs any parent in charge of the kiddos full time would be expected to do.

Personal chef

We could agree that a stay-at-home parent is making all the meals. From breakfast to making school lunches, to the endless snacks kids love and big family dinners, the parent at home is probably planning and cooking all of it.

The range in the U.S. for this job is $50,000 to $110,000, with an average hourly rate of $24 to $26 per hour.

Grocery shopper/delivery

All of the ways we get things delivered these days are pretty amazing. But if you are a one-income household, the parent staying at home becomes the meal planner, grocery shopper, and delivery person.

The average salary of a grocery shopper is $26,700 to $39,200.

Driver (Uber/Lyft rates)

Parents drive kids everywhere. Between school, extra activities, fun weekend plans, and those constant doctor’s appointments, every parent thinks about charging their child for gas money. The parent who stays home with the kids is the one who drives the kids.

The average Uber driver makes between $31,400 and $46,1000 per year.

Lyft drivers make a little more, averaging $49,500 to $52,500.


Laundry, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, putting away toys, cleaning rooms, dusting, and on and on it goes in the day of a stay-at-home parent. And that’s just during naptime. We couldn’t list everything that a parent cleans in a day, so we’ll stick with general housekeeping.

A housekeeper’s salary ranges from $28,700 to $37,000, for basic cleaning. Deep cleaning and special requests cost extra.


With homeschool numbers at record highs (thanks in part to COVID); a lot of stay-at-home parents turned into teachers over the last few years.

Teacher salaries are all over the place, so we’ll go with an average of $29,000 to $60,000.

A father reading to a child
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The numbers

It would be pretty impossible to list all the average salaries by experience, or even by state. Good old Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor supplied the average salaries for these jobs.

On the low end, a stay-at-home parent should make a minimum of $165,800! And we know we didn’t include every job they actually do. We’re sure more popped into your head that we didn’t list. If that made your eyes pop a bit and your jaw drop, think of how it would make that stay-at-home parent feel.

If we made half of that, we would cry out of happiness. So, be kind to any stay-at-home parent you know. They get paid in sticky kisses, and of course, that makes it worth it. But their value in the home often gets pushed to the side when there’s not a monetary number attached to it. So, ask those people what their favorite snack is, and get them a whole box.

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Dannielle Beardsley
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