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It’s her day

Susan Wood
Tonia Hunter shops for cleaning products with her 4-year-old son, Hunter, at Albertsons. Photos by Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune
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Although you may consider her priceless, today’s job market has equated the value of a mother’s work at home at more than $700,000.

That’s the latest study from Edelman Financial Services of Virginia, a firm that used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to tally $707,126 in chores.

As a general office clerk, a mom would capture $23,540 a year. If she does family counseling, that figure jumps to $56,540. Meals on the table may get a chef $31,990. Those trips to the park may qualify mothers as recreation workers making $20,580.

“I try to get them outside every day,” Anne Filce said of her two children, Cara, 6, and Charlie, 4.

The South Shore woman took her youngest to Tahoe Paradise Park Monday afternoon to make him happy.

Juggling the family finances has primarily occupied Filce. This is a top-dollar skill that would rake in $83,075 for a busy mother.

Being a working mom who runs a Lake Tahoe business, Brooke Laine finds herself all over the map with her respective chores.

“I think it’s very important. It’s something I take a great deal of pride in,” she said Monday.

That day started at 6:30 a.m. with the washing machine – a chore if compensated would bring in $17,330 in housekeeping. Laine went upstairs to check the family household’s email. From there, she woke up her children, Nick, 13, and Matt, 12.

Then, she folded the laundry and washed the dishes left in the sink from the night before.

“They eat right up until they go to bed,” she said, chuckling.

Laine continued her morning doling out Corn Pops and Cinnamon Life cereal to the boys, who she drove to school afterward. Upon her return home, she hitched up the Laine Photo Labs trailer. She turned her attention to the family dog, Bo. The 13-year-old German shepherd takes anti-seizure medication. As an animal caretaker, Laine would be worth $25,979 a year by the study’s standards.

After prepping for work, Laine glanced at her watch. It was only 8:40 a.m., she said.

“Being a mom is about multi-tasking,” Debbie Norton said, adding the responsibilities may be overlooked in the job market, but her children appreciate the efforts.

“It’s all about the kids. They’re our future,” she said of her daughters, Bree, 14, and Sarah, 12. “It takes teamwork.”

From soccer to golf, her girls are active in sports. Norton spends a lot of time shuffling them around, a duty the study gauged would be valued at $30,810.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about the love of our children. It’s wanting them to be good, respectable adults. The support is important. You can be bombarded with issues,” she said.

There’s a delicate balance. Being there is one thing. Being a parent is quite another, Norton emphasized.

“I think you need to be a parent because if you’re a friend they can manipulate you, and that’s not good,” she said. “It means they can tell you anything, and we learn from our mistakes.”


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