Mother's Day 2015: Forget the bunch of flowers, mothers deserve £172,000 a year

New study shows what mums would earn if they were paid for their parental labours

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Across Britain, burnt toast will be served to mothers in bed this morning as wayward older sons and daughters rush to deliver their supermarket bouquets. But, according to a new survey, we should be placing a higher value on motherhood all year.

Mothers have long known that their home workload was just as heavy as paid work. Now, a new study has shown that if they were paid for their parental labours, they would earn as much as £172,000 extra a year.

The, perhaps slightly  self-serving, study (commissioned by Interflora) looked at the range of jobs mothers do, as well as the hours they are working, to determine the figure. This would make their annual income £30,000 more than the Prime Minister earns.


By crunching the numbers, it found the average mother works 119 hours a week, 40 of which would usually be paid at a standard rate and 79 hours as overtime. After questioning 1,000 mothers with children under 18, it found that, on most days, mums started their chores at 7am and finished at around 11pm.

To calculate just how much mothers would earn from that labour, it suggested some of the roles that mums could take on, including housekeeper, part-time lawyer, personal trainer and entertainer. Being a part-time lawyer, at £48.98 an hour, would prove to be the most lucrative of the “mum jobs”, with psychologist a close second.

It also asked mothers about the challenges they face, with 80 per cent citing emotional demand as the hardest thing about motherhood.

Over a third of mums felt they needed more training and around half said they missed going out with friends.

Imogen Thompson, a campaigner for Mothers At Home Matter, a non-profit organisation aiming to get traditional family life recognised in the tax system, said: “Although light-hearted, it shows mothers matter all year long and not just on Mothering Sunday. The emotional, physical and mental energy mothers devote to their children can be relentless, but children are also sources of immense joy and happiness. Investing in time for parenting and nurturing relationships is money well spent.”

Read more: The best films to watch on Mothering Sunday