msnbc.com
updated 5/16/2006 11:51:13 AM ET 2006-05-16T15:51:13

A sampling of readers’ feedback to the story “Study: Stay-at-home moms deserve high pay,” which reported that by one calculation, full-time homemakers deserve an average $134,121 a year:

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Personal responsibility
Should anyone be paid for keeping their own house clean? I don't think so. All working people, men and women, with kids or not, have non-work-related responsibilities. You either do it yourself or you pay someone else to do it. This applies to any household task — cooking, cleaning, errands, yard work, even child-rearing. If you want a nice, clean house, you have to take care of it. If you want nice, decent children, you have to take care of them. — Jenny, Michigan

Hypothetical nonsense
The value of this is only relevant if there is someone willing to pay for it. Does your study take into consideration the value of the father's time spent doing those same things around the home? I doubt it. What's the value of that? Or doesn't that count? Parenthood is a very important responsibility. Give-and-take is going on throughout the child rearing years. Go analyze something that would provide some value to someone. Not this hypothetical nonsense. – Mark, Minnesota

Double the work
Well, being a working mother I don't know how they can say that stay-at-home moms do more than working moms because when we get home from work, we do all a stay-at-home mom does. We do double. Run the kids to practice, make dinner, do all the housework and everything else a stay-at-home mom does. We just don't have all day to do it. — Barb, New York

Dad’s many jobs
Why stop the analysis with mothers? What would fathers make if they too were paid for their unpaid work — auto mechanic, plumber, electrician, house painter, firewood chopper, private security services, lawn mower, snow shoveler, chef, dishwasher, accountant, auditor, CTO, CFO, CEO, correctional officer? — Bret, Colorado

It’s not a job
I am a mother. I work outside the home while my husband's job allows him to care for our daughter most days. I would rather stay at home — spending time with my daughter is the most fulfilling and unburdensome task I can think of. I take offense to Gillian Forrest's statement: "I don't know if you could put a dollar amount on it, but it would be nice to get something." It seems like many women don't realize that being a mother was a choice. People don't get paid for having kids — nor should they. Having a family is not a job, and should not be viewed in the same cumbersome way we view jobs in our society. Being harried and tired is a condition created by a choice to have a child or multiple children — and this condition is a state of mind. Let's enjoy this wonderful condition created by our husbands and children. I would never expect to get paid to clean my own house or run my own errands; neither would I dream of being paid to raise my own child. Let's look at our roles as mothers instead as the greatest gift we have been given. — Katy, Washington

Offensive article
I am a working mother and my husband is a stay-at-home dad. I realize he is doing a lot of work for this family, and I appreciate it. However, I still work hard all day, and often still have to help with cleaning and laundry. I got a little offended that your article seemed to indicate that stay-at-home parents are somehow worth more that those of us who work and do still work at home also! I am not like my father who went to work and came home and sat down. — Vicki, Arkansas

Value higher
If stay-at-home moms are worth a six-figure salary, do we pay the same salary for a full-time nanny then? Even a combination of a full-time nanny and housekeeper salaries do not add up that much. If the study is true, I think the value of working moms should be higher. The ultimate question will always be "can we afford to stay at home?" — Stacy, California

Priceless time
It's nice to hear that as far as money goes, stay-at-home moms deserve a six-figure salary. I'd like to think that the impact I have on my children is worth more than any salary. If it were just about money, I'd get a job. I feel like I'm doing the best thing for my children by being home with them. — Erin, California

Who pays?
Of course stay-at-home mothers are "worth that much." The critical element, though, is who would pay them? I think this argument is very useful for driving home the point that a stay-at-home mother is not "doing nothing," which is important for some people to understand. But it's a silly exercise to take it beyond that. To speculate whether you can "put a price" on the jobs mothers perform is an exercise in futility, since nobody is ever going to pay that price by providing compensation to mothers. — Tim, Washington

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