Too much stress

No matter how much you pay her, being a mother is a tough job.

"Moms are taxi drivers, and that is a huge responsibility," says psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, the author of "A Happy You," a book about finding true happiness. "Kids are in so many more activities now, and they need to be driven around. That is a big-time commitment. If you have more than one child, scheduling can be complex and extremely stressful."

Most women are unable to meet their own expectations, says Amy McCready, a mom and the author of a book on parenting called "If I Have to Tell You One More Time . . ."

"They just carry a tremendous amount of guilt," McCready says. "We all need to just lower our standards a little bit. Perhaps I am not making homemade cupcakes for the school party, but I can buy a dozen cupcakes, and that is just fine."

Mom needs more life insurance

Despite the fact that Mom pulls her weight and then some, she's often underinsured. Only 57% of women have some type of life insurance coverage, according to LIMRA, a research and consulting firm.

Women typically have smaller amounts of individual life insurance than men of similar ages do. On average, women have $129,800 of individual life insurance, while men have $187,100 in coverage, LIMRA reports. And both men and women are less likely to own life insurance today than they were in 2004.

Catherine Theroux, a spokeswoman for LIMRA, says single mothers have an especially high need for life insurance "because they have so little in terms of a safety net. That is what life insurance is there to do: provide protection for her family and peace of mind."

Mom jobBLS occupation usedHours per week/weeks per yearHourly wageAnnual mom cost
CookingCooks14 hours/52 weeks$9.08$6,607
DrivingTaxi drivers and chauffeurs9 hours/52 weeks$13.83$6,470
Helping with homeworkOther teachers and instructors10 hours/40 weeks$18.48$7,390
Taking care of the kidsChild care worker40 hours/52 weeks$9.58$19,916
Nursing woundsLicensed practical and licensed vocational nurses2 hours/12 weeks$18$432
Cleaning upMaids and housekeeping cleaners10 hours/52 weeks$9.80$5,096
Planning partiesMeeting & convention planners64 hours a year$22.30$1,427
Summer activity plannerMiscellaneous community and social service specialists40 hours/12 weeks$16.90$8,112
HaircutsHairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists0.5 hours/52 weeks$11$286
Shopping for the familyPersonal care aides3 hours/52 weeks$10.18$1,587
Family financesAccountants and auditors0.5 hours/52 weeks$23.90$621
Yard workGrounds maintenance workers1 hour/52 weeks$10.63$553
Fixing up the houseDesigners40 hours a year$20.40$816
Finding out what the kids are up toPrivate detectives and investigators40 hours a year$21.73$869

Wage data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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