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The Father's Day Index: Dad's value

If we had to cut a check for Dad's tasks around the house, it would be less than $21,000. Why is Dad worth less than Mom at home?

By MSN Money Partner Jun 11, 2012 1:29PM

This post comes from Emmet Pierce at partner site


Your father may be your hero, but his value takes a hit when we look at tasks he does around the home, according to's 2012 Father's Day Index.


Image: Senior man with lawn mower © Jacobs Stock Photography/Photodisc/Getty ImagesThe index, which takes a look at jobs associated with fatherhood, found that the paycheck for Dad's domestic tasks this year would be $20,248.'s recent Mother's Day Index placed the value of Mom's role at home at $60,182. The tasks we associate with fathers -- such as handling family finances, moving furniture, removing pests and mowing the lawn -- could be done for just 34% of the cost of hiring someone to perform all the cooking, driving and cleaning done by Mom.


See Dad's tasks and compensation below, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.'s wage analysis can't measure the value of pushing a swing or carrying someone on your shoulders. Yet those experiences form the priceless memories of childhood.


Also, dads often are the primary breadwinners through their work outside the home. The Institute for Women's Policy Research says female workers are fighting a gender gap in the workplace. On average, they earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, the institute reported in 2010.


That's why it's important for fathers to carry adequate life insurance. When a father dies unexpectedly, most female heads of households find it difficult to match his earning power.


Despite their need for life insurance protection, only 61% of men held life insurance policies in 2010, says LIMRA, a global insurance research and consulting firm.


Added value
Like women, men today are struggling to balance the demands of a changing workplace with the challenges of raising children, says Bruce Linton, the author of "Becoming a Dad: How Fatherhood Changes Men."


A marriage and family therapist, Linton says moms and dads are evolving as they share the duties of earning a living while caring for homes and families. Many men have come to realize that it is more fulfilling to be a good husband and father than to be a success in the workplace. (Post continues below.)

Despite a value of a little more than $20,000 around the house, fatherhood "opens men up to a greater potential for what they can be in the world," Linton says.


Karen Ruskin, a relationship and parenting expert who practices family therapy in Massachusetts, agrees.


"The fact is that fathers are more than just a paycheck," Ruskin says. "Being a man means that you are supportive of your spouse and your children's life journey."


The new glass ceiling

Linton sees a new "glass ceiling" -- this one for men.


"I think the glass ceiling for men is the world of the home," says Linton. "There has been a movement going on for the last 25 years or so for dads who not only want to be able to bring home the bacon, they actually want to be able to sit down at the table and eat it with their family."

Many men who were compelled by circumstances to help care for their children now enjoy their domestic lives, he adds. "It may have started out as a necessity to be more involved with the home. What I see is men who actually become very attached to being with their children and see the value of that."


Dad job

BLS occupation used

Hours per week/weeks per year

BLS mean hourly wage


Cooks, All Other

3 hours/52 weeks



Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

9 hours/52 weeks


Helping with homework

Teachers and Instructors, All Other

10 hours/40 weeks


Family finances

Accountants and auditors

0.5 hours/52 weeks


Mowing the lawn, landscaping, snow removal

Grounds Maintenance Workers, All Other

2 hours/52 weeks




Moving furniture

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

0.5 hours/month


Car maintenance

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

20 hours/year


Coaching a team

Coaches and scouts

40 hours/year


Scout leader

Recreation Workers

50 hours/year


Assembly of toys, bookshelves, etc.

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

30 hours/year


Pest removal (spiders, gross bugs)

Pest control workers

4 hours/year



Maintenance and repair workers, general

4 hours/month



Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

0.5 hours/month



Dad's 2012 value: $20,248


Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


More on and MSN Money:


Jun 11, 2012 2:23PM

Are you kidding me//////////////Putting up with the old lady and the kids for the last 37 years is at

least worth 50,000 per year----------and that is not including the in-laws. I know a female was

behind this thing/

Jun 11, 2012 4:13PM
OK this is kinda BS. Did anyone look at the stuff that had on the Moms list.  Summer activity planner is worth $8,112 and takes 40 hours a week for 12 weeks? Oh come on, please.And moms spend 64 hours a year planning parties? WTF kind of parties are they throwing? I spent less time planning my wedding. They also tack on 40 hours a week as taking care of the kids under moms but nothing under dads?
Jun 11, 2012 3:26PM
Emmet, you can't measure Dad's worth in monetary terms! A good Dad is worth plenty but it goes unrecognized until the little teenie-boppers get grown up AND HAVE TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES! That's when they find out JUST HOW MUCH DAD IS REALLY WORTH!!

What a bunch of garbage just like the evaluation of what a woman's worth is. So since I am a single father of 4, who works a fulltime job and 3 part-time plus do the work of a mother and a father, I must be worth over $100,000.  Linton and Emmet Pierce are idiots to even write stuff like this. No one care because being a mother or a father pays no monetary compensation. So to write this stuff is writing in fantasyland and in reality no one cares.


The payment to a mother and a father comes in raising good, moral children who can take care of themselves and support their families when they become adults.  To teach kids love and respect for each other; to be patriotic to this country and defend its freedoms if needed.  You raise kids like that, then that is payment itself.

Jun 11, 2012 5:01PM

Wow what sexist horse S*$%! So a woman is worth $60,000 while a man is worth $20,000? Now I know why I am not in a big hurry to get married again. So a Dad can't be a "Summer Activity Planner" for a cool $8,000 like the Mom version had? What about "Taking care of the kids" for another $19,000? This is sexist trash that belongs in the 1950's. Shame on you MSN you know better than this

Jun 11, 2012 4:02PM

This is right on if the dad is Ward Cleaver and the mom is June. We all know that the stereo typical mom and dad ended years ago. The days of walking in from work to a clean house and a cooked meal and a wife with a smile on her face are long since over. The list for the Moms is actually kinda funny. I do quite a bit of the stuff on that list also so do I get to be paid for both lists? No, it is called being a parent.

Jun 11, 2012 3:53PM
You have got to be kidding! Has anyone compared the items on the list for Dads vs Moms? The Mom has items like shopping, nursing, finance, yard work and even "private detective". The Dads don't need to shop for items to repair the house or fix the car? Dads don't try to find out what their kids are doing (a la "private detective)? Give me a break!
Jun 11, 2012 5:02PM

Where is the family protection (policeman) on the list ? 24 hours a day 365 days a year at a measly $15.00 an hour = $ 131,400.00 .

Jun 11, 2012 6:14PM

The "mom" figure was calculated by some liberal woman to make herself look valuable. Here's their real value. I know because i have custody of my kids



3)meal delivery service- $12k/yr (that includes the food that mom would have to buy to cook)

4)no nagging- priceless


so for 33k/yr i get all the benefits of mom without the hassles

Jun 11, 2012 4:33PM
I agree with you all.  They seem to have put more worth in the intangibles mothers give than those the father gives.  What a bunch of CRAP!   While it is true there are some pretty usueless, lazy dads out there, I know many more that "Have done so much, for so little, for so few that appreciate it"  But usually we don't complain and just let it go.  We know if we fight about it we'll get nowhere.  When I was married, and even now with me ex, I am lucky enough to have actually received praise and appreciation for all that I do.  Women should take care of there man this Sunday...we don't ask a lot.  On top of it, we don't need to be continusously praised because just knowing what we do is all we need for our self worth.  Bottom line is that there is no value you can put on a good mom OR dad.
Jun 12, 2012 10:38AM
Listening to a wife and mother rehash her whole boring day for 365 days per year equals $73,000.    (365 days/yr.)(2 hours/day)($100 therapist pay/hr)
Jun 12, 2012 11:20AM

OK, so if Dad earns $80K a year at his job, his "real" monetary value at home is $101K -- since the home and whatever's in it wouldn't be there without him.


This piece is silly.  You can avoid all the expenses Mom and Dad pick up with their chores at home by not having a home, not having kids, not having a yard, not having a car.  People do that.  They're not happy.  Having a home is better, and it takes work and investment.  Only fools sit around brooding over whether Dad or Mom is sparing the household more maintenance and operating expenses.  Without either of them, the whole thing goes south.

Jun 11, 2012 8:10PM

Never trust anyone in family matters. They say love is not free. Get the old guy to start paying you $100.00 a week - chances are he will just leave you with a name and you were cheaper than a house servant. At least what he says, get it on paper. Signed and dated and get it notorized and put it in a safe lock box. If the family lawyer is Dad's friend, he is in on it and will walk. If they lie to the world what makes you special? He has to eat with someone for company.

Jun 11, 2012 4:02PM

Just how does one measure the glass ceiling?  No 2 people, men or women, have exactly the same experience, education, aptitude for the work, business savvy, etc.


Factor in that many women take time away from work to have and raise children, handle the doctor appointments, school functions, getting kids to practice and so on, and generally speaking women spend less time working/developing their careers.  This is NOT a shot at women and their work ethic, ability, smarts, or anything of the sort.  It is simply an observation; far more women handle "the family" than do men, which takes time from work.


What I find funny is that on one hand, business only cares about money, yet on the other, it is such a good ole' boy network that they will gladly pay men more for the same work just to keep women out of the club...

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