Being a stay-at-home mom might be the most rewarding job you'll ever have: A recent Redbook survey found that 90 percent of stay-at-home moms say they're somewhat to extremely happy, and those with four or more kids reported feeling the happiest.
And while the value of parenting is priceless, stay-at-home moms surveyed by Redbook only said they deserved a salary of $50,000. Given the number of home-based jobs stay-at-home moms do each day, that might be a bit of an understatement.
Cleaning Services: Up to $20 per hour
A bustling, active household is filled with laughter and love. Unfortunately, it can also occasionally feel filled with dirty dishes, piles of laundry and more than a little dust.
So, it's unavoidable that parenting means doubling as a cleaning maven. From day-to-day dish cleaning to scrubbing the patio furniture each spring, you regularly put on your rubber gloves and get to work.
The median pay for cleaning services in the U.S. is $10.68 per hour. But since you have a lifetime of experience, you might be able to command higher pay, from $14 to $20 an hour.
Driving Services: Up to $22 per hour
If you drive the kids back-and-forth to school, soccer practices and ballet rehearsals, you know the term "stay-at-home mom" can seem like a misnomer. Chances are, you're logging some serious hours on the road to take your kids where they need to go.
And while your driving services might not include the perks of some commercial services (you're probably not driving around town in a stretch limo), you do offer last-minute on-demand service that bumps up the value.
So, you definitely deserve the average median wage of $12.52 earned by a chauffeur. Add in the provided snacks and all-hours service, and you're closer to the industry's highest pay of around $22 per hour.
Psychologist: Up to $73,225 per year
Being a stay-at-home mom involves lots of listening and problem-solving. Your guidance helps shape the way your kids see the world — and where they fit in.
On top of that, you run interference between siblings, constantly diffusing tense family situations with the grace and ease of a pro.
In the outside world, all that expertise pays well. The average child psychologist in the U.S. makes $66,918, and general psychologists (because, let's be real, you don't only use your skills to help your kids) make an average of $73,225 annually.
Child Care: Up to $47,812 per year
Dropping off the kids at day care? Not as a stay-at-home mom. During the day, you're doing the bulk of the child care. Mealtimes, discipline, activities and even field trips are all part of your day-to-day parenting. And as the director of a child care center, you deserve to get paid.
Running a day care pays an average of $35,445 per year. And in more expensive parts of the country, you could earn up to $47,812 annually.
Nurse: Up to $35.64 per hour
You've cleaned the scraped knees. You've bandaged the cuts. You've soothed more bug bites than you can count.
Your stay-at-home mothering involves doubling as a nurse. And not only do you need to know your way around a first aid kit, you need to have stellar bedside manner while you work.
That nursing know-how should pay. Registered practical nurses (RPNs) earn an average of $24.87 per hour — but your years of experience could be worth up to $35.64 hourly.
Tutor: Up to $39 per hour
Every mom wants the best for her kids — and that starts with access to the best education. From the time you read your children their first books to the time they graduate from school, your help is key to their success.
That's why parenting means honing your skills as a tutor. You're a reading coach, teacher and proofreader all rolled into one.
If you were paid for that tutoring, you'd earn an average of $17.28. And when you're helping your children with advanced topics — like math, science and languages — you could command more, closer to $39 an hour.
Check Out: Here's How Much Teachers Make in Every State
Chef: Up to $60,000 per year
You know how to make grilled cheese just the way they like it, and you're keeping up on Pinterest food trends (unicorn toast, anybody?). That's right, being a stay-at-home mom often means doubling as a chef.
Like a chef, you're constantly refining new recipes, planning menus with a mix of new experiments and old favorites. Oh, and making sure you can sneak a veggie or two in there.
As head chef, you could be making an average of $43,688 per year. However, with experience, you can boost that to more than $60,000.