One of my recent posts discussed the trials and tribulations of being a trailing spouse. In it I pondered the realities of giving up a career to follow my spouse around the world as he furthers his career. I wondered how, if ever, I would be able to reenter the workforce in a meaningful way and how I would be able to take my considerable experiences and market them in a society that attaches a concrete dollar value to work. I just may have found one of the answers to my question.
One of the blogs I regularly follow is that of Jane D'Arcy, who pens the On Parenting column in the Washington Post. I don't always agree with D'Arcy's point of view but her columns never fail to make me think about parenting, society, and life in a new light. For me, her February 2, 1012 column entitled A Homemaker's Real Salary spoke to the very heart of the trailing spouse issue and puts a starting dollar figure on what I am worth. At first glance the figures she presents look inflated but upon closer contemplation, I do believe they are fair. After all, I do perform all of these tasks and like a mailman, I do them through snow, sleet, and falling rain. I don't get sick days (as evidenced by the fact I am now on day 13 of my cold and I'm still plugging away) and vacations are actually more work than staying home.
I remember our financial planner urging us to take out additional life insurance on me since he claimed that the value of my contributions to the Brown house outweighed those of Glenn. I was skeptical but after reading D'Arcy's column, I am reconsidering my position. A part of me wants to shout to those cynics who poo-poo my homemaker status as not being real work. I have the urge to point out to them that if I was receiving a paycheck for my efforts, I'd probably be out earning them.
I'm going to resist- for the moment anyway. However, I just may have to ask Glenn for a raise.