Steven Nelms wrote an essay on We Are Glory about why he “quite literally” can’t afford for his wife, Gloriana (Glory for short), to be a stay-at-home mom. While that initially sounds extremely rude, the essay is actually about how much his wife’s annual salary would be if she was paid for being a stay-at-home mother and how he could never afford to pay her for properly for all that she does for him and his 2-year-old son, Ezra.
In his powerful, lovely essay, he concluded that the workload of his stay-at-home wife should equal an annual salary of $73,960, as he took into account the costs of child care ($36,660), cooking ($12,480), cleaning ($5,200), and being the family’s accountant and tax preparer. In the essay, Nelms explains how the $74k, which he says includes extremely conservative estimations, doesn’t even come with the usual benefits that people in the workforce would receive.
“And let’s remember, there’s no sick leave with childcare, there’s no paid time off, there’s no 401(k). All of the incentives that someone who makes over 70K a year would normally enjoy are not part of this deal. All of the worker appreciations, merit bonuses, and recognition that comes with being a part of an office are out too.”
The essay highlights the sacrifice, hard work, strength, and beauty in the work of a stay-at-home mom, one of the most important jobs in the world. Read the whole thing here.
In response to a comment on his site, Nelms explained how Glory had been employed since the age of 14, always earning a paycheck outside of the home, which has made staying at home a tough task for her.
He writes about how his wife doesn’t, but should, feel like she has equal right to their income because she doesn’t receive the paycheck.
“My wife sometimes feels patronized when I ask her permission to buy something for myself. She feels like it’s my money and my name on the paycheck so I shouldn’t have to ask permission to get myself something every once in a while. The truth is, I’m ashamed of any time I’ve ever made her feel guilty or humored when she’s purchased something for herself. I’m ashamed that she has ever felt like she doesn’t have just as much right to our income as I do. The fact of the matter is that our income doesn’t even come close to covering what she does for our family. I would have to make over 100K to even begin to be able to cover my living expenses as well as employ my wife as a Stay-At-Home Mom!”
The moving essay is concluded with some loving words from husband to wife to make sure she understands just how very much she is appreciated.
“In short, I can’t afford for my wife to stay at home. And I’ve tragically failed to show my wife the appreciation that she deserves. She loves me, loves our son, and loves our family, so obviously she isn’t doing any of those things for a paycheck or even for recognition. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to know that as a Stay-At-Home Mom her appraised salary is nearly double my actual income. So in a very weird way, this is my way of saying how much I value my wife as the mother of my child and the one who always has my back no matter what. You are more precious than rubies. And I can’t afford you.”