Main image for the article “The Value of a Mother’s Time and How to Make the Most of it”. Pictured is a mom sitting on the couch, doing computer work, talking on the phone, and playing with her toddler at the same time.

Let’s think about all the different roles of a stereotypical mom. She’s a full time cook and cleaner; she makes sure everyone is fed and the house is clean. She’s a teacher and a tutor; helping her kids with their education at home. She’s a psychologist; managing emotions and connecting daily with her children and their emotional needs. She’s a nutritionist; researching and figuring out how to balance plates and diets. She’s an office manager; filling out paperwork and forms, scheduling appointments, making notes of who’s birthday is when, and knowing what has to be done to make sure scheduled activities can happen. She’s a coach, a shuttle driver, a daycare teacher – you KNOW the list goes on and on. And, while she doesn’t do all of them 100% of the time, she has to learn the most important aspects of each, and somehow mold them all together, on top of being able to switch from one to the other seamlessly. She has to be more than a mother, she needs to be a superwoman (or super mom), that can do it all! This is without even mentioning the fact that, on top of being able to manage all these roles, comes the responsibility of continuously updating herself on new information surrounding each one, and their best practices. 

Now, if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you know there’s nothing worse than somebody trying to insinuate that you just “stay at home all day” and that other parents have to go outside of the home and do  “real work”. Seriously? Clearly anybody who would say something like that to you has never actually had to do the work of a stay-at-home mom, or a stay-at-home dad – we see you too! 

In fact, I wanted to know what the salary would be for a full-time stay-at-home mom, considering the crazy amount of work she ends up doing! My research left me astonished! According to salary.com, in 2019, her salary would’ve been $178,201. That’s crazy! And, surveys say, that the average number of hours stay-at-home moms actually work is more than 90 per week! For working moms, their estimated salary for the mom roles they take on after work hours is about $123,000, plus the income from their careers. 

Being a mom, it’s the most rewarding job, we all know that – but it’s damn exhausting! Your value as a mom, and your time itself, are both worth SO much. And that’s just when things are running smoothly. This doesn’t include all the time you spend stressing about things going wrong, or about any problems that you’re having, or when you stay up all night trying to plan and think through the many different situations and scenarios that you have to tackle the next day, all to ensure that your children are getting the help they need. It can be super overwhelming! 

So, tune into the podcast this week if you’d rather listen to me break down the importance of delegating things that aren’t worth wasting your time on, so that you can spend more time doing the things that you love! 

But, I’m also going to dive into it now too.

Knowing the value of your time

In order to do any of these roles of motherhood to the standards we set for ourselves, we end up doing a lot of research.

If you think of a typical work week, where people only work 8 hours a day, moms would be paid $85.67 per hour. Since moms spend over 90 hours a week working, that dilutes it to an hourly wage of $38.08. I think it should be more, but I’ll take it for now. 

Here’s why this matters so much. 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from building my own business, it’s that one of the most valuable things I can do is to determine what my value is to my business, what my time is worth, and what I can do to make sure that what I’m doing is worth that time. 

For example, if my time is worth $100/hour, then I should only be doing $100/hour tasks. If answering emails is something that I can pay someone else to do for $15/hour, then it makes the most financial sense to hire someone to do those tasks. So then, that 10 hours per week I typically would spend answering emails, which would be worth $1000 per week, can be used to produce more sales, content, direct a vision for the company, or something that will bring in more money. 

This is the concept of opportunity cost. 

Now, you can take it one step further. If you had an hour of free time, would you be willing to give up that hour of free time for your wage? In other words, let’s go with the $100/hour example, would you be willing to give up one hour of free time for $100? Maybe yes, maybe no, and that all depends on how much time and money you currently have. 

I want you to take this same principle and apply it to your life as a mom. 

If your time, according to these simple surveys, is worth $38/hour, what things are you doing that are wasting your time, or wasting that money, that you can just be rid of? I bet we can all think of a few… 

Making the most of your time

Since my specialty is nutrition, let’s talk about that. Think of all the hours you spend stressing around feeding. Think about how much time you spend googling “what foods do I offer my baby first?”, or “what do I do when my toddler refuses to eat”, or “healthy meal ideas”, or “how do I get my child to eat veggies”, or “how to serve meat”. And the list goes on! 

I want you to count to yourself, right now, how many times a day you jump on Google looking for the answer to a feeding question. How many hours a day do you spend searching for answers? How many nights do you stay awake, and wonder about this or that when it comes to your child’s feeding? How many meals have felt miserable, or hopeless, or draining? In general, I want you to think of how many hours a day you spend stressing about feeding your child. If you could add up all that time, and all that energy, that you spend right now focused on questions, and wondering if you’re doing things correctly, how many hours per week are you spending? 

Okay, now I want you to think what you would do with all those hours. What if you had one, two, or five extra hours in your week that you didn’t have to spend Googling, searching, stressing, or wondering about this. How would your life be different? How much more would you show up for your kids? How would you show up for yourself?

Let’s take this one step further. Would you be willing to give up one hour of your free time now as a mom, for $38? 

If your answer is no, then you need to start looking at new ways to free up a bit more time, because the value of your time is worth SO much more than what you produce by doing one extra thing. Or, you need to spend that time doing something that you value equally in comparison to your free time.

Knowing when to delegate things that aren’t worth your time

A lot of times we see the price of something as being too expensive, and not worth the outcome. So many of us think, I can just research this on my own, I can figure this all out on my own. But, if you’re going into three meals and 2 snacks per day feeling stressed, and constantly battling or wondering about things. And, you know that your time is worth $38 an hour, or more importantly, that your time spent enjoying mealtime with your child is MUCH more valuable than your time spent stressing, who could you delegate this problem to for less than your time is worth? How could you end this problem once and for all, so that you can be either more efficient with your time, or just enjoy your life with your child in a more positive way? 

I bet you know where I’m going with this now…

You could purchase a course, a program, or seek expert help from someone you trust. For example, something like my Baby Led Feeding course, which for $99 gives you every single thing you need to know about feeding your baby from 6 to 12 months of age, and lifetime access to a support group where you can have guidance from a dietitian. Is that a smart investment that will free you up for more, or is it not worth it? Well, let’s do the math. If you spend any more than 2.5 hours TOTAL, between 6-12 months of age, researching about your baby’s eating, you’ve already basically spent the cost of the course (with an hourly wage of $38). So, if you spend any more than that, then you’re wasting your time and energy by not getting it. 

Same goes with my Feeding Toddlers course. At $79, you could justify this by spending only 2 hours of time searching, asking, researching, questioning, stressing, from the time your child is 1 year old to when they’re 8 years old (cause that’s how long these strategies work for!). So, over 7 years, you’re covering your butt, and giving yourself literally HUNDREDS of hours back that you can swap out for happy times, or for times to do something that you never found time to do before. Maybe even have time for something that you used to do, pre-kids, but haven’t had time for in so long, it may even be that something that sparks joy in your life. Or, maybe it’s just more time to enjoy those stress free moments where you can sit and enjoy yourself, or your child.

I can’t tell you how many times I see a familiar name pop up in my messages. A name that I remember from a year or two ago – where they were struggling with their child’s eating, or knowing what to do but not feeling confident doing it. And then a year later, they message me with a similar concern, because they never got it resolved at the time. Sometimes, another year passes, and there’s another message, another indication that they’re still stuck in that spot. I think to myself, what if they had just made that leap to purchase a course, or any other service, or delegate something that would allow them to finally get this all resolved in that moment? What if they had all that time to feel good that their child is being fed healthily, that they’re growing well, and they could’ve felt at peace. They wouldn’t be dealing with this right now! They would have had so much extra time back in their lives, they would have had many more stress-free moments.

I’ve also heard people saying, “Well, you know I can find all this information online. I can search on blogs. I can search free content and get the same information that’s inside of the course.” Well, that is partly true. First of all, you’re not going to get the same information. You’re going to get information that is different from one person, or resource, to the other. And, you’re going to find that it can get very confusing figuring out which source is “correct”, or more trustworthy. That confusion, and time you’re going to spend trying to decipher what is right, and who you should listen to, may not be worth it. Really, you can eliminate all this by spending that $59 for a My Little Eater™ course, or for one from someone else that you trust to give you the information that is needed for you to safely, healthily, and confidently feed your child. 

In addition to that, you can spend hours, upon hours, upon hours, trying to research every detail, and piece together every blog post, or every Instagram post, and still never make true sense of it all. So, there’s something to be said about having the trusted information you need laid out in a way that’s easy to follow, that’s mapped out for you, and that will take you from step A to step Z in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Because that’s what you really want.  

And you know what, you may be able to do it all. Maybe you do have the time right now, and maybe all your priorities are balanced, and there’s no need for you to have to worry about saving time. Perhaps you don’t worry that much about food and the outcomes of how you feed your child. Or, you have the time to do the things that spark your joy, and if that’s the case, I’m genuinely so happy for you! Because, you really do have to consider whether you have more time than money, or more money than time. You should also consider how much you like, or dislike, the process as it is, and what trade-offs you’re willing to make. If you decide that the way things are works for you, that’s great! You may not need a course, or a program, or anything that will do that work for you. You’ve got it figured out!

But, for most of us out there, especially thinking back to how many hours a day we spend doing the jobs of a mom, and how we’re expected to be experts in sleep, in feeding, in education, in home organization, in cooking, in cleaning, and in every single area that we are spread across, we’re overwhelmed. If we could just look at the value of our time as moms, and find areas where we can delegate where it makes sense for us, we can do so much more and live happier lives. Because at the end of the day, nobody else can replace your connection with your child, in spending time with your child, in forming memories with your child, in bonding with your child, in coaching your child, in inspiring your child – that’s where your value lies. That’s where you can’t even put a price on the value of your time. You know your time is more valuable by being with your child OR (equally as important) being and doing things for yourself. By doing things that only you can do, and that no one else can do for you. 

So, look at what things you do now, that aren’t needed in your life, and that can be solved if you just look at things through a new lens. With a new perspective, and by regarding the job that you do as a job of extreme worth, a job like no other, one that produces the most fruitful results. And, at the end of the day, one you can’t put a price on!

I know first hand how this feels when it comes to feeding your baby or toddler. I remember spending countless hours researching, worrying, analyzing, and still not having a clear answer. I knew my time as a mom was worth more than this, I had a family to spend time with! This was the fuel behind my Baby Led Feeding and Feeding Toddlers courses. I created these to help give you more of that valuable time back, so you can spend priceless time with your family. If feeding your child is consuming your free time with worries, confusion, or endless Google searches, it’s time to delegate that to My Little Eater™.

edwenakennedy