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How Much It Would Cost to Replace You

I'll be the first to admit that I thought being a stay-at-home mom meant having all the time in the world to go shopping, head to the salon and catch up on soap operas. My tune has changed since becoming a parent. After learning about the true cost of being a SAHM and all the work it involves, I have a new-found respect for those who decide to quit their careers.

Salary.com breaks it all down, from food to child care and everything in between.

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We all know that when it comes to having a family, scheduling is key—and that includes meal planning. The cost of a chef is about $9,487 a year, which doesn't factor in buying and delivering groceries.

As far as cleaning and managing the home is concerned, that could run approximately $29,154, depending on the size of each room.

If you think that's a lot, childcare will have you gasping for air. Homemakers provide a quality service that is hard to come by. The cost of daycare sets my husband and I back over $600 bucks a week for two kids .

Working outside of the home is sometimes like a vacation compared to the constant demands of physically being with children and taking care of household duties all day long.

According to the Pew Research Center, the cost of childcare has gone up by 70 percent in the last 30 years, and that may attribute to a rise in women choosing to stay at home over the last 15 years. Also, the number of fathers who do not work outside the home has risen to 2 million in 2012.

Oh and let's not forget about other incidentals like lawn care, laundry and car services, which can cost at least $9,000 bucks each year, combined.

When you total it all up, a stay-at-home parent would potentially make around $113,000 annually. That's actually a lot more than a lot of folks make these days, which makes me wonder if I'm in the wrong business. Every now and then, I get a taste of what it's like as a SAHM and it is a tough job with no breaks.

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I have friends who decided to put their careers on hold to be at home with their kids and I certainly applaud them for taking on the responsibility. They often say, "I don't know how you work a full-time job and take care of two small kids." But honestly, I don't know how they do it all.

Being a parent is a 24/7 job. Working outside of the home is sometimes like a vacation compared to the constant demands of physically being with children and taking care of household duties all day long. But it's worth every penny.

Image via Twenty20/gaillardmathieu

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