While no amount of money can accurately define the worth of a loving mother or father at home, paying someone else to do the work a mother does in the home can be expensive. Here's a list of effects that stay-at-home mothers can have on the family budget and the economy. Related: Book excerpt: Ann Romney, a mother first
About 44 percent of career-oriented stay-at-home moms said they stay home to fulfill the needs of their children, according to the Working Mother Report.
This is the number one reason mothers stay home.
More parents with children are staying at home according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In 2011, 23.8 percent of parents with children under 15 years old had one parent stay at home with them. Its the highest rate since 2008, the Census Bureau said in November.
Last year there were 5.2 million stay-at-home mothers or fathers out of 21.7 million total married couples with children under 15.
Thirty-five percent left the labor force because the cost of child care was too high, according to the Working Mother Report.
Child care generally costs around $600 a week or $31,200 a year, according to a survey by the International Nannies Association in 2011.
Twenty-six percent said their salary was not enough to justify the expenses associated with working, according to the Working Mother Report.
Most stay-at-home mothers cook meals for their families throughout the day. Getting a professional chef to cook those meals would cost about $1,005 for a five-day work week, or $52,260 a year, according to the American Personal Chef Association.
A service a mother provides for free.
Giving birth to more children was the reason 19 percent of stay-at-home moms gave for staying at home with their children, according to the Working Mother Report.
Paying someone to clean the house costs about $118 a week or $6,136 a year, according to Investopedia.
Yet another service a mother provides for no compensation.
Another 19 percent said they stay at home because their partner expected them to, according to the Working Mother Report.
It costs about $4,168 a year to have someone drive the family wherever it needs to go on a daily basis, according to Red Cap.
Twelve percent said they stay at home because they couldn't get flexible enough work, according to the Working Mother Report.
There's nothing free in life, except when a mother does the laundry.
Paying someone else to perform this task could cost approximately $936 a year with a five day work week, according to Investopedia.
Nine percent of moms who stay at home said they did so because they couldn't find high-quality care for their children, according to the Working Mother Report.
Having a mother do this may not be really common, but paying someone else to do it can cost a family upwards of $30 a week, or $1,560 a year, according to Investopedia.
A lack of options for part-time work is the reason 8 percent of moms stay-at-home, according to the Working Mother Report.
Paying someone to cook, clean, drive, maintain the lawn, take care of the kids, and do the laundry will cost a family about $96,261 a year, according to Investopedia.
That doesn't include all of the emotional benefits that come with having a mother. Not to mention the fact that a stary-at-home mother, gets no pay, no sick leave, no time off, and has to work around the clock.
Seven percent said they stay home because they had to work more than 40 hours a week, according to the Working Mother Report.
Working mothers with children suffer a great deal of stress, said Sophia Aguirre, a professor of economics at The Catholic University of America.
Aguirre says human capital suffers in an economy with overly stressed work forces.
Aguirre doesn't think that it's wrong to be a working mother, but companies need to be more flexible to eliminate stress.
A lack of support from managers at work is the main reason to stay at home, according to 5 percent of moms in the survey conducted by Working Mother Report.
"The absence of the mother in the home can seriously jeoprodize the sustainability of economic growth," Aquirre said in a phone interview with the Deseret News.
Aguirre says that women who chose to stay at home are investing in "moral and social capital" that help improve the economy as a whole.
Another 5 percent said they stay at home because their family members expected them to, according to the Working Mother Report.
Pat Fagan, Ph.D., director of the Marriage & Religion Research Institute, says that the benefits of a stay-at-home mother are measured on a long-term basis.
He used Anne Romney, wife of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as an example.
The contribution of her five children over their lifetime "could easily be much greater than their father's," he said.
Only 3 percent of career-oriented stay-at-home moms said they left the labor force because they didn't get paid parental leave, according to the Working Mother Report.
Five percent cited their jobs requiring too much travel as the main reason they stay at home with their children, according to the Working Mother Report.
A lack of meaningful part-time jobs is the reason 5 percent of stay-at-home moms stay out of the work force, according to the Working Mother Report.
About 3 percent said they stay-at-home because their previous employer discriminated against working mothers, according to the Working Mother Report.
Only 2 percent said they stay at home because they didn't get enough support from their coworkers, according to the Working Mother Report.
Marquessa Aikele, a stay-at-home mother of four said she really enjoys her time at home. She teaches her children piano, helps them with their homework, exercises, volunteers at her church and her childrens' school, cleans the house and does various errands her family needs.
It may not seem like the most glamorous life, but that's not how she sees it.
"That sounds kind of boring but it doesn't feel that way when I'm doing it," Aikele said.
Approximately 20 percent said they stay at home because they've had a desire to stay home with the kids for a long time, according to the Working Mother Report.
Not all moms are watching TV, but 17 percent of the more than 59 hours of television viewing is during the daytime hours when most are at work.
It costs $852,481.58 to run a 30-second commercial during daytime television in the U.S.