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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

The needs of my children
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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 moms staying 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.

Cost of child care
Sylvia Abalos, El Observador de Utah

Thirty-five percent left the labor force because the cost of child care was too high, according to the Working Mother Report.

Paying for child care
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Child care generally costs around $600 a week or $31,200 a year, according to a survey by the International Nannies Association in 2011.

The cost of working
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Twenty-six percent said their salary was not enough to justify the expenses associated with working, according to the Working Mother Report.

Private chef
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

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.

More children
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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.

House cleaning
Beth Hall, AP

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.

Expected to stay home
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Another 19 percent said they stay at home because their partner expected them to, according to the Working Mother Report.

Driver
Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

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.

Work flexibility
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Twelve percent said they stay at home because they couldn't get flexible enough work, according to the Working Mother Report.

Doing the laundry

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.

High-quality child care
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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.

Lawn maintenance
Mike Terry, Deseret News

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.

Part-time work
Ron Tom, © 2006 American Broadcasting Co

A lack of options for part-time work is the reason 8 percent of moms stay-at-home, according to the Working Mother Report.

A stay-at-home mom's salary
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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.

Overworked
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Seven percent said they stay home because they had to work more than 40 hours a week, according to the Working Mother Report.

Staying sane
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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.

Managerial support
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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.

Staying home is economically smarter
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"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.

Family expectations
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Another 5 percent said they stay at home because their family members expected them to, according to the Working Mother Report.

Long-term outlook on raising kids
Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press

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.

Paid-parental leave
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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.

Too much traveling
Charles Krupa, Associated Press

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.

Meaningful work
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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.

Discrimination
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About 3 percent said they stay-at-home because their previous employer discriminated against working mothers, according to the Working Mother Report.

Coworker support
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Only 2 percent said they stay at home because they didn't get enough support from their coworkers, according to the Working Mother Report.

A day in the life of a mother
Gary Emord-Netzley, AP Photo

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.

Desire to stay with the kids
Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

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.

Ad Sales for daytime television
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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.