In a moment of publicity genius, Salary.com compiled research to determine the value of a stay-at-home mom. The verdict: $134,121 a year.

And then the arrows started flying. The economists complained that the math is sloppy. (By the way, one of my brothers is an economist so I know that economists think everyone’s math is bad except their own.) The working moms who don’t make that much feel slighted. (They actually took time from their busy day to post petty, indignant comments like, “My friend says she spent a lot of extra money when she was home with her kids.”) And men are complaining that no one is paying attention to their contribution. (Take note: Men earn about 25% more than women in comparable jobs, so you do the math.)

But that is not the point. The point is that our society only values work that is paid, and people are not paid to parent, and that is a problem. The discussion should be about how to shift society so that parenting is more valued. That is what we should be talking about.

The Salary.com survey is a good way to start people thinking about how to value parenting.