July 26, 2005 — -- Can a wife put a price tag on housework? One woman says yes, and is seeking $500,000 for the work she did during 5½ years of marriage.
Kathy Thompson previously appeared on "GMA" when she went on strike to get her husband, Gary, to help around the house. Now she wants a divorce, and compensation for her work.
"He goes fishing a lot, he doesn't appreciate me I don't think, and so I went on strike," Kathy Thompson said in 2002.
The strike ended only when Gary Thompson showed up with flowers, vacation plans and dinner reservations.
But Kathy Thompson says the honeymoon didn't last very long. In addition to her previous housework, Thompson said she also had to start mowing the lawn and doing other household chores such as painting the house. She was also working two jobs and going to school.
Thompson said she finally had a "nervous breakdown," and one day at church God "touched my heart and said 'Baby, the only thing you're guilty of is loving too much and too hard.'"
Thompson said she went home and wrote out a bill for her soon-to-be ex.
The itemized bill covers 5½ years of cooking, cleaning, laundry and yard work. For six hours a day of cleaning for 352 days a year, Thompson is charging $20 per hour for a total of $42,240. Approximately 1,760 loads of laundry at $10 a load could cost Gary Thompson $17,600.
The bill is a separate case from the divorce proceedings.
Kathy Thompson says the total comes to $494,880, but she will settle for $30,000.
"I'm trying to be reasonable," she said. "It's not about the money, it's about standing up for women's rights."
Kathy Thompson is now living in her mother and father's log cabin and working part time cleaning houses. She says has no plans to marry again.