I am so not surprised.

It’s bad for the Moms; it’s bad for the kids. No wonder Moms are giving up on it. “It”, of course, being full time work plus parenting:

Working full-time is losing its appeal for American mothers.

In the past decade, the percentage of working mothers who say full-time work is ideal dropped from 32 to 21, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Now, 60 percent of them say they’d rather work part-time, up from 48 percent in 1997.

Likewise, only 16 percent of stay-at-home moms say they’d prefer to work full-time. That’s down from 24 percent a decade ago. Nearly half of at-home moms say not working at all is ideal, up from 39 percent in 1997.

Not surprisingly, 72 percent of fathers prefer working full-time.

Rating themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 on how well they’ve done at parenting, 43 percent of at-home moms said 9 or 10. Only 28 percent of full-time working moms rated themselves so highly.

Finally, 44 percent of at-home moms think it’s bad for society to have so many mothers away at jobs, while just 34 percent of working moms think that.

The survey, conducted earlier this year and released today, involved 2,020 telephone interviews of U.S. adults.

The poll also highlights another obvious fact that intellectuals keep needing so see proved over and over again:  men and women are different.  While there are women who love to work full time, and men who crave full time parenting, the vast middle of both men and women tend to fall back on traditional spheres.

I’m not advocating, of course, Taliban-esque laws removing women from the workplace.  I’m just looking for an American mindset that acknowledges that we’re not all cookie cutter figures, and that the 1970s ideal of all women in the workplace all the time is not a healthy model to impose on society.

9 Responses

  1. Likewise, only 16 percent of stay-at-home moms say they’d prefer to work full-time.

    How many of those are actually in charge of businesses in their homes, using network proficiencies?

    Or there are other jobs run strictly from a home computer that would fit stay at home moms. Did the question ask whether the full time job is one that takes them away from their kids physically?

    men and women are different.

    Come the Revolution, they won’t be Book. ; )

  2. When push comes to shove, you’ll be the first on your block in a burqa (oh wait, your brain — which feasts on every opportunity to denigrate women’s equality — is already wearing one).

  3. To be fair, Bookworm, the 1950s model (all women belong in the kitchen) is not a healthy model either. It’s all about tolerance, choices, and allowing each individual woman the freedom to do what works best for her. But, then, Greg wouldn’t understand that.

  4. The company that employs me as a contract employee working out of my home via a network also employs several women with small children who also work out of their home.

  5. Re #3: That’s what I was trying to say, DQ. Nowadays, there’s as much pressure for women to conform to the model of a full time work day (plus parenting), as there was in the 1950s for women not to work at all. I was just trying to say that pressure in either extreme is a bad thing and that most women want a happy medium — which is for many, as in my case, part time work.

  6. Bookworm– I think you are right. It’s choice we are after. Having to work full time or Having to stay at home against your will is not what we are after. Balance and choice for me anyway!

  7. “It’s bad for the Moms; it’s bad for the kids. No wonder Moms are giving up on it. “It”, of course, being full time work plus parenting.” — Book

    Emphatic assertions such as the one above make it seem as if you’re saying that moms who choose full time work are choosing a lifestyle that is harmful to their children. It reads as if you’re making pursed-lipped, provocative judgments and denigrating others’ choices.

    This statement: “I was just trying to say that pressure in either extreme is a bad thing and that most women want a happy medium” is kinder, gentler and far more reasonable.

  8. What TS reads as is someone without any ideas of his own; whose only identity is derived from attempting to dismantle the superior ideas and work inputted by Bookworm.

    TS can always write posts of his own to supplant Book’s, since he deems himself far superior to meer mortals.

  9. Great post…I am a work-at-home mom of an 18-month-old son. I had been working 6 hours a day outside of the home for only 2 weeks when my son was 3 months old and I could NOT do it. I desperately prayed to God for a solution and He graciously provided me with a freelance writing job from home. I work around my son’s schedule and while there are some stressful days, nothing could compare to being close to my son. As I heard one pastor say on the radio, I am the only one who can be the mother to my son. Everyone else can do other things that I think I NEED to do (work, earn money, advocate for causes, etc.) but no other person can be a mother to my son and he will realize this one day. If a woman truly wants to be a stay-at-home mom, or at least work part-time if the finances are dire, God can and will provide a way!

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