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Working Mother Report: Why Moms Work


Working Mother released a study that examines why mothers choose to work or stay home, analyzing the responses of more than 3,700 women. This report is part of the Working Mother Research Institute’s ongoing mission to help all employers attract and retain women by becoming more family-friendly.

The survey turned up some very interesting results:

There’s a work/life disconnect.

Women want one arrangement, but settle for another. Fifty-five percent of career-oriented stay-at-home moms surveyed would rather be working, while 71 percent of mothers surveyed work just to pick up a paycheck.

Old conventions are being challenged.

At-home moms are more likely to say they feel frowned upon by society than working moms, which may show a societal shift in attitude. Also surprising: working moms are far more likely to say they feel guilty about the cleanliness of their house than about working too much.

We all have guilt.

Working moms (51 percent) feel guilty about not spending enough time with their kids. And stay-at-home moms (55 percent) worry about not making a contribution to the family finances.

The best time to have a baby

In terms of household income, women who wait until the ages of 30 to 34 to have their first child fare the best, with roughly 20 percent of that group earning a six-figure combined household income.

Read the full report here.

Why do you choose to work or stay home? Are you happy with the choice?