More mothers are staying at home, new research shows

The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29 percent in 2012, the study found. That’s up from 23 percent at the turn of the century, according to a new Pew Research Center report released Tuesday.
By LEANNE ITALIE, Associated Press Published: April 9, 2014
Advertisement
;

The rising cost of child care is among likely reasons for a rise in the number of women staying home full-time with their children, according to a new Pew Research Center report released Tuesday.

Other factors cited by Pew to explain the increase include more immigrant mothers, who tend to stay home with children in greater numbers than U.S.-born moms; more women unable to find work; and ambivalence about the impact of working mothers on young children.

The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29 percent in 2012, the study found. That’s up from 23 percent at the turn of the century, according to the report.

At the height of the recession in 2008, Pew estimated 26 percent of mothers were home with children.

The at-home moms include women who are married, single, disabled, enrolled in school or unable to find work.

Pew cited a 2010 U.S. census report that singled out the expense of child care as a factor.

In inflation-adjusted dollars, the average weekly child care expense for families with working mothers who paid for child care rose more than 70 percent, from $87 in 1985 to $148 in 2011, according to government estimates. That represented 7.2 percent of the income for such families.

Tricia Williamson, 30, in Liberty, N.C., quit her job as an editor and producer at a TV station after crunching the numbers and realizing her salary after the birth of her son a year ago would go primarily to commuting and child care expenses. Her husband earns about $44,000 a year as an electronics technician.

“We’re not rich by any means. We live paycheck to paycheck, but it’s completely worth it,” she said. “My son wouldn’t be getting the attention he needs one-on-one. He’s got mom 24/7.”

The largest share of at-home mothers — roughly two-thirds of 10.4 million — had working husbands. A growing share — 6 percent in 2012, up from 1 percent in 2000 — said they could not find a job, according to Pew, which relied on U.S. census and other government data.



By the numbers

Do stay-at-home

moms benefit kids?

Since 2008, about 70 percent said when questioned in an ongoing social survey that a working mother is just as capable as an at-home mother of establishing the same “warm and secure” relationship with her children. But 60 percent of Americans in a recent Pew survey said children are better off when a parent stays home to “focus on the family,” compared with 35 percent who said children are “just as well off with working parents.”

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Giraffe Dies After Hitting Head On Highway Bridge
  2. 2
    Scientists reveal secrets of ancient ship found beneath World Trade Center ruins
  3. 3
    This Japanese Island Has More Cats Than People *Squeals*
  4. 4
    Twitter says government data requests growing
  5. 5
    OU announces mobile tickets technology on your smartphone
+ show more