What's the ideal work situation for mom?

Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 2:55 p.m. MDT

CNN commenter Lori Carden and her family.

CNN/ Lori Carden

Most American mothers say that working part-time is the most ideal situation when raising a family, according to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Since 1997, working part-time has continually been the primary option for mothers. Although, since the 2007 study, findings show there has been an increase in mothers who prefer full-time positions.

The decision for women whether to work full-time, part-time or to stay at home when raising a family has circulated in the media with a debate over which is the ideal situation.

Kelly Goff recently discussed the importance of full-time positions for women with degrees from elite universities, while Anne-Marie Maginnis argued in Verily Magazine that viewing an elite degree as a wasted opportunity when one decides to raise a family full-time is regressive for the women’s movement.

CNN Money recently said that the work-life struggles for mothers is a result of a lack of family friendly labor laws. Women who desire to have a family as well as pursue their careers are often stuck. CNN reported that the United States is the only major industrialized country that doesn't mandate some sort of paid parental leave.

Yet while the majority of women strive to balance part-time work along with raising a family, CNN reported that 26 percent of American women don't have a job and aren't looking for one. Several readers wrote in and explained their reasons for staying at home.

"I suppose I view staying home to raise and educate my children as a shift of energy and focus — once aimed outside of my family, now to inside my family," Lori Carden of Mesa, Ariz., wrote.

"I still view my time under my roof as work; cleaning, prioritizing, educating, relating, caring, etc. And I take the responsibility very seriously. Educating each child in their learning style is difficult and requires a lot of intentionality, patience and research," she said.

Julie Hays of Shreveport, La., said staying home was a personal preference and one that was not made simply because she didn't want to work.

"There seems to be a stigma attached to this choice. I have endured plenty of condescending remarks and ignorant assumptions that I do nothing all day," Hays wrote. "In the end it is a personal choice, but I do think more moms would be interested in working if the workplace were more supportive of the family agenda."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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