Stay-at-home mothers find challenge, reward in raising their children

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  • nww New York, NY
    May 31, 2012 4:04 p.m.

    It's so sad to see the criticism flailing back and forth between people's choices with how they're spending their 24 hours each day. Like any decision, it is personal and we can't criticize others' choices. My father chose the military as his career, and did not regard his sons' decisions of music or business as an affront to the Army. :)
    An article touting the benefits of apples doesn't inherently imply oranges are bad or second rate. I felt like this article seeks to clarify that for many who choose to be home with their kids, it is an open-eyed and intelligent and deliberate decision. It seeks to give credit for that decision where credit is due. We as a society need to respect and regard motherhood as a legitimate career path much like lawyer or business entrepreneur or teacher. Yes, it goes deeper and longer-term, but let's start there and quit bickering.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    May 25, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    In my family, extended family, and neighborhood almost everyone worked. Mom and dad worked full time and also managed our baseball teams, got involved in our school efforts, and were always there for us. We didn't have a lot of money. We had to work to afford our own car insurance and opportunistically drive our parents cars when they were available. We had to take school loans and work out college for ourselves financially. I in particular have been working since I was a kid in little league baseball. Watching them lead that life by example gave us kids a strong work ethic.

    The reality is a working mom who's also a parent has a lot more on her plate than one who doesn't have to work.

    Work takes up atleast 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for life!!! There's no replacing that with being at home and saying it's just as much if not more work. So you have to raise the kids (when they're home from school), so you have to do the laundry, dishes, yard work, whatever. So do working moms .... AFTER WORK.

  • C. Meyer MADISON, SD
    May 22, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    I respect and appreciate the variety of truths that we are sharing here. This topic is not just sociology; it is psychology, theology, all the -ologies you can think of, probably; it's deeply existential--a matter of human identity and being, and I sense my personal ignorance to speak adequately about this, yet I wish to contribute meaningfully. Regardless... as Wendell Berry says, "Respect, I think, always implies imagination--the ability to see one another, across our inevitable differences, as living souls." And as always, W.H. Auden presents a valid either-or: "We must love each other or die." But no last words for now . . . to put to rest is to put to sleep, in the veterinary sense; we should leave somethings alone, but never leave each other alone, in the sense of abandonment or dismissal. Compassion gives us a compass.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    May 22, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    atl134 writes: "So you think it's immoral for women to work? Or for a father to be the stay-at-home parent?"

    This story is about children and most of us didn't consider ourselves in that category by the time we were in high school.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 22, 2012 1:12 a.m.


    Sometime when you have time. Look up Harlo's experiment. You'll find it informative on the importance of mothers.

    I'd say the two thousand stripling soldiers had full time stay at home moms.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    May 21, 2012 10:05 p.m.

    Shaun, At the end of the day nobody cares about your child the way you do. Have you never babysat for another child, only to discover, surprise, surprise, that yes, you can keep him/her safe and clean and fed, but you cannot even force yourself to care about another child the way you care about your own? If you’re a Mom, you understand this because you’ve experienced it.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2012 8:48 p.m.

    My child goes to daycare and my child is more outgoing than my friends children who happen to stay at home with their mom.

    Plus my child does so many activities at daycare that I do not think any stay at home mother could have the energy to accomplish all what my child receives during the day.

    Also what is missing from this conversation is the effort of parent(s). I know stay at home mothers who barely acknowledge their children and watch tv all day and basically parent from the couch.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    May 21, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    In order to stay at home with my children, I found that we could live on less. We had an older fixer upper home, only one good car, and we didn't eat out much or buy prepared foods. I baked a lot and grew a home garden. I also tended some of the best children, for wonderful mothers. Mothers who dropped their children off as the last thing before they went to work and picked them up first. Mothers who I made lunch for so they could nurse their babies. I taught the children to call me Auntie. Many families have both parents work because they want to. Really some are working for the extra things. Some are working because they would have nothing otherwise. It is Okay if your career is very important to you. We all make choices and should not have to justify or explain. Mothers that work outside of the home are no less mothers then those who work in the home.

    May 21, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    re: I AM LDS 2

    So how do you "define" success as a mother?

    I'd really like to know your check boxes!!!!

    And HOW do you 'respect' them more? You just showed your true colors.


    You need to get out more because I see women everyday who have "Mom" at about #17 on their list. They are stay-@-home, working and all other types. Not every Mom is a Mom 24/7. SOme just got stuck with a bad choice.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 6:18 p.m.

    So, Redshirt, let's put a fine point on this: you erroneously asserted "The experts all agree that outsourcing parenting to daycares results in bad behavior." Your statement is not only not true, but the research you, yourself, cited, contradicted that very assertion.

    We call that misleading people.

    Remember what President Kimball said about any communication made with intent to deceive?

    The most recent research on Child Care (within the past 5 years) does NOT support your claims. Children parented by SAHMoms are NOT better behaved, are NOT smarter, are NOT more emotionally stable or anything of the sort.

    But you have your mind made up, so rather than search for the truth, you search for anything and everything you can throw against the wall in support of your preconceived notions and see if anything will stick.

    That is not science. That is not journalism. And that is not honest.

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    May 21, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    I M LDS 2: To suggest that doing both (being a full-time Mom and a full-time employee) is THE most admirable thing is (to quote you) wrongheaded and infuriating! Both things require dedication and skill – being a full-time, at home Mom and being a full-time employee. Why would anyone suggest that doing BOTH is ideal, or most admirable?

    Are you anti-female?

    Would this ever be required of a man?

    How could anyone, by any stretch of the imagination, consider this ideal for children?

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 6:07 p.m.


    Don't let the facts get in the way of completely distorting the truth!

    From the (over 5-years outdated) study you cited:

    "...keeping a preschooler in a day care center for a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class...The effect was slight, and well within the normal range for healthy children, the researchers found. And as expected, parents' guidance and their genes had by far the strongest influence on how children behaved."

    From the 2003 (almost a decade out of date) study you cited:

    "The study authors noted that their study was not designed to prove a cause and effect relationship. That is, the study cannot prove whether spending more time in child care causes children to have more problem behaviors."


    "The strongest predictor of how well a child behaves was a feature of maternal parenting that the researchers described as sensitivity--how attuned a mother is to a child's wants and needs."


    "children whose parents had higher incomes and who were more highly educated also were more socially competent and less likely to engage in problem behaviors."

    Any more distortions you want debunked?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 21, 2012 4:51 p.m.

    I M LDS 2,

    More respect for out of home moms? Whatever.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    Though the funny thing about this decline in stay-at-home motherhood is that it's the Democrats who are fighting for it. No really, they are, since they're the ones who oppose the increasing concentration of wealth at the top. They're the ones who always have to push for the minimum wage increases. They're the ones who want to push for unions, and for businesses to provide benefits that help families be able to actually make it on one income.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    "The experts all agree that outsourcing parenting to daycares results in bad behavior. "

    The studies show that "outsourcing parenting to daycares" is more likely to result in bad behavior. Your statement asserted it without the qualifying phrase which suggested it was a guarantee.

    "Now, compare that to a stay at home parent who is with their kids for 16 hours a day."

    Those kids are in school once they're 5 years old so most of the time the kids are away about 8 hours a day so your statement only applies for about 1/3 of the years for a child.

    "what matters is how you raise your kids."

    And they might do a very good job. My parents ended up divorcing and my mom worked after said divorce and my sister and I turned out just fine.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 21, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    "Lucky is the child who lives in a 2-parent home with both his birth mother and father, and where his (or her) mother who can stay at home teaching him to make correct choices while his father works to support their family financially."

    So you think it's immoral for women to work? Or for a father to be the stay-at-home parent?

    Besides, when I was in middle and high school my mom worked. Not that it made a difference anyway. She had a 7:30-3:30 job so we (my sister and I) were gone from the house almost the entire time she worked during the school year anyway.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 21, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    To "tallen" so what you are saying is that on an average day you are gone for 10 hours to commute and work, assuming you sleep for 8 hours a day, that means that at best you are actively parenting your kids for 6 hours on any given day. Now, compare that to a stay at home parent who is with their kids for 16 hours a day.

    You are saying that you want the same respect and rewards as a mother who is actively parenting her kids for 16 hours per day while you only put in 6 hours per day?

    I am sorry, but unless you are a single mother who has no choice, you are not doing your kids a service by sending them off to daycare or having latchkey kids. If money is an issue, downsize, cut things out of your life. It doesn't matter what "stuff" you have, what matters is how you raise your kids.

  • Belching Cow Sandy, UT
    May 21, 2012 3:31 p.m.

    Hey, come on now. If women don't work how do you expect them to afford their SUV's, smart phone and Paris Hilton sunglasses?

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    May 21, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    I M LDS 2 writes: "But I have much more respect for women who succeed in a career AND as mothers!"

    A latchkey kid is defined as "a child who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parent or parents are away at work, or a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision." The day comes when the child grows up and the woman with the career is left to wonder what could have been.

    There is more to this life than measuring success by the amount of stuff a parent has collected.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    May 21, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    No-one is saying that you are only a mother if you are home. You are taking these comments too far.

    The truth is stay-at-home moms do not love their children more, have more dedication or committment than moms who have to work outside the home, but they are physically THERE for their kids. They are drained from parenting, but not from work and parenting. Are there kids of stay-at-home moms who are neglected? Yes. Are there kids of working moms who thrive? Yes. And there is the whole spectum in the middle.

    It is logical that moms who stay at home have more time with their kids and given the enormous job of parenting that is best when that can take place. You cannot be great at everything at the same time. We humans are not limitless in our energy, time and emotional availablity. However, our love and care is limitless when it comes to our kids. Every woman makes the best decision she can given her cincumstances.

  • tallen Lehi, UT
    May 21, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    Here's how I desereve the title.
    In a week, I spend 8 hours a day plus an hour "lunch". That's 9 out of 24 hours that I'm out of the home, 10 out of 24 if I have an hour commute time (which is about average). So I am a mother 14 out of 24 hours. Add in the fact that there are two days a week that I am off, meaning I am a "mother" 24 hours a day for 2 days. Let's say, just for arguments sake that I am "not a mother" while I'm at work and not a mother while my children are sleeping (hah. yeah right), I am still caring for my child at least 50 hours a week. I am considered a full time employee at 40 hours a week, so why not a full time mother at 50? Those hour calculations are actually being very generous seeing as I get up with my children at night, so I really shouldn't be throwing those hours out and that even at work, I need to ensure my children are cared for.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 21, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    To "I M LDS 2" it isn't a judgmental presumption. It is a fact that kids that are raised in daycares have more behavior problems than kids that are raised by their mothers.

    See "Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care" in the NY Times

    See "Child Care Linked To Assertive, Noncompliant, and Aggressive Behaviors" at the National Institute of Health

    See "Study ties day care to some behavior problems" at MSN.

    The experts all agree that outsourcing parenting to daycares results in bad behavior. Not to mention the guilt that many working parents feel that results in over-indulgence of kids in daycare.

    To "GZE" you may not stop being a mother, but you stop being a full time parent when you are not the primary person to be with your children during the day when they are home.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 12:47 p.m.


    It is the judgmental presumption that women who work outside the home and have a career are "second rate" (or "second best") mothers that is wrongheaded and infuriating.

    May 21, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    You do not stop being a mother because you are away from your children. You do not stop being a mother when you are at work. You do not stop being a mother when you are asleep. If my mother-in-law is any example (and I believe she is), you do not stop being a mother when you are 82 years old, have had a stroke, and have not have one of your children living in your home for over 30 years.

    If you want to argue that stay-at-home moms are better, or more dedicated, or whatever, knock yourselves out. I have known children with stay-at-home moms who come to school dirty, unfed, and with their homework undone. I have known mothers who work outside the home who take care of their children's physical and emotional needs flawlessly. And vice versa. Each family does what works for them. It is not the place of others to judge.

    I did not say word one about the content of this article. I simply found the headline to be flawed. Apparently, the DN agreed with me and changed it.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 21, 2012 12:07 p.m.

    Re: I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    "But I have much more respect for women who succeed in a career AND as mothers!"

    It was LDS President DavidO. McKay who said “No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home”. Lucky is the child who's mother can stay at home and teach them correct principles when the children are young. It certainly beats whatever is second best.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 21, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    To "GZE" sorry, even the Dad who is gone all day at work is not a "full time" Dad.

    How can you be a full time Mom if you have outsourced raising your children? They say that the most important years of a child's development are the first 5 years of life. If you have paid for somebody else to rais your kids, do you deserve the title of "Full Time Parent"?

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    I was a stay at home mom for 18 years while our kids were young. It was exceptionally hard work, but I loved it. When our youngest of 5 was in 3rd grade my husband's work changed and I was needed to work outside the home to help support our family.

    Thankfully I now only work part time, but for a year I worked full time with an half hour commute. Yes, I was a mother even when I was at work, but I was not THERE for my kids. I came home emotinally and physically spent. I had very little to give to my family. My heart was full time, but my actions and availablility were very part-time. I feel for moms that have that responsibility to work full time - for many or all of the growing up years of their kids.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    May 21, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    @ article headline and rifleman

    There are at home fathers that adjust to taking care of the kids out of necessity in the inconsistently fluxuating job world. More women have the corporate jobs now, and not enough men (generally speaking) can support larger families with all to many of the other jobs out there. I kept that general to not offend and to avoid specifics that can vary.

    Basically, taking care of the children is priority one. Still, there are factors financially that aid in opportunity for children that is part of taking care of them. Men can nurture as well. Sure I see the stance that women should be in that role, but society is ever forcing other options. More women have corporate jobs that pay the higher wages than men right now. That is a fact. Why? Well that can be debated. Is it the highering process more than women seeking jobs. Why are more jobs offered to women? That can be debated as well? Does it go back to equal rights, or are the 1% exploiting women for favors? What about women avoiding having children or choosing to have more husbands stay home? All men aren't pigs.

    May 21, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    I see they've changed the headline. It no longer references "full-time" mothers.

  • tallen Lehi, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    Thank you deseret news for changing the title.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:33 a.m.

    I respect fulltime, stay at home mothers.

    But I have much more respect for women who succeed in a career AND as mothers!

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 21, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    "So fathers who work outside the home are not full-time parents?"

    A careful reading of the article suggests it is about "Stay-at-home mothers" By definition that would exclude BOTH fathers and mothers who work outside the home.

    And no, Fathers in traditional families don't have more important things to do. They just have different things to do.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:09 a.m.


    WOW, what hostility. For your information, the woman that went to work (our friend, by the way), did have to work. That was not the point. And also, by the way, my wife did not brag about it, she told her about it with sorrow, so she would not find out about it from someone else, and they hugged and cried together.
    I am sorry that this touched a nerve, so you had to attack what was said and not take it for what it was worth. I wish we all made enough to stay at home and teach our children, weather it be "book" learning, or work learning, but that is not the world we live in.
    I am just grateful that I and my wife have been blessed to have her work as a mother at home with my children.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    the article is about stay at home moms. are you reading a different article? full time? you might put aside your "hurt feelings" and reread the article.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    May 21, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    today everything that is written or said offends someone. You choose to be offended. My suggestions is to "grow up".

  • tallen Lehi, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    WRK: Yet another jab at working mothers. Thanks. I do worry about what my children THINIK. I also worry about putting food in my childs belly, a roof over his head, and clothes on his back. Now, if you want to hire my husband to earn enough to support his family with good upward movement then I will stay home gladly. Until then, I have to go to work. My guess is that the woman your wife babysat for was in the same position, thus the tears when your wife bragged that another child thought she was mom (when honestly, children can only learn so many words so fast so female caregiver becomes mome. Your wife was not more valuable to that child than their own mother). Your wife was wrong to brag to that woman about that. It proves that you two do not understand the world of having to use two incomes to provide for a family.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:40 a.m.


    I have a wife that wanted to stay at home and raise my children. In doing so, she also took on the oportunity to help another Mom raise her children while that Mom went to "work" (as if my wife did not work). When my wife told this individual that her child had called my wife "Mom", that individual cried. It was a sad time for someone. Now, whether you are upset by the headline or not, I think it is what the children of these parents THINK that should concern us, and not worry about if a headline is offensive or not. Just saying...

  • tallen Lehi, UT
    May 21, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    I forgot that I stop being a mother when I go to work. I guess that means that I can stop worrying about my baby from 9-5, stop using all my break time to pump, stop fielding phone calls from my babysitter, and stop using all my sick leave to care for my baby when he is sick because I'm not a mother anymore? WRONG!! I agree, that headline is 100% offensive. In fact, the worst thing about Ann Rosens comments is that people are feeling free to take these little jabs at working mothers. I've seen comments from stay at home moms that it would be easier for them to be a working mother implying the same thing this headline does; that mothers who work stop being mothers while they are at work.

    May 21, 2012 10:26 a.m.


    So fathers who work outside the home are not full-time parents? We are only to be considered parents during the time our children are within our lines of sight? Or is it only women who have to be in the presence of their children 24/7 to be "full-time." Fathers have more important things to do?

    And you know what? I was adopted at birth. I never knew either my birth mother or my birth father and I was still one of the "lucky" ones.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    May 21, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    @GZE: I agree, as the headline and your post excluded fathers.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 21, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    "There is not a mother on this planet who is not a full time mother from the day her child is born until the day she dies."

    Sadly your statement is incorrect. Many bio-mothers are too busy looking for drugs and boyfriends to spend much time worrying about a child she considers an inconvenience.

    Lucky is the child who lives in a 2-parent home with both his birth mother and father, and where his (or her) mother who can stay at home teaching him to make correct choices while his father works to support their family financially.

    May 21, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Full Time Mothers? Really?

    There is not a mother on this planet who is not a full time mother from the day her child is born until the day she dies.

    That is a really offensive headline.