More women choosing to be stay-at-home moms, Pew study says

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  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    April 28, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Well said, Starling! When I was a young clueless mother, my children benefited much from an excellent daycare. Much later, having learned a lot, I had another child and knew how to be a mother. I did a good job with her. If I could do it all over again, I like the mothering experience described by a previous poster whose wife works at the kid's school. For me, staying always at home makes me crazy, but working full time with children at home is so tough.

  • starling Gilbert, AZ
    April 26, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    I certainly don't want animosity to continue between "working moms and SAHM", however, the fact of the matter is MOST children are emotionally better off in the care of a parent. I say MOST because I am a school teacher and I have come upon situations in which the parents do not have proper parenting skills to nurture their children. SOMETIMES a child is physically/emotionally better off in a child care setting than with one or both of the parents. If you are a mom who works outside the home and feel that you do not have the proper parenting skills to nurture your child in the home then by all means leave them in daycare and continue supporting the illegals as they milk our governments finances. If, however, you do have the parenting skills to nurture your children in the home, please stay home with them, preferably through high school. As an educator I cannot stress enough how much we appreciate SAHM's, all of the way through high school.

  • citygrrl SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 23, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    If you want to leave the paid work force to raise your family, fine. But please don't assume the following: 1. that the children of working moms (or parents) are neglected. 2. that households with two working parents are living high on the hog -- most are striving for a middle-class existence. 3. that relying on outside help -- relatives, day care, sharing with other parents, does not equate to "having someone else raise our child." That's incredibly disrespectful, and shows a lack of knowledge of the myriad ways parents find to juggle raising kids and earning a living.

    All parents are "full time," whether they're tending to every need on a constant basis or working to pay the bills. And from what I've noticed, there are no "stay-at-home" moms, because they don't stay home! They're in every restaurant during the day, or driving the kids to their umpteen activities. Can we find another phrase?

  • choosehappy Layton, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    Yes, you can have great children and be a working mother. But whatever you can achieve while working would be even better with more time investment. The more you sow, the more you reap.

    “It is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith.”
    Albert Schweitzer - 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, 1875-1965

  • ChildrencomefIrst Layton, UT
    April 22, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    Introspection Please!
    "Don't let your desire to be a mom keep from an education and career." Motherhood IS a career and ANYONE will a scrap of logic knows that if you have two jobs, they WILL COMPETE. Pretending otherwise is just ridiculous.
    If you don't want to fully commit to your career as a mother, fine. But don't make ridiculous arguments that make you feel more at peace with your decision to compromise one career for another.
    I know many women who choose to work (it is rarely NOT a choice) and they ARE fantastic mothers and homemakers. But there is also a compromise to the quality of mothers that they want to be. It is ingenuous to think that the Best Mother you can be involves spending less time in your home. The stay at home mothers I know that do a less than stellar job are also "not at home";running too many errands, endlessly being absent as they are sucked into social media sites and even ignoring their children as they work from home.

  • birdbath SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    Wow, I'm shocked by some of the comments. I bet most women (or men) who can't be at home with their children and have to put them in daycare already feel horrible about it. I agree that is great to have one parent home with children if possible but that is simply impossible for many people. Making ends meet can be a huge challenge. Would you rather that families rake up huge amounts of debt or file bankruptcy just to have one parent stay at home full-time?

  • DeseretDebbie Corona, CA
    April 22, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    I don't think its a choice to be a stay at home mom as much as jobs have dried up. Its cheaper to stay at home than to pay for day care. Personally, I don't see staying home and raising children a job. Parents have a responsibility to raise children regardless of what their occupation is.

  • statman Lehi, UT
    April 22, 2014 2:30 a.m.

    As with most microeconomic choices it comes down to margins. Simply put, the aggregate marginal benefit of working is reduced by diminishing job opportunities, stagnant wages, high taxes, general economic uncertainty, expensive childcare and the 'costs' that individuals feel from knowing that someone else is overseeing much of your child's development. When individuals solve that equation - consciously or unconsciously - now more than in a long time, they're saying that working just doesn't provide enough benefit to outweigh the costs. So they go against the grain and choose to stay home...

  • Deliriousdd Benicia, CA
    April 21, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    I had the privilege of staying home with all of my children. I know many women don't have that choice, and some choose not to stay at home. Now my children are grown, and I have time to look back at those years. All I can say is that even though it doesn't feel that way at the time, those years go by far too quickly, and if mothers don't give all they have to that effort, they will spend the rest of their life regretting it. Who knows but what a working mother was better at parenting than I was. But how I wish I had them little for a few more years. The time we have with them is already too short.

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 4:11 a.m.

    Not so long ago, a worker in a meat-packing plant was paid a wage sufficient that his wife could stay at home and welcome the kids home from school with milk and cookies.

    These more recent figures of 60% in favor of staying at home versus 23-29% who actually do, are telling. It is additional evidence of what we already know: that because of greed-driven policies designed to drive wages down -- non-enforcement of immigration law being a notable and undeniable example -- many American women who wish they could stay at home are forced to work along with their husbands in order to provide for their families' basic necessities.

    Another established, undeniable, pertinent fact is that a great many of the immigrant mothers mentioned who stay at home, are here illegally and are drawing on taxpayer-funded welfare benefits for their children -- again funded in part by American mothers who are having to work in part to pay this tax burden and because the flood of illegal labor has driven their husbands' wages down.

    Candidly this newspaper could help the cause of helping American mothers to stay at home by ceasing its perpetual -- and again undeniable -- condoning of illegal immigration.

  • Marlowe28 Columbus, OH
    April 18, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    How sad that so many of the women commenting here are trying to shame women who work while their children are young. Study after study has shown that the children of working mothers are just as healthy and happy as the children of stay-at-home moms. The children of working mothers demonstrate more self-confidence and better coping skills than the children of SAHM's.

    Not to mention that women are human beings who have the right to be fulfilled and some women find working outside the home very fulfilling. The best possible scenario is for a woman to have the choice to work outside the home or stay at home with their children without being judged.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    April 18, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    Working Stay At Home Mom said: "Being a stay at home mom does not equate to a better mother."

    I agree that this is true in some cases. Momof3RD2 said that she is a better mother as a working mother. I, personally, am not. I think all parents need to consider their own personal working and parenting styles and make the choice that is best for their family. But ultimately, as Working Stay At Home Mom said, whether we work outside the home or not, we must still be involved in our children's lives and make sure we supervise them appropriately.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 16, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    I am glad that my mother elected go put her career on hold. I am equally glad that wife did so as well. You can never judge someone's reasons for working. Some are also fortunate enough to have jobs that let them interact family or provde great flexibility. I am concerned, however, by those who look down on women (or men) who choose to stay home with their kids or whose hobbies or social calendars are more important. If your job or yor hobbies are more important than your kids, something is wrong. I know too many kids whose parents tried to give them stuff instead of time and most resent it.

    With respect to single moms who are forced to work long hours to keep their kids clothed and fed, I think the men should man up and take care of their own - even if the state needs to apply a little pressure to help them.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    April 16, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    The decline of stay-at-home mothers was a combination of a number of factors, first the rise of feminism, which taught women that there was something wrong with wanting to be mothers and stay at home to raise their children, and second globalization and the decline of the American workforce, which forced many women to go out and work as their husbands were forced to take jobs that paid only a fraction of what they once earned and that provide much fewer, if any, benefits. The destruction of the traditional family has served the interests of the political elite and the very wealthy, but has caused enormous harm to everyone else. Many people are now beginning to realize that the cost was not worth the benefits, and the trend is beginning to reverse, with the ideologies that caused the problems to begin with now gradually being discarded. It will take a long time to get society back into balance, but it will happen eventually, if we are brave enough to see it through.

    Also this is further evidence that belies the popular notion of the demise of conservative, traditional values in America and an inexorable trend towards liberal secularism.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 15, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    I really do wish one group would not judge other groups based solely on their own experience. My wife has worked on and off for years... as an educator. Currently she is teaching full time, and it is working out great. She isn't one interested in domestic engineering... its just not her thing. But she teaches at the same school our kids go to, they ride to school together, they eat lunch together, they join her in her room after school and do their home work together while she grades and prepares for the next day, and they ride home together.

    Her example as a teacher have them loving and valuing school. I ask them if they like it that mom works at school with them.... and they always reply they love it.

    So lets not cast the whole one sized life fits all. I think it is great that many choose to pursue fulfillment by managing the household. I fully support them. But I that doesn't fullfil my wife.... and I think she is going great. She surely isn't doing it because the money is life style changing.... she just loves hanging out with kids.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    April 15, 2014 6:51 p.m.

    Much of the increase in stay at home mothers is due to the high cost of day care and wages that are stagnant.

  • Momof3RD2 Davis, UT
    April 15, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    I am a working mother and I have been since my first child was born. I have worked part time and full time and on call, but ultimately, I am a better mother as a working mother. Every part of every day is spent doing what I feel is best for my children. I am parenting even when they are at daycare or school. I am raising my children no matter who else is involved. I have volunteered at the school, stayed up late working on science fair projects, organized and executed fundraisers, cheered for my children at performances and activities, as well as organized enriching opportunities outside of the school environment (like volunteer work and museums). Some working parents do not have either the opportunity or tenacity that I do, however, no one way of parenting is "best."
    To Utah Teacher: my children are among the smartest in their classes and all of their teachers know that they have my support in teaching my kids. It is unfair to speculate on whether stay home mothers are more "dedicated" to their children just because they are home.

  • Crystal White north salt lake, UT
    April 14, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    It would be nice if we had the choice. Some of us have husbands that don't want take the responsibility to provide for the family--so who gets to do it?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 14, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    I think it's because "working" wages have declined due to the recession.

    Why "work" for $10.00 and hour,
    and end up paying $15 an hour for childcare?

    This is about economics.

  • Working stay at home mom Salt lake city, UT
    April 14, 2014 12:10 a.m.

    I am lds, but I felt guided by the spirit to keep working after my children were born. It helped me overcome severe separation anxiety I had after my first child was born. Being a stay at home mom does not equate to a better mother. I am a social worker and I have seen many children neglected by stay at home parents. You must not leave your children unsupervised, if you are at home or not. My children have learned much from child care providers. They are independent, and confident. Research shows that women today spend more time with their children than women did forty years ago, yet the percentage of women who work is much higher. I work part time, I feel I spend more time with my children than most people who don't work at all. Stay at home moms do have cleaner houses and more home cooked meals. Working moms must work hard to find quality childcare. We need the voices of women in all parts of society. Don't let the desire to Bea mom keep from an education and career. 99% of women will work in their lives, get ready for that.

  • Mormonmama0106 Phoenix, AZ
    April 13, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    After many years of having to work, I am about to quit my job to be a full-time mother to my 1-year-old daughter. Due to poor past financial choices (i.e. a mountain of debt), my husband and I both had to work when my older children were little and I've always regretted it. Now that we have most of our debts paid off and are making wiser choices, we are finally able for me to be home again.

    My mother stayed home until I was 12. She sent me to a babysitter for a year but I protested so much that she let me stay home alone after that. And that's when I started getting into all kinds of trouble. I tried my first cigarette in my own home, tried alcohol in my own home and had sex for the first time in my own home, all while my parents were at work. For these reasons, I agree with ThisIKnow: I will stay home until my kids are all grown if I can, whatever sacrifices it takes.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 10, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    If your situation allows it you are fortunate. I think of the song where a woman chooses a glamorous life of international travel, dating celebrities, living a really nice life style. She describes how she has been to many different places done many glamorous and exciting things but then says .. "But I've never been to me". Meaning she hasn't fulfilled her inner self".

    Money is important, but fortunately the best things in life aren't the things that require a person to be rich to have them. Everyone can have a husband or wife. Everyone can have children. If we make it a priority everyone can spend time with their husband or wife and their kids.

  • thisiknow Gilbert, AZ
    April 10, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Thank you for this positive story of a choice of many that is difficult. I only would add that a further minority is those of us who choose to be a homemaker, not only while our children are young, but as they continue through the tumultuous years of adolescence. I used to think that the most important time to be home with my children was before school-age. Now, I realize, having me choose to be a homemaker while my children are younger than 18-19 has been VITAL to the later years as well. I LOVE having the opportunity to enrich my children's lives and be here when the moments I never thought would come, inevitably do, at times least expected. I am here at vital crossroads for conversations, sharing and support and I don't believe I would have the same opportunities/experiences if I was not available as a homemaker to my teenage boys. I also have discovered the joy and example to my children of a marriage that is also enriched by having made this choice. We have had to sacrifice financial "wants" in order to accomplish this but the rewards I see are incalculable.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    April 9, 2014 3:04 a.m.

    Reading the endorsements of the many comments and the choice by mothers or fathers who choose to be at home their childrens is truly a happy day for hope we give our children of the future homeland security. Parents care more for their children than what governemnt wants to allow us to have and tries to discourage this bonding.

    As single father raising 3 children and being ineligible and denied for any state or education assistance I turn down lots of overtime work and extra income so I could full fill my instinct to be there for my children as much as possible. They knew I am there encase they ever needed me. Children do notice these things and I remember them as a child with a stay at home mother. My children never seen the inside of a day care center after my divorce and I don't regret giving up thousands of dollars overtime and being impoverished so I could be there for them.

    Home parenting is the only social media that a child needs. Children hooked on social media is a child who is suffering from loneliness and no parental affection.

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    April 8, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    Well, even though I work outside the home, I still am a homemaker. I would say the most important part of the title is the word choosing. We don't need another round of the mommy wars. Some women love to be home with their children, some need more space. Some dads make awesome stay at home parents. Some parents have no choice but to work. I would hope that society could respect choice a lot more.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    "Oh, your wife doesn't work. She's just a housewife?""
    "Yes, she works many hours each day. She is a homemaker."

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    April 8, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    It's great that the number is growing, but I wish we could all go back to calling them "homemakers"

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    April 8, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    I usually write from the perspective of a teacher or of a parent, but now that I am well past those endeavors, I am writing from the perspective of the child I once was (in the 50s and 60s). My mother taught school and I stayed with a doting older aunt, or a grandmother. I had wonderful care in those settings. However, I would have rather been home with my mom. Later Mom quit teaching and when I was in school, I virtually always went home and spent time with my parents. For five years I went to a school where sexual harassment, bullying, and lack of teacher supervision were routine. If I had been required to go to a daycare after school, I would have completely lost out on mental/emotional stability. How I made it through miserable days at school was knowing that I'd be going home to the wonderful ranch where we lived, where our animals were emotionally supportive, the setting was peaceful and my mother listened to all my school woes. If it had been in an era of homeschools, most likely that would have been an option. Home is the best place for children!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    Parenting requires a parent, male or female, to be at home while the kids are young

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    April 8, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    I have a ton of respect for those parents who will willingly & often at great personal sacrifice, forgo some (or all) of the luxuries in life to raise their own children. I audited Utah daycares for 5 years and so I have personally witnessed the very best and the very worst professional child care centers & homes this State has to offer (and the difference is stark). With that said, the very very BEST daycare is NOTHING compared to the love & attention the child's own mother can provide. Why would anyone (who has a choice) take their most prized possession/relationship in the entire world and turn it over to virtually unknown, minimum wage day care workers who are doing it strictly for the paycheck and who's attention is distracted by many other children? I felt so much sorrow & sadness as I watched little children day after day, cry and cling to the daycare's window or fence as their parent's drove away - these parents mistakenly thinking that by both working, they were giving their children a better life. Parents, your children don't care about things, they care about being with you.

  • Mike W Syracuse, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    One of the most encouraging stories I've seen in a long time - thanks to those who put aside material things to focus on their family - wish more would do this.

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    April 8, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    As a full-time homemaker for 15 years and now a full time teacher, I have seen both ends of the spectrum. It is so hard being at home all of the time 24 hours a day 365 days a year. However, the benefits far outweigh the hardship. NO ONE will love your child and care for them as much as you do. Full-time moms are such a benefit to society.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    April 8, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    I agree with Utah Teacher.

  • Utah Teacher Orem, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    As a public school teacher I say THANK YOU to all of you dedicated Moms out there that take the time to raise your kids. It definitely shows in the classroom. The time you give your children in those first 5 years is worth more money than anybody could make in a year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!