Should Moms Work Part Time?

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A new survey of stay-at-home and full-time working moms finds neither is happy.

A couple weeks ago, we wrote that some people would take a pay cut for the ability to work from home more often, or to work a more flexible schedule. Now a new survey of mothers released by The Bump and Forbes Women suggests part-time mothers are the happiest: “Many of those who work full-time and those who stay home full-time aren’t happy with their current roles.”

Their survey of 982 women (two-thirds working mothers) found 62 percent returned to work for financial reasons. More than a third (34 percent) admitted their work performance was down and they wanted to stay home with the baby, and almost half (47 percent) would rather not work. A majority of stay-at-home moms (53 percent) said they spend less than $50 a month on themselves. A quarter feel they’ve sacrificed their identity to be a stay-at-home mom.

The Bump concludes:

We have to wonder, do part-time working moms have the best of both worlds? Working part time, a mom makes money to help her family’s financial security, gets to keep the non-mom side of her brain sharp, yet she also has plenty of time with the kids.

The United States is one of three countries out of 178 that Forbes found offers no paid maternity leave benefits. (Although women at large companies get up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and California and New Jersey have state maternity programs.) The other two are Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland.

Stacy Johnson

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