More Moms Are Staying Home, But Not Because They Want To

Photo (cc) by Sunfox

Fewer moms are rushing off to work in the morning. A new study shows that American mothers are increasingly staying home with their children, reversing a decades-long modern family trend.

The number of mothers who don’t work outside the home surged to 29 percent in 2012, up from 23 percent in 1999. According to the Pew Research Center:

The recent turnaround appears to be driven by a mix of demographic, economic and societal factors, including rising immigration as well as a downturn in women’s labor force participation, and is set against a backdrop of continued public ambivalence about the impact of working mothers on young children.

After I had my first baby almost four years ago, I opted to cut my 40-hour workweek in half so I could spend more time with my daughter at home. In November 2013, with a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old in tow, I made the difficult decision to transition from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom.

I wanted to focus on my children, and I don’t regret my decision for a second.

From a financial standpoint, day care is expensive. A big portion of my paycheck was going straight to child care. Plus, I’m fortunate that my husband makes enough money that my staying at home was a feasible option for our family. I’m also now working from home, which is really the best of both worlds.

But I’m not the norm when it comes to stay-at-home mamas. According to CNN Money, Pew describes a typical stay-at-home mom like this: poor, more than a third live below the poverty line, 49 percent are minorities, and nearly half have just a high school education or less.

CNN Money added, “These are mothers who stay home because they can’t find work, they can’t afford child care, and other reasons like cultural preferences, disabilities, or enrollment in school.”

The number of stay-at-home moms spiked in both 2000 and 2007, years that coincide with economic downturns.

According to Bloomberg, report author D’Vera Cohn said the majority of women would like to be in the workplace in some form. “There may be a ceiling to how much stay-at-home motherhood can increase,” she said.

CNN said some economists believe that America’s lack of family-friendly labor laws could partly be to blame for a reduction of moms in the workplace.

Twenty-six other countries in the world have higher labor force participation from women, and they tend to be countries that grant long paid parental leaves (not to just mothers, but fathers as well).

The United States remains the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn’t mandate some sort of paid parental leave.

Does it surprise you that the number of stay-at-home moms is on the rise in the U.S.? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs
7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs

Here’s how to lower your medical expenses without skimping on care.

This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age
This Pastime Can Keep Your Brain Sharp as You Age

It’s never too late to benefit from taking up this type of activity.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021
7 Home Improvements That Cost a Lot More in 2021

These projects will take a bigger bite out of your budget than in the recent past.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.