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
7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About
7 Secret Departments of Amazon You Should Know About

These little-known sections of Amazon are hidden gems for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big.

14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

With these companies, it might be easier than you think to negotiate your monthly bill down.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

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.

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

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

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.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss
21 Items to Cut From Your Budget That You Won’t Even Miss

Start off the new year by implementing these small-but-smart savings strategies. They’ll soon add up.

Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider
Taking a Multivitamin? Here’s Why You Should Reconsider

A new study has bad news for the millions of Americans who spend money on multivitamins.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk
Longer Trips to These Stores May Raise COVID-19 Risk

An airborne-disease expert recommends leaving this type of store within a half-hour.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked
11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster
7 Tricks to Cleaning Your Bathroom Faster

These tips can get your bathroom sparkling with little time and no elbow grease.

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.