Stay-at-Home Mom Vs. Working Mom, Whose Role is Best?

“Did you love me Mama?” asked the son.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Why the Working Moms are More Stressful?

A survey was conducted by the interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International from Sept. 15 to Oct. 13, 2015, among a nationally representative sample of 1,807 parents, 18 years of age or older, with children under 18, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It reveals that in economic terms, families with two full-time working parents are better off than other families.

The median household income for families with two full-time working parents and at least one child under 18 at home is $102,400, compared with $84,000 for households where the father works full time and the mother works part time and $55,000 for households where the father works full time and the mother is not employed. Meanwhile, as a new Pew Research Center survey shows, balancing work and family poses challenges for parents. In fact, more than half (56%) of all working parents say this balancing act is difficult. Among working mothers, in particular, 41% report that being a parent has made it harder for them to advance in their career.

For many working parents, balancing their jobs and their family obligations can be a challenge. Among all working parents with children under age 18, more than half (56%) say it is difficult for them to balance the responsibilities of their job with the responsibilities of their family, with 14% saying this is very difficult and 42% say it’s somewhat difficult.

Working mothers (60%) are somewhat more likely than fathers (52%) to say it’s difficult for them to balance work and family, and this is particularly the case for mothers who work full time. In fact, one-in-five full-time working moms say balancing the two is very difficult for them, compared with 12% of dads who work full time and 11% of moms who work part time.

Four-in-ten full-time working moms say they always feel rushed, even to do the things they have to do; an additional 50% say they sometimes feel rushed and just 10% never feel rushed.

Full-time working moms are also more likely than mothers who are employed part time or not employed to say they spend too little time with their children and to say they don’t have enough time away from their children to get together with friends or pursue hobbies or interests. And among those who are married or cohabiting, mothers who work full time are more likely than other moms to say they spend too little time with their partners; about six-in-ten (59%) say they don’t have enough time away from their children to get together with friends or to pursue hobbies and other interests, compared with about half of mothers who are employed part time (48%) or are not employed (47%).

The Independent reports that among women working full-time, those with one child are 18% more stressed out that those without kids. With an additional child, the amount of stress among moms who work full-time jumps to 40%, compared to women working full-time who don’t have kids.

Parents in households where both parents work full time report that mothers are doing more than fathers when it comes to managing their children’s schedules and activities. Some 54% say the mother does more in this area, while 6% say the father does and 39% say parents share this responsibility about equally. That’s some reason of why full-time working mothers are 40% more stressed out.

More Millennials Prefer to Become Stay-at-Home Moms More than Gen X Moms

According to The Economist, one-quarter of stay-at-home mothers actually have college degrees. It seems like a lot more moms have the ability and the skill set to work outside the home, but many millennial moms are choosing to stay home anyway.

In addition, The data from Gallup Poll show remarkably little difference in the preferences of working versus stay-at-home mothers. Among mothers who are currently employed either full or part time, 40% say they would prefer to work outside the home, and 54% would prefer to stay home. The figures are almost identical among mothers who aren’t currently employed: 37% would prefer a job outside the home, while 57% would rather be at home.

Photo by Oleg Sergeichik on Unsplash

Did Stay-at-Home Mom Do Better?

An associate professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education, Eric Bettinger examined the impact of Norway’s “Cash for Care” program, which offers a generous cash payment to stay-at-home parents with children below the age of 3.

In what social scientists call a “natural experiment,” the researchers looked for differences in school performance between older children who became these side-beneficiaries and older children who did not. The researchers analyzed the school performance of some 68,000 children with younger siblings who had been born shortly before or after the Cash for Care program began.

Researchers found that the older children in families that did qualify for the payments tended to do better in school. On average, the older siblings in those families increased their grade-point averages in 10th grade by .02 points on Norway’s grading scale of 1 to 6 points. The increases seemed strongest among children around the age of 6 and 7 at their sibling’s birth.

“The results suggest that even older students in middle or elementary school could use guidance from their parents,” Bettinger says. “For years, we have known that parental presence is extraordinarily important in the very early childhood years. What we’re finding is that parents continue to be important much further along in a child’s life than we had previously thought.”

In What About The Children? conference, professor Sir Denis Pereira Grey (former president of the Royal College of Practitioners), early years expert Dr Carole Ulanowsky, consultant child psychotherapist Robin Balbernie and professor of social work and psychology David Howe talk about how growing problems in society, such as depression, can be due to poor child/carer relationships and stress in the first three years.

Furthermore, John Carnochan, a senior Scottish policeman and world-famous expert on violence, linked the terrible things he’s dealt with all his professional life to the inadequate care babies get.

The study which found that young children cared for by their mothers did significantly better in developmental tests than those in any other sort of care, as Bettinger and other researcher examined; is the evidence that parents may work all hours to give themselves and their children a good lifestyle, but what their babies need is consistent love and presence.

“I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.”

— Oprah Winfrey

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Sarah Dee

Sarah Dee

Introverted writer, illustrator, and learner in one package

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