Numbers are on the rise for mothers staying at home with their children. According to the Pew Research Center, 29 percent of all mothers with children under 18 stay at home.
This number has been steadily increasing over the years. For instance, 23 percent of mothers were stay-at-home in 1999.
Pew attributed the rise to a variety of reasons pointing to demographic, economic and societal factors. For instance, the majority of stay-at-home moms indicated they’re staying home by choice to care for their families.
In addition, there’s been a decrease in women in the workforce thanks to the recession. As the economy continues to recover, that trend continues as well. Pew also referenced an uptick in immigrant families; culturally it may be more common for the matriarch to stay at home. Plus, there’s an increase of women who reported they are disabled and unable to work.
There are a few more key data points to share from this survey. Mothers are more likely than fathers to have reduced work hours. In addition, moms are more likely than dads to take a chunk of time off, resign from their jobs or even turn down a promotion in order to care for a child. The research center mentioned 42 percent of mothers reduced their working hours in order to care for a child in comparison to 28 percent of fathers.
As for public opinion, 60 percent of participants think children are better off with a parent at home and 35 percent felt kids are doing just fine when both parents work.