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Stay-at-Home-Mom Stats Surprise Some

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Are fewer execs leaving the workforce to be stay-at-home moms?

stay at home teen mom with crying baby

Census statistics released Thursday show that 5.6 million women, or nearly one in four married mothers with children younger than 15, stay at home with their kids. (There are 165,000 stay-at-home dads.)

The report found that stay-at-home mothers tend to be younger and less educated, with lower family incomes. Does this mean that fewer high-powered, professional women are "opting out" and leaving the workforce to care for children at home?

This article in the Washington Post says maybe ... and that's a fact that surprised many, given the amount of attention that "opting out" has received in the media.

"I do think there is a small population, a very small population, that is opting out, but with the nationally representative data, we're just not seeing that," Diana B. Elliott, a family demographer and co-author of the U.S. Census Bureau report, told the Washington Post.

In this recession, fewer and fewer women can even AFFORD to stay home -- most of us need two incomes just to get by.

Did you "opt out" of your job to be a stay-at-home mom? Tell us about it.



next: More Than 1 Million Preemies Die in the First Month Annually
10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Britax Car Seats October 5, 2009, 6:22 AM

Very interesting how the percentage of women who stay home dwarfs the number of men. The Washington post article makes for some very interesting reading.

Anonymous October 5, 2009, 8:42 AM

Who cares?

Heather Solos October 5, 2009, 10:47 AM

I suppose you’d call it opting out. I didn’t return to work after a complicated pregnancy put me on hospital bedrest at five months. I had two more children and I can’t return to the traditional workforce as I could not possibly make enough to cover childcare. Opted out? Kept out? Now I’m creating my own work and I keep telling myself that just because it’s not my ideal, doesn’t make it a bad thing.

Natalie October 5, 2009, 11:16 AM

I still work very part time, so I didn’t opt out. But once we don’t need me to work, I’m not going to. I enjoy being home with my kids way more than I’ve ever enjoyed working.

Monica October 5, 2009, 4:19 PM

I wouldn’t call it opting out either. I think if most women had the means to stay at home with their children they would. My husband and I are stay at home parents. One of us can surely use a job right now and that is soon to come being that we plan on opening a home based business. But with my husbands alternate income we get by for now doing what we can to stay recession proof. When I had my son I chose to leave even though they wanted me to stay. I told them if they could give me an incentive to stay like heath care and more pay to provide day care then of course but they didn’t so I left. I wouldn’t even say that these mothers are low income or less educated. Many of the SAHMs I know are women like me who have degrees and whose husbands make enough for them to stay at home. So I really don’t know where they got these stats from. What demographics made up their stats?

mom of 2 October 6, 2009, 6:20 PM

I guess you could say I “opted out”. My husband I were both military. I had to leave my children several times over the last four years. I had both my kids while in the military. They wanted to send me to the middle east for a year. My son was a year old and my daughter was three. That was the end of the rope. I could easily find a job but instead I am finishing my degree and raising my children. I will return to work in the next year or so when both of my children are in school. Right now I think it is more important for me to be with my children then for me to earn more money to buy crap we don’t need.

Rebekkah November 22, 2009, 10:57 AM

I opted out. I was a teacher who was great at my job and loved it! Did well in school, had the highest GPA in my major when I graduated (from a university of 36,000). I’m not saying this to brag, but to show that I don’t fit the stereotype of being uneducated.

But, I wanted to be a full-time mommy. So, I quit my job to stay home with my son. My husband makes less than I did. We’ve made major financial sacrifices for me to stay home. But, we feel like they are worth it. What thing do you do in life that is more important than raising your kids? We plan to have several more.

I currently teach private voice and piano lessons from home, which is a great way to bring in some extra income ($25/hr).

Shel December 17, 2009, 10:11 AM

I opted out, but it was a decision my husband and I made long before I even got pregnant. Did I grow up saying, “When I grow up I’m going to be a SAHM!”, no I did not. It wasn a struggle for me to feel like I was “losing” my identity to gain another one. It was the fear of the unknown. The fear of being sentenced to old sweats, stained with paint, coffee and baby food. The fear of losing my style, of losing my essence of sexiness. But, four years later, I survived. I survived be thrown into a new world I’d like to call the “Mommy Wars.” where each SAHM, tried to “Out-Mommy” the other on the playground. The world of competing to get your child into the best preschool, studying all the local schools test results, reading every parenting books out there. So, I drank from the kool aide and survived. It isn’t all bad and my weekly lunch dates with my working friends I cherish. The bright side is I have a daughter that seems to be doing pretty well for today, because honestly parent’s there is not “magic dust” no “secret potion” to parenting, you just have to ride the roller coaster of life, teach your kids to hang on during the curves, scream somewhere in the middle and to throw their hands up on the downward part of the ride and smile.

Shel December 17, 2009, 10:11 AM

I opted out, but it was a decision my husband and I made long before I even got pregnant. Did I grow up saying, “When I grow up I’m going to be a SAHM!”, no I did not. It wasn a struggle for me to feel like I was “losing” my identity to gain another one. It was the fear of the unknown. The fear of being sentenced to old sweats, stained with paint, coffee and baby food. The fear of losing my style, of losing my essence of sexiness. But, four years later, I survived. I survived be thrown into a new world I’d like to call the “Mommy Wars.” where each SAHM, tried to “Out-Mommy” the other on the playground. The world of competing to get your child into the best preschool, studying all the local schools test results, reading every parenting books out there. So, I drank from the kool aide and survived. It isn’t all bad and my weekly lunch dates with my working friends I cherish. The bright side is I have a daughter that seems to be doing pretty well for today, because honestly parent’s there is not “magic dust” no “secret potion” to parenting, you just have to ride the roller coaster of life, teach your kids to hang on during the curves, scream somewhere in the middle and to throw their hands up on the downward part of the ride and smile.

jonhtravol December 1, 2010, 9:43 PM

hello comunity i’m new here and i wondering where can i change my avatar and sign.many thanks in adavnce


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