MomTalk.com February 28, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Thinking About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom?


By Beth Weinhouse

Some of us always knew that after a maternity leave we'd be back at work. Others of us knew we wouldn't, and couldn't wait to spend time at home with our young children. But for all the women who go through pregnancy serenely, certain of their path, there are many others who agonize over what to do after the baby comes. Continue the career they always loved? Or stay home with the baby they always will love?

According to new Census Bureau data, more and more women are opting to stay home with their newborns. Fifty-five percent of women with infants were in the labor force in June 2000 (the most recent data), compared with 59 percent two years earlier. That drop, though modest, is the first in a quarter-century.

Public opinion is behind this movement. A Gallup Organization survey last year found that only 13 percent of the people polled thought that the ideal family situation was for both parents to work full-time outside the house. Forty-one percent believed that the ideal would be for one parent to work full-time while the other worked either part-time or at home. And another forty-one percent felt that one parent should stay home solely to raise the children while the other parent works.

But statistics don't tell the whole story. "The data might show that fifty-five percent of these women are in the workforce, but my question is, how many of them really want to be?" says Cheryl Gochnauer, author of So You Want to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom?. Gochnauer, who also runs the Website Homebodies, had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but assumed that her family couldn't afford it. "I was a working mom for six years before I did the math and figured that if you considered all my working expenses, I was only clearing thirty-nine dollars a week," she says. "I asked my husband if he could pick up that much extra in overtime. He said, 'yes,' and I said, 'I'm outta there!'"

In addition to finances, women considering staying at home with their children should also gauge their partner's support, as well as how it will affect their emotional/psychological happiness:
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Categories: Advice, Ideas & Stories, Pregnancy,

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