Fewer Mothers Prefer Full-time Work – Study

Pew Research Centre 12 July 2007
More and more working mums say working full-time is not ideal; they’d rather be at home with their kids, according to a survey taken by the Pew Research Center.

The survey also revealed the following information:
* Today, just 16 percent of stay-at-home mothers with minor children say their ideal situation would be to work full-time outside the home, down from the 24 percent who felt that way in 1997.
* Nearly half (48%) of all at-home mums now say that not working at all outside the home is the ideal situation for them, up from the 39 percent who felt that way in 1997.
* Fathers, on the other hand, with more than seven-in-ten (72%), say the ideal situation for them is a full-time job.
* Of the mums who work part-time, fully eight-in-ten say that part-time work is their preferred option.
* Part-time work is also the preferred option of about half (49%) of mothers who work full-time and a third (33%) of mothers who don’t work outside the home.
* Only 12 percent of fathers would prefer to work part-time and 16 percent say they would prefer not working outside the home.
* Although nearly 71 percent of American women work outside the home, it appears many of them aren’t happy about it. Some of the compromises suggested by experts include job sharing, more time off under the Family Medical Leave Act and flexible part-time arrangements.

Cary Funk, one of the authors of the Pew study, said juggling work and family time is a tough act for most moms to pull off. “What I’m seeing is that people are expressing the difficulties of combining work and childrearing responsibilities,” she said.