In my region of New York State (120 miles north of NYC), we have seen a fairly steady job market and it’s not uncommon to have one working spouse and a stay-at-home mom or dad. I belong to a hiking group and honestly, I am one of the very few moms who works out side of the home and full-time at that.
There is a growing trend of college educated women leaving the work place in our Region, to raise their family at home. I say this because there are many stay-at-home mom groups on FB, Meetup, etc. In our hiking community of nearly 1,500 members; of the active members, the say -at -home ratio is 8:1. Eight families will have a stay-at-home parent and 1 family will be dual income. Two of my 30 something coworkers with PhD’s have left the work place for parenthood in the last 15 months. Although this is a small sample of the population, it is representative of the 25-40 age group in our location.
Maybe it’s a backlash from the generation of mothers who hit the pavement and wanted to work outside of the home leaving many of us to be labeled *”latch key kids”. Maybe it’s the rising and outrageous cost of childcare. Or the fact that “having it all” is a myth that leaves women feeling exhausted, depressed, and never good enough. Maybe it’s all of these things. One thing I know for sure, given the option, many women today would rather stay home with their children than clock 40 hours a week at the office. And honestly, why not? 50 years later, we still earn less than men for the same job. In most cases the woman’s income would cover child care costs and not much else…
While my opinion and perspective here may be anecdotal or prescribed to my living area alone, there is some research thats backs up my observation.
Data I found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website indicates a steady rise in SAHMs since 1999. In a Pew Research survey conducted in 2012, 29% of American children were being raise by a SAHM.
“In 1967, 49 percent of mothers were stay-at-home mothers. That proportion steadily dropped through the decades until 1999, when only 23 percent of moms stayed at home. Since 1999, the percentage of mothers who stayed at home began to increase again, rising by 6 points to 29 percent in 2012.”
Most of the research I could find did not measure this data beyond 2014. With the millennial generation becoming parents, online work available, remote office work opportunities, and mom entrepreneurs starting Easy shops and doing other creative/non-traditional work from home, I would not be surprised if we see the SAHM and WFHM trends continue to rise.
Do you stay-at-home? Do you work? What was your deciding factor?
*”A latchkey kid or latchkey child is a child who returns from school to an empty home, or a child who is often left at home with little parental supervision, because their parent or parents are away at work.” (Source: wikipedia)