Back in 2007, we didn’t realize how good we had it. The economy was still growing. We had a little faith in our financial system. And apparently, more moms were happy to stay home with the kids, or at least work part-time. But ever since the big, bad Recession, moms are much more likely to think that full-time work is ideal. Makes sense to us.
New and interesting factoids are still trickling out from Pew Research Center’s extensive look on modern parenthood. And while we learned that dads are more and more concerned about spending time with their children, it looks like mothers’ interests have balanced them out, with more ladies saying that full-time employment was the best choice for them. 32 percent of mothers with young kids say they want to work full-time, up from 20 percent back in 2007.
But let’s not get all gender equality crazy just yet. While more mothers wanted full-time employment for themselves, the overall view of “What’s best for the children,” was still pretty traditional. According to ABC,
“While more women are inclined to say working full time is the ideal situation for them, only 16 percent of all adults think a young child should have a mom who works full time, a sign that “traditional” gender roles are still very much in play. Most adults, 42 percent, think moms should work part time, and about a third say young children fare best when their moms don’t work outside the home at all.”
I find the fact that only 16% of parents think children should have a mom who works full-time pretty astonishing. I suppose I wouldn’t know how to answer the question if I was asked, because I wouldn’t presume to know what was best for any family. I don’t really think that any situation is “optimal” unless it fits into a family’s specific needs. But the fact of the matter is that more than 16% of families have two parents working full-time. Apparently, there are a whole of unhappy workers out there.
I think the economic reality of the time we live in is that whether we like it or not, moms are going to be working full-time with more and more frequency. And honestly, I think we’re all just going to have to get used to it. The kids will be alright.