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Why Do Career-Oriented Moms Stay Home?


Deciding whether to stay at home with the kids or go back to work is a huge decision that almost every mother has to deal with at some point. This decision is never cut and dry and it often causes women to compare themselves and feel guilty that they can't be like the mom who seems to do it all - whether she is a full-time working mother pursing her a career or a stay-at-home mom with the kids.

Working Mother Magazine recently released the What Moms Choose: The Working Mother Report, offering some insight on how moms feel about the paths they pick, where they feel most judged and what employers can do to keep working mothers engaged in their careers.

The survey, which was taken by 3,781 moms nationwide including both stay-at-home and working moms, which yielded some surprising results from how we all feel some level of guilt to how most moms shift their priorities and career goals after their kids are in school. Here are some of the survey's interesting findings:

1. Universal Feelings.The survey found that mothers - whether they work or stay at home with the kids - feel guilty. Worrying is also a burden us moms have as well as feeling judged. According to the survey, working mothers and stay-at-home moms feel different levels of judgment.

Working mothers feel most judged about:

  1. How clean their house is
  2. Not taking care of themselves
  3. The amount of time they spend with their children

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Stay-at-home mothers feel most judged about:

  1. Their contribution to family finances
  2. How clean their house is
  3. Not using their education

2. The Career Oriented Stay-at-Home Mom. These days a stay-at-home mom isn't someone who watches soap operas (or rather the Real Housewives series) and eats bon-bons all day. According to the survey, more than half of these moms say they'??d rather be working, and they work hard to have their jobs. The survey also noted that women are returning to work in greater numbers after having their first child. For employers, these career-oriented stay-at-home moms represent an untapped and underused talent pool.

3. Shifting Priorities. Staying at home with the kids and giving up a career is not easy. According to the survey, the reason why moms choose this route is because of a shifting of priorities. For example, many moms have difficult goals when after their children go to school. The survey noted that roughly half of all career-oriented moms would like to work part-time but they also don't want to give up their full day to their jobs where over 63 percent want to be home at the end of the school day for their kids.

The survey also noted that moms that do work away from the home seek employers that value their time and skills when they are away from their children. Participants indicated that this could be done by establishing a culture of trust, being family-friendly, providing flexibility, allowing employees to use paid sick leave to care for a sick child and providing predictable work hours.

To read the full survey, What Moms Choose: The Working Mother Report, please visit:

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

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