There are so many families with two working parents nowadays, which means that working mothers are the norm. However, research has shown that this may no longer be the ideal situation for women who have to juggle between work and kids. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while 32 percent of working mothers in 1997 believed that full time work was the best arrangement for them, today, only 21 percent agree with this statement. In fact, 60 percent of working mothers believed that a part-time job is the most ideal situation for them. This is up from 48 percent in 1997. The only statistic that hasn’t changed is that 19 percent of working mothers believed that not working at all would be ideal.

The survey was conducted in phone interviews between February and March among a sample of 2,020 adults. These numbers do not necessarily show that working mothers do not want to work or plan to quit their jobs. Instead, it is a reflection of the overwhelming stress of both working and raising children that gets to them. Stay-at-home moms are seeing the toll that working takes on them which has most likely caused the rates of non-working mothers who would like a full time job to drop from 24 percent to 16 percent. Also, 48 percent of them say that they would not like to work outside of the home at all up from 39 percent 10 years ago.

These numbers are significant considering that 70.5 percent of mothers with children under 18 in the U.S. work outside the home, and 60 percent of these mothers have children under age 3. Three-quarters of these mothers have full time jobs as well. A big reason for taking on full-time work is to get benefits. Now companies are offering benefits for part-time jobs, giving women the incentive to want to cut back their hours. When fathers were surveyed, it was found that 72 percent desired to work full time, 12 percent would prefer part-time work, and 16 percent preferred not to work at all.

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