The recent stabilization of our economy has resulted in an increase in stay-at-home mums, a recent article from The Washington Times reports. “According to a recent Pew Research Center report,” the article states, “a greater share of mothers is not working outside the home than at any time in the past 20 years.” Additionally, what is particularly interesting is that “[t]he largest share [of stay-at-home mothers] consists of ‘traditional’ married stay-at-home mothers with working husbands…They made up roughly two-thirds of the nation’s 10.4 million stay-at-home mothers in 2012.” This means that we can safely say that most mothers choose to stay at home not due to economic necessity, but because they genuinely desire to care for their children and home over pursuing paid employment.
This finding seems consistent with other recent research concerning stay-at-home fathers. A recent article from Newsday explains how, as the economy has stabilized, the percentage of stay-at-home fathers has decreased. This is because stay-at-home fathers often find themselves in this position due to economic factors, such as a loss of job or low income.
As recent research indicates, female homemakers tend to be happier than working mothers or wives. This is consistent with both the positive correlation we see between stay-at-home mothers and the stabilizing economy, as well as the negative correlation between stay-at-home fathers and the improved job market. If women really are happiest as homemakers, then we should expect that women will choose to stay at home when they are financially able to do so. Likewise, since men seem to largely be stay-at-home fathers not by choice, but due to economic pressures or related factors, we can speculate that, unlike mothers, fathers prefer to pursue employment outside of the home rather than being stay-at-home fathers when they are economically or financially able to do so.
Read the rest here.