Moms: Which Years Would You Like to Stay Home?
Stay-at-home moms are “more likely” than working moms to have an infant or pre-schooler in the house.
That piece of information is one of many in new census statistics that my colleague Donna St. George wrote about today in a front-page story about stay at-home moms. The story said that mothers who stay at home tend to be younger and less educated than most, with lower family incomes. They are more likely than other mothers to be Hispanic or foreign-born.
What intrigued me about the story was the age of the children who are at home with their mothers--the youngest.
It is not known whether this is true because new mothers have a hard time getting into the work force, or because they want to bond with their children in the important first year of life--or both.
But here’s what I wonder: If you are lucky enough to be able to choose when you work and when you don’t, which years are the most important to be home?
When my children were born, I would have said, “When they are really young.”
But as my daughters grew, I began to think that it would be better for me to be at home and on top of things as they got older. Now that they are 13- and 16-year-olds, I would answer the question this way: In middle and high school, when hormones, work load, social life and new mobility can cause great stress and potential for enormous trouble.
This is, of course, theoretical: I worked full-time when they were young and I work full-time now (though I, unlike many people, have been fortunate enough to work at an organization that allows me time away from my job when I need it).
And for many people this conversation is moot. But let’s pretend it isn’t.
Which years would you most want to stay home and why?
| October 1, 2009; 3:22 PM ET
Categories: Parents | Tags: Parenting, Stay-at-home moms
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