“The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29% in 2012, up from a modern-era low of 23% in 1999,” Pew’s new report
finds. The primary reason: economics. The cost of child care and the lack of job opportunities are forcing women to stay at home rather than go back to work after having kids.
Considering these findings, can we please kill the image of the modern stay-at-home mom clad in pricey Lululemon and instead focus on the kinds of precarious economic realities women face?
The Pew report also attributes the rising costs of child care
to the increase in stay-at-home moms. The Washington Post published a map last week
that shows the cost of full-time infant day care in 31 states actually exceeds the cost of state college tuition. At the top of the list is Massachusetts, where the annual cost of having an infant in full-time day care is about $16,000. By contrast, a year at a public college in Massachusetts costs about $10,000. Now imagine the cost of day care if you have more than one child under school age. According to a 2010 Census paper
, it is likely that unless she has very high earnings, a mother with more than one child under the age of 5 makes less than it costs to pay for her kids’ day care.