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In an ironic twist for something liberals don’t even consider a “career,” a Redbookmag.com survey found the occupation of “stay-at-home-mom” to be the most satisfying profession of them all!
Forget the media-induced stereotype of the unhappy, stuck-in-the-50’s housewife longing for a chance to break free, Pew data from 2012 shows there are over 10.4 million “traditional” stay-at-home moms, and this survey says they’re perfectly happy with their chosen profession.
The survey, called The Gig, asked 558 moms who chose “stay-home” as their career to answer questions about their responsibilities and everyday lives. To help ensure accuracy, they were then asked to log their hour-by-hour activities.
Of the results and the methodology, author Laura Vanderkam wrote, “We didn’t ask about a ‘typical’ weekday; we asked about the previous day. Using hour-by-hour recollections of a specific recent day avoids exaggerated answers. While it may feel like you spent 14 hours doing laundry, you probably didn’t. This approach is similar to the research I did for my 2015 book, I Know How She Does It (Portfolio/Penguin), about how working moms balance career and home lives.”
According to the survey, 10 percent of moms weighed in as “extremely happy,” 46 percent were “very happy,” and 34 percent were “somewhat happy.” (Oddly enough, moms of four or were more prone to list themselves on the “extremely” and “very” side of the happiness scale.) On the other side of the spectrum, only 8 percent were “slightly happy” and 2 percent considered themselves “not happy at all.”
“Our respondents’ lives were incredibly diverse,” Vanderkam wrote. “One mom spent the day substitute teaching. Another milked goats and spent five hours building a tool shed. A third played tennis for three hours. There were a few throwback moments: ‘Sat down and had a cocktail after getting dinner in oven.’ One mom reported some intense D.I.Y. projects: “Caulked backsplash in kitchen.” They breast-fed infants around the clock and changed diapers at 2 a.m.”
Far from twiddling their thumbs or watching “Oprah,” two-thirds of stay-at-home-moms also contribute to their household income, and 25 percent even ran their own home-based business.
Vanderkam writes, “As I reviewed these time logs, I realized just how much untapped capacity is out there. Economists have talked a lot recently about the declining labor force participation rate; from these time logs, I know exactly where a portion of that labor force is: They are sitting in their living rooms researching how to buy and sell stuff off Craigslist. If more businesses could accommodate their time—say, by creating jobs that allow working 15 to 20 hours a week from home—they could capitalize on this workforce.”
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