Is working on a part-time basis the way for moms with young children to live a less stressful life? Yes, according to University of North Carolina Greensboro researchers who examined “how part-time work affected mom’s health, life at home, parenting and marital satisfaction.”
They followed 1,300 women for a decade, interviewing them periodically during that time, MSNBC reported . In their study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers found that “moms who worked less than 33 hours per week were less depressed, had less work-family conflict and spent more time on learning opportunities for their kids than both” at-home moms and those working full-time. MSNBC quoted federal labor statistics saying that roughly 25 percent of American women work part-time.
“Part-time work has some real advantages for mothers and families in terms of lower stress,” MSNBC’s Kristin Kalning wrote. “But part-time work isn’t always an option for mom (or dad, for that matter), due to financial realities and the impact scaled-back hours can have on a career.”
Meanwhile, Working Mother Magazine released a study of more than 3,700 mothers which found that all moms, regardless of employment, suffer from guilt and worry about their career decisions. “Roughly one third of all mothers, working or at home, say they often feel guilty about their contribution to the household,” Working Mother said . “And nearly half (49 percent of working and 47 percent of stay-at-home moms) admit they are their own toughest critics.”
The survey also found that 55 percent of “career-oriented stay-at-home moms say they would prefer to work, although most aren’t interested in a traditional full-time arrangement,” with 35 percent of those women citing child care as “a barrier to returning to work.”