Polling: Women Wish they Could Stay Home
February 24, 2021
The economic changes brought about by COVID-19 restrictions are spurring American families to rethink childcare, and some believe this could lead to new opportunities.
The Pew Research Center found in Oct. 2020 that among “working parents with children younger than 18 who are in the same job as before the coronavirus outbreak started, a third say it’s now harder for them to balance work and family responsibilities:”
22% of those who do not have minor children say the same. Mothers (39%) are more likely than fathers (28%) to say it’s harder for them to balance work and family responsibilities compared with before the coronavirus outbreak.
This new information is just the latest indicator of a growing phenomenon of women rethinking work and homelife, a trend which the recent economic lockdowns have likely accelerated.
A 2012 survey indicated that a majority of American mothers would like to leave the workforce and stay home with their children.
“…84% of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to,” wrote Meghan Casserly of Forbes. “What’s more, more than one in three resent their partner for not earning enough to make that dream a reality.”
Now, with some schools closed for a whole academic year, families across the country have had to adjust, sometimes by turning from two-income households, with mothers and fathers both working while their children are away at school, to single-income households, in which one parent stays home with the children while the other works.
According to more recent studies, the parent who stays home in these cases is often the mother. A Sept. 2020 study from LeanIn.org reported that “1 in 4 women are contemplating … downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce,” in part because of school closures and economic woes related to COVID-19 lockdowns.