The growing trend of stay-at-home moms


In my region of New York State (120 miles north of NYC), we have seen a fairly steady job market and it’s not uncommon to have one working spouse and a stay-at-home mom or dad. I belong to a hiking group and honestly, I am one of the very few moms who works out side of the home and full-time at that.

There is a growing trend of college educated women leaving the work place in our Region, to raise their family at home. I say this because there are many stay-at-home mom groups on FB, Meetup, etc. In our hiking community of nearly 1,500 members; of the active members, the say -at -home ratio is 8:1. Eight families will have a stay-at-home parent and 1 family will be dual income. Two of my 30 something coworkers with PhD’s have left the work place for parenthood in the last 15 months. Although this is a small sample of the population, it is representative of  the 25-40 age group in our location.

Maybe it’s a backlash from the generation of mothers who hit the pavement and wanted to work outside of the home leaving many of us to be labeled *”latch key kids”. Maybe it’s the rising and outrageous cost of childcare. Or the fact that “having it all” is a myth that leaves women feeling exhausted, depressed, and never good enough. Maybe it’s all of these things. One thing I know for sure, given the option, many women today would rather stay home with their children than clock 40 hours a week at the office. And honestly, why not? 50 years later, we still earn less than men for the same job. In most cases the woman’s income would cover child care costs and not much else…

photo credit:

While my opinion and perspective here may be anecdotal or prescribed to my living area alone, there is some research thats backs up my observation.

Data I found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website indicates a steady rise in SAHMs since 1999. In a Pew Research survey conducted in 2012, 29% of American children were being raise by a SAHM.

“In 1967, 49 percent of mothers were stay-at-home mothers. That proportion steadily dropped through the decades until 1999, when only 23 percent of moms stayed at home. Since 1999, the percentage of mothers who stayed at home began to increase again, rising by 6 points to 29 percent in 2012.”

Most of the research I could find did not measure this data beyond 2014. With the millennial generation becoming parents, online work available, remote office work opportunities, and mom entrepreneurs starting Easy shops and doing other creative/non-traditional work from home, I would not be surprised if we see the SAHM and WFHM trends continue to rise.

Do you stay-at-home? Do you work? What was your deciding factor?

*”A latchkey kid or latchkey child is a child who returns from school to an empty home, or a child who is often left at home with little parental supervision, because their parent or parents are away at work.” (Source: wikipedia)

10 thoughts on “The growing trend of stay-at-home moms

  1. kat says:

    Hmm, this is interesting food for thought. Though I have noticed more and more moms identifying as being a stay at home mom despite the fact that, at least 10 years ago, many colleges had more female students than male. When I became a stay at home mom I thought I’d be plenty lonely and find many daytime activities empty because moms and dads worked. How wrong I was! I’m happy being at home, but, at the same time, I have a Master’s degree I’m itching to use. I spent enough money on my education, so I want to use it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrsmotherdirt says:

      I totally get that! I have considered stopping out or going part time. I really need intellectual challenge and I think I would miss that about work. However, my heart longs to home with the girls. It’s hard to balance. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chicken Librarian says:

    I didn’t realize you lived upstate! How fun and interesting! I don’t have kids but if I did, I would definitely be a SAHM. I guess it just goes along with the homesteading ideal. Nice food for thought post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mrsmotherdirt says:

      When weighting the work or work to pay someone else to watch your child, many women are opting to stay home. I have had those thoughts myself many times. Oh, and I was raised in Ithaca (way ‘Upstate’) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • momlifewithchiari says:

        Yes! Amazing, so glad you have that option! Ugh, tough subject to tackle but in my opinion, fathers should be given maternity leave to help care for their spouse and one should be given the option to work from home without the fear of losing jobs. How do you choose to care for your child from home and keeping the job that will help you feed your child?! 🤦🏽‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. mrsmotherdirt says:

    I know 😕 It’s a struggle. If I paid daycare/preschool for two kids, it would be 90% of my take home salary. Men can actually take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the same federal law that protects maternity leave.


  4. FlippinFitMom says:

    I’m in the same boat… I have a masters degree in the high paying field of education (do you sense my sarcasm😉). When my husband and I realized I would be making a little over $1000 a month after daycare, it didn’t make sense for me to go back. Why work full time for less than minimum wage just to have someone else raise my kid? We made some cuts and have been making it work. When you look at it that way, unless your making a significant income, or have family to help out with free daycare, it’s not so hard to transition.

    Liked by 1 person

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