Parents magazine reluctantly reported the results of the latest Gallup poll on mothering:
The Gallup poll looked at 323,500 American adults and found most moms with kids under age 18 wish they could take care of their home and family instead of having to head to the office every day.
By “most” they mean 54 percent of full-time working mothers. And by “reluctantly” I mean that the publication whose title indicates a dedicated interest in parenting rushed to clarify the statistics with a politically correct disclaimer:
Of course, when you dig into the numbers a little further, it becomes clear that nearly half of moms like working. Consider that 54 percent of full-time working mamas said they’d like to stay home, while 40 percent said they are just fine working outside the home.
That’s right. “Nearly half” or, rather, 40 percent enjoy working while the greater majority of 54 percent want to be at home. But, but, but “nearly half” want to be at work! We swear!
The statistics quoted below the ad-line fold only do further damage to the magazine’s attempt to raise the image of the working mom above that of the lazy stay-at-home mother. According to Gallup, a whopping 57 percent of stay-at-home mothers are happy with their current status. So happy, in fact, that they wouldn’t change a thing. Thirty-seven percent would, but they are mathematically in the minority.
So, when you boil it down to the bare numbers the bottom line is that a majority of mothers prefer to be at home with their children. In fact, they prefer it so much they would like to make stay-at-home mothering their primary lifestyle. This is obviously a painful shock to a media culture steeped in the feminist belief that women needed to be liberated from their homes and children in order to achieve happiness.
In a desperate attempt to salvage her article from the statistics, the author concludes with: “If you want to see policies for working moms change, please be sure to register to vote for the candidate you think will best help families!”
“Policies for working moms,” a.k.a. paid family leave. Because there’s no other way we could possibly discuss the idea of mothers working beyond the notion that they should get paid to take a year off before getting back to work. But, is paid family leave really the catch-all answer it’s cracked up to be?
According to Sarah Landrum writing for Forbes, millennial mothers aren’t looking for one-size-fits-all solutions to the balance between work and motherhood. In fact, most prefer to stay at home. The tech-versed generation would much rather have the continued flexibility that working from home offers. This translates to a preference for part-time or freelance work that can fit around children’s schedules. Paid family leave in the form of an additional tax would only increase, not decrease their economic burden. Landrum claims to believe that stay-at-home mothers deserve more. So why does she turn her coverage into yet another argument for the federal mandate?
Gallup’s statistics indicate that politicians better start crafting policy that better suits women who want to make childcare, not a career, their priority.