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Study: Mothers and work – What’s 'ideal'?

When it comes to punching the clock, the Pew Research Center reveals what type of workload most mothers prefer.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Aug 20, 2013 8:13PM

Mother holding a baby // JGI/Getty Images Since 1997, the Pew Research Center has been asking mothers: "Considering everything, what would be the ideal situation for you — working full time, working part time or not working at all outside the home?"

The study reveals that 47 percent of American mothers surveyed think part-time work is the best situation, even more desirable than full-time work or not working at all outside the home.

More on MSN Living: The reality of being a working mom

Here are few of the key findings from the study:

  • Forty-six percent of full-time working mothers consider their current situation ideal.
  • From 2007 to 2012, the percentage of mothers preferring full-time work increased from 20 percent to 32 percent.
  • Forty percent of unemployed mothers think working part time is appealing.
  • Forty-nine percent of unmarried mothers say that their ideal situation would be to work full time, while 53 percent of married mothers desire part-time work.

More on MSN Living: 50 most powerful moms of 2013

Read the complete study here.

Tell us: What would your ideal work situation be? If you work outside the home, has it had an impact on your family life?

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23Comments
Aug 21, 2013 3:19PM
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Did they interview the fathers?  Likely the same answer.    Who wouldn't like to make lots of money and only work part time?
Aug 21, 2013 1:28PM
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This is a ridiculous article.  Of course women, especially mothers, would love to work part time.  Thanks for stating the obvious.  Now lets talk about total family income requirements, health care, etc.  Dumb article!

Aug 21, 2013 1:17PM
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Wow.  What a lot of haters!  My husband and I agreed I should work part time at my job.  I average between 35-38 hours per week, two days in the office and the other at home whenever I can find time.  I only bill for hours I work.  When I am in the office, I am working, not making personal phone calls to schedule doctor appointments, cable appointments, etc. as both my male and female colleagues are forced to do since they are always there.  A full time job where I work would be 55 to 60 hours per week.  Yes, he makes more than I do and pays more than half the bills.  I run the kids to their events and have coached their teams, been a 4-H leader, taught their Sunday School classes, volunteered in their schools, helped with school projects as needed, and as both sets of parents age, helped them as needed.  Then there is laundry and housework.  Each family needs to decide what is best for them and how they can work it out.  I consider myself blessed that this has worked out but I also work incredibly hard to make sure it does.  When they talk about mothers working 'part-time' they are talking about the paid part of work, not the childcare and housework.
Aug 21, 2013 1:14PM
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IDEAL is women that want to be wives and then mothers.  That's IDEAL. 
Aug 21, 2013 12:51PM
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One big problem I have read about is the increase in woman doctors...who soon realize that they can work part-time and still earn a lot of money...leaving us with a lot of part-time doctors.
Aug 21, 2013 12:42PM
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maybe they should wait until they are married and financially stable before they have kids   and not fllow the example of the so-called stars
Aug 21, 2013 12:23PM
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let me know how to pay the bills working part time!

Aug 21, 2013 12:22PM
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No problem, see if your wife will turn tricks  to bring the bacon home.  Problem resolved.

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