The Stay at Home Mom Debate

Every few years it seems as if the stay at home mom debate resurfaces.

Who is the better mother- the ‘stay at home mom’ or the ‘work outside the home mom’?

Believe me, the grass is always greener and with this debate there is no exception.
Many of our mothers urged us to get out of the house as they had wished they had that opportunity.

mother child car seat
Photo Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office (PIO)

The Stay at Home Mom Debate

My choice was to stay at home and work from home while I raised my kids. I did many things to make money while being at home as well.
It worked for my family. If I had kept my full-time job outside the home as an RN, that probably would have worked as well.

While raising my kids I met moms who worked outside the home and still managed to be good moms while I met moms who stayed at home and probably would have been better off working outside the home.

It’s all about what works best for you and your family.

When you work outside the home you are always wondering if you are doing the right thing not always being there for your kids when they need you. When you are a stay at home mom, you are concerned about having to justify staying at home.
In the end, we are all moms just trying to make it all work.

The trend of staying at home is actually on the rise again.

Pew Research says that that number of stay-at-home mothers in the United States has risen since 2000 after decades of decline. About 29 percent of mothers with children younger than 18 (about 10.4 million moms) stayed at home in 2012 . The stay at home mom statistic hit a historic low of 23 percent in 1999.

This is just one of those debates that will come and go it seems, depending on the grass being greener.

We’re not doing that badly with tech…right?

According to the Census Department, we’re adjusting….

This whole technology thing may be something that we need time to grasp. There have been a lot of changes, especially in technology, during our life time. But, we can do it.


We’re not doing that badly with tech…right?

78.4% of those of us 45-64 are on the internet these days.

I’m not sure what is going on with the other 21.6% of us not on the internet but, I’m happy with the 78.4%.

Could you survive without your phone or internet?
Census Department Computer & Internet Trends

According to this chart from the census department, nearly 4 out of every 5 of us are online.

Not bad considering we grew up without cell phones, computers, cable or even ipods.

We’re trying to adjust to the changes that we have seen in our lives.  The fact that only about 40% are using a smart phone can be concerning or it could just be a sign of rebellion- which as a demographic, we are good at.

There are so many things that we can do with a smartphone.
On a smartphone we can check our email, shop, share photos, check out Facebook, comment on Instagram and even make a phone call.  A smartphone can make you a savvy shopper thanks to comparison apps and stores sending us text messages. So why are less than half of us using a smartphone?

It could be that we are not so accepting of the smartphone because they cost money that only leads to spending even more money.

You pay for the expensive phone and then pay for the expensive service that comes with that phone and then get the carrot dangled in front of our faces with the ability to shop via these phones in an instant. Quite frankly, not only are we facing the oncoming retirement phase of life, we were raised by depression-surviving parents who showed us how to be savers.

On the other hand, we are known as the generation that loves to spoil ourselves.
We love our nice cars, our expensive shoes and our vacations.

So why are we lagging on the smartphone thing?

I have actually been using a smartphone for at least 5 years. I’m about to get another one. I’m not a big shopper or price comparer. I use my phone to check my email, take pictures, get directions while I’m on the road, and admittingly, Instagram. My sister on the other hand, really just takes pictures with hers. I’m suspicious that she needs glasses and doesn’t want to accept it.

The census department has been measuring the trends for us.

Here is what they say:

According to the census bureau.

25% of American Households don’t have internet.

12.2% of the people surviving without internet say it’s because they don’t want it.
7.3% say it’s because it is too expensive.

In 2003 over 45% of homes didn’t have internet. In 1997 18.0 % of households had Internet.

Internet and Smartphone Use
By Age (2012)
25 – 34
Internet Use 88.1 %
Smartphone Use 70.6 %
35 – 44
Internet Use 86.2 %
Smartphone Use 62.3 %
45 – 64
Internet Use 78.4 %
Smartphone Use 40.2 %
65 +
Internet Use 53.1 %
Smartphone Use 14.5 %

Think about it.

If we didn’t have the use of a smartphone or the internet, we would have to do things like we did back in the 1980’s.

  • Shopping at the mall.
  • Calling our friends from a land-line phone.
  • Sending letters and paying bills via ‘snail mail’.
  • Using a trip routing service and a map when we travel.
  • Using the newspaper to find out movie times, store sales, and even coupons.
  • Listening to music via a Walkman.


It’s no wonder that our kids are hesitant to make a commitment to marriage

By the time that I was the age that my kids are now, I was married or getting married and had my career as a nurse.
Most of my friends and my husband’s friends were doing the same thing.

Photo Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office (PIO)

Marriage and the career was more or less expected of us at the time. Our mothers may have once had a career but, once they got married they were expected to be a full-time homemaker (a term I despise). Our mothers, at least where I came from, were eager to see their daughters do something in addition to being tied down to a house and taking care of others. It was a whole new horizon for them.

Then something happened that our mother’s were not expecting to happen.
Boomer women became financially independent and educated. We realized that we didn’t have to be homemakers or anything else we didn’t want to be. In true form, baby boomers questioned the designated roles of yesterday.

The dynamics of  marital relationships changed as society changed possibly as a result.

In a Pew research poll done in 2010, in a comparison of marital status among the generations between the ages of 18-30 (when each generation was between 18-30), 44% of the boomers had been married. Only 23% of Millennials and 32% of gen Xers had been married. I might add that that 58% of our parents had been married.

It’s no wonder that our kids are hesitant to make a commitment to marriage.

Did we ruin the whole marriage thing for others by putting them through our divorces? According to the NIH, the divorce rate among adults aged 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010. 1 in 4 divorces in 2010 occurred to adults 50 and older.

If you’ve already been divorced, your chances of getting divorces are 2.5 times higher than those who had not already been divorced. In 2009 the census department reported that 1 in 5 boomers had married twice.

More than half of currently married couples (55 percent) had been married for at least 15 years, while 35 percent had reached their 25th anniversary. A small percentage — 6 percent — had even passed their golden (50th) wedding anniversary.

I’m part of that 35% on this eve of my 29th anniversary.
My parents made it to 62 years- although they may not have realized it.
My 23 and 26 year old are not even close.