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Happiness of Working Moms vs. Stay-at-Home Moms

Are Working Moms Really Happier Than Stay-at-Home Moms?

Balancing (or choosing between) career and motherhood is a decision (or struggle) that every mom faces. This weekend, Motherlode, The New York Times' parenting blog, took a look at the results of a Gallup poll on the emotional satisfaction of working vs. nonworking mothers. Survey says . . .

Non-employed women with young children at home are more likely than women with young children at home who are employed for pay to report experiencing sadness and anger [for] a lot of the day . . . Stay-at-home moms are also much more likely to report having ever been diagnosed with depression than employed moms. Employed moms are about as emotionally well-off as working women who do not have children at home.

The standout results supporting these findings? Twenty-six percent of stay-at-home moms experience "sadness," versus just 16 percent of working women, and 28 percent of stay-at-home moms report depression, versus 17 percent of their employed counterparts. Other emotional benchmarks, like smiling, laughing, and experiencing enjoyment or happiness, had closer results.

While the pool of women surveyed was of a fairly substantial size (60,000 women responded to Gallup's phone survey), we can't but help but wonder how other factors, like salary, job flexibility, commute time, and spousal support, weighed in.

Do you agree with the study's findings?

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