Supermom myth can make you miserable
August 20th, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Supermom myth can make you miserable

Working mothers are less likely to be depressed than stay-at-home moms, a new study suggests.

However, working moms who thought women should be able to do it all are at greater risk for depression at age 40 than those who had more realistic expectations before they had kids.

“Holding a job is likely to improve your overall mental health and well-being, which is ultimately a good thing for yourself and your family,” says Katrina Leupp, the University of Washington sociology graduate student who led the research.

But it’s not a bad idea to “accept that balancing work and family is difficult, rather than feeling guilty or unsuccessful if you can’t devote as much time as you would like to your job or your family,” she says.

Health.com: 12 Signs of Depression in Men

Leupp analyzed U.S. Department of Labor data, which included 1,600 married women who were approximately age 40 in 2006. The women had been surveyed in 1987, when they were around 20, about their thoughts regarding working moms.

The women who supported combining motherhood with a career had a greater risk of depression later in life than those who thought women should stay at home to raise kids.

In fact, the young women who were the least likely to support the idea of blending home and work life had the fewest depression symptoms when they were actually working moms at age 40.

Health.com: Careers With High Rates of Depression

It’s not clear why, but women who expect to be a supermom may feel bad when they find it harder than they anticipated. And those who don’t may feel less guilty about making sacrifices such as leaving work early to pick up the kids, says Leupp.

“The current generation of employed young women are more likely to have been raised by employed mothers than were past generations,” says Leupp. “Having an employed mother might make one more aware of the difficulties in balancing work and family, but it also provides you with a role model demonstrating that balancing work and family is possible and rewarding.”

Health.com: 10 Celebrities Who Battled Postpartum Depression

Working moms shouldn’t feel guilty if they have to cut corners or take time for themselves. “Be gentle with yourself,” advises Leupp. “Time away from your kids on Friday might make you a happier and better parent on Saturday.”

In general, studies have shown that employment is beneficial for a woman’s mental health. The survey found that stay-at-home moms were more depressed at age 40 than working women, regardless of their viewpoints before they had kids.

Health.com: Secrets to a Stress-Free, Happy Family

The study will be presented this week at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Las Vegas.

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Filed under: Parenting • Women's Health

soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Naomi

    The society does not need women's labor force except wartime or for outstandingly talented female individuals. Women just took away jobs from men, causing imbalance and ruining both the marriage and the kids so that the society will crush down faster. Women should have good education but stay home and concentrate on raising the most excellent kids.

    August 21, 2011 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea

      If you'd like to pay half my mortgage, I'd be happy to stay home with my child. Thanks in advance!

      August 22, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      Wow, can you even hear us back there in the 50's?

      August 22, 2011 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
    • Anita Rogers

      Yes, women have been feed the lie we can do it all, its not true. But it really does take 2 incomes to keep a family in a house and clothed. The expectation that women can be out of the workforce will only bring ruin to families. It would be wonderful if we all had the luxury of being home all the time but its not a reality. I don't think there are enough men who could bring in a paycheck to support them. I think it also limits women's productivity by being totally out of the workforce. What happens when the man leaves her and she has no skills to take care of her children, most exhusbands won't. Also it is good for your children when you work away from home and ask them to step up. I am sure you are a conservative christian who homeschools her children. The next time you are in the hospital do you really want so man putting you on and off a bedpan...how about giving you an enema or other procedure that requires you to bear your bottom. The other position women are gifted at is teaching. It involves using mothering skills a bit to do a job well done, but again you probably homeschool your kids. God help my child if she was deficient in math as I am...lol. Good luck to you in your endeavors and may you one day experience the benefit of a woman in the workplace when you need that female touch.

      August 22, 2011 at 08:56 | Report abuse |
    • M

      You just sound like a gold digger, Naomi. Grow a backbone and do what you love. Be your own person. You don't need a man to make a life for you.

      August 22, 2011 at 09:34 | Report abuse |
    • a stay home mom who goes back to work soon

      Your rant makes this stay home want to puke. I CHOSE to stay home and this idea of "should" stay home reminds me of arab men bullying their women, not allowing them to drive or walk in public alone because they fear they will cheat on them. You have to WANT to stay home. THe jobs are NOT "men's jobs"!!! Excuse me ! everyone needs to eat, and over 98% of single family households are women run! And over 80% of those are living in poverty. One could argue women need to makeMUCH more effort getting careers and get out there working in good paying jobs so less of America's children live in poverty because right now, too many daddy's are NOT supporting their children.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • SuperSingle and Childless

      How about depression of all the single, childless people who constantly fill in and do the work of constantly absentee working parents (men and women), but don't get paid more or promoted more?

      August 22, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Yikes...I would not like to be your friend...you should not make others feel guilty...some people don't have a choice. Some people have marriages where they both choose to make a little less money and both work so one parent isn't working so much that they miss out on things their kids do...having an open mind will make you less grumpy! I hope you aren't this one sided with your kids.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • WaitWhat

      First of all don't be fooled by this poster's name. I can promise you it is not Naomi. This is obviously a guy and I promise you he did this just get his jollys from the comments that come from it. "Noami" you should probably go get a job and contribute to society like most women in this country do.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Whether or not the workforce "needs" women, women need to be smart and manage their own financial future. Women are FAR more likely to outlive their husbands. Women are FAR more likely to live under the poverty line in their elderly years. Women's net worth decreases after divorce. 40% of first marriages currently end in divorce.

      Point being, no woman should count on her husband being there forever, because chances are high that he'll either divorce her or die before she does. The stupidest thing a woman can possibly do is count on a man for her survival.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      My mom had to work because my dad was out of work for over five years. The trauma of leaving home was waaaaay more than my kids have experienced going to daycare and afterschool programs. We were latchkey kids because otherwise we would not stay in our house. If I want to live in an expensive state with good schools, I have to work as well as my spouse.

      And you need to read history more, because if you think women haven't contributed, you're purposely hiding the truth from yourself. Hedy Lamarr is a great example to look at, you could only wish to do what she did.

      And as for "doing it all", it is only possible when you have a support system. We have two spouses who help out equally, one spouse is disabled and helps out more when they have to.

      Depression is a state of mind, and until you deal with a disability, working full-time, spouse working 60, 70 hours per week, and raising a bunch of kids, don't whine. I know too many people who are hung up on THEIR troubles, when they are NOTHING compared to many others. I donated my car to an organization who gave it to a 19 year old who had been in the foster care system her whole life. Some people get depressed because they have NO sympathy for others.

      I do my best, and my kids know it, AND they learn work ethic. I would be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every SAHM who was detached from her children and too busy with social events to take care of them right. Physically being home isn't always the answer.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Absurd. My husband makes a good salary and has health insurance, so I've been able to stay home. We've just been able to squeak by, however, and if we want to retire I'm going to have to find another job. We have created a society in which two incomes are required to have a middle class life. Saying it shouldn't be that way denies reality.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • PolishKnight

      "but it really does take 2 incomes to keep a family in a house and clothed."

      This is a self-fulfilling prophesy. My parents who raised me in the 1960's were working class and while she worked part-time, they were able to pay off their 5 bedroom house in 20 years, go on a luxury vacation once a year, and build a massive retirement. In addition, the working class neighborhood we grew up in was safe and well maintained.

      Thanks to feminism, those "bad old days" are over!

      That wasn't how it was sold to women, of course. They were told they could all earn as much as a man and at the same time, "marry up". She could eat her cake and have it too. They never thought that if they kicked out half the men in the workplace to make room for women that some of them might not find husbands. At worst, it would be some "other" woman who would wind up single since they were told that they were "all" special and could all become Astronauts and marry a perfect man if she wanted (look at how that turned out for one female astronaut!)

      Regarding the gal who asked for a man to pick up half her mortgage: We didn't buy because for the past 10 years housing has been overpriced. We'll wait for the market to correct further and buy at 1997 levels, thanks.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • PolishKnight

      "a stay home mom who goes back to work soon
      Your rant makes this stay home want to puke. I CHOSE to stay home"

      No, you didn't choose to stay home. You CHOSE a man who earned enough money to ALLOW you to stay home. That leads us to:

      "women need to makeMUCH more effort getting careers and get out there working in good paying jobs so less of America's children live in poverty because right now, too many daddy's are NOT supporting their children."

      Hahahaha! For the past 40 years, society has focused upon careers for women and "empowering" them. How has that worked out for them and their offspring? Wolves could have done a better job! Regarding the daddy's to support "their" children: If they're his children, then they should be in shared custody households. Perhaps if the courts decided custody based upon financial responsibility rather than making them into the woman's property and worrying about keeping the children housed and fed afterwards, there wouldn't be such problems. Yes? In addition, if a woman has a child out of wedlock and then goes looking for the father afterwards, that's another problem that was easily avoided. Women have abortion and child-abandonment rights. Use them.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • azule

      Are you trying to dictate what an individual should do with their lives? Some women are better off working, some men are quite good at staying at home and caring for the kids. If mother's do what you say will their children be more successful or better citizens? I wish you lots of luck. Us mere mortals are trying to balance life and teach kindness, tolerance and love, while trying to pay the bills, show up for our kids and each other in a world where our children are mesmerized by screens and material goods and only half of all families stay intact. This is a big crazy world we all live in together kindness matters .....most people are tying to do the best they can with their families

      August 22, 2011 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • Angie

      Naomi, I couldn't have said it better myself. You are absolutely right. I usually do not comment online, but this topic is too close to my heart and mind to not say anything. I have a BA in Psychology from a top research university, and although I love Psychology and would like to pursue a PhD in Clinical or Counseling Psychology and am passionate about Linguistics and foreign languages, I am choosing to stay at home long term with my three babies. It is not easy: we barely make ends meet, and it is frustrating at times, but we are thinking of the long term benefit for the children. I think it is very important to give them a solid emotional and educational foundation as they are starting their journey into this world; I am applying principles from Developmental Psychology, and I want to help them become as complete human beings as possible with emotional health and maturity, with strong and realistic self-esteem, and a solid education topped with moral values and security in parental love. I would like to emphasize here that practical skills are also vital in children's development, and time spent in natural settings as much as possible would also be necessary. Children today spend too much time in front of a screen ( TV, PC, iPod,i Pad, computer games etc) filling their minds with virtual stuff missing out on a REAL WORLD that can be TOUCHED, EXPLORED, LEARNED the natural way while getting dirty and tired.

      Also, as part of a solid early education should be Mathematics (understanding and processing abstract information helps with maturation of frontal cortex involved in decision making, critical thinking, and even moral values) and Grammar (thoroughly learned with all rules of Synthax, Morphology, Orthography and Phonetics). I would also recommend Calligraphy, as that also would be very important for the development of fine motor skills. I know we live in an era of technology, and everything is typed up, but an elegant penmanship is still of value in so many ways. I could go on with so many things, but I do not want to tire the reader.

      My point (which took a while, I admit:)) is: it is important that a mother (if possible) stays and works at home to raise the children for everybody's benefit. I UNDERSTAND that in many homes that option is IMPOSSIBLE, which is sad, and I am not judging anybody. I am just speaking from a general point of view and from what I have learned and from the wisdom I have acquired until 33. I know I am not that old at all :), but wisdom and the acquiring of wisdom has been my lifelong passion.

      Children of today are the next generation of adults, and they are the ones who will make crucial decisions in the future that will affect everyone, young and old. The better brought up children of today, the more responsible and wise adults of tomorrow. Let us not forget that.

      Of course, the woman needs support: from her husband, from the community, and from society as a whole. In addition, there should be political support, but that would also need a huge shift in today's values. A woman's worth should NOT be measured IN or ONLY in the monetary value of her salary, but in the quality of the children brought up by her and in the moral and civic contribution to society, to name a few. She is not a work slave; the work at home is plenty busy and important.

      On a side note, part of the reason society got this way was because of feminism through women liberation movement which destroyed the family. Women are "free" to go outside of the home to work, but the nest is empty during the day, family is not considered as important; the rate of divorce went way up, broken homes are almost everywhere and fatherless children are almost the norm. I do not condemn single mothers who bravely work hard to make the ends meet and provide for their children, but rather I am speaking against the shift of values.

      Besides, a woman needs some time for herself too, free of work and worries and duties; let her have some time to be herself, to recharge the battery of her femininity and to be free to create new ideas and to be free to LOVE herself, her husband, her family and others...

      Work should NOT be the goal in life, but rather a means to get a fulfilling life. If after a full day at work the mother comes home to a sleeping child, or she just has enough time to tuck her baby in, where is the fulfillment in that? Is the career really more fulfilling than motherhood and family? If so, then there is something amiss...Just because a study shows that daughters who had working moms are more inclined to do the same and feel less guilty about it, it doesn't mean that it is the right thing to do. It is just habit. One is just used to it, that's all.

      Let us be honest, "balancing" a career and motherhood at the same time, AND doing an EXCELLENT job at both it is IMPOSSIBLE. I hope that everybody makes the best decision for everyone involved in her family. Women are special for who they are and what they can give to their children and husbands. If they know they are doing the right thing, they will less likely become depressed.

      August 22, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      This reminds me of the first chapter of the Feminine Mystique... and then the rest of the entire book explains why everything you said is not true.

      It's interesting that this out-dated western philosophy is just taken as true, when you look at so many other societies, both human societies through out history (Native American tribes, among others) as well as animal species, women would bear the children and men would tend to the children while the women tended the plants and fields... it all depends on the type of society, is it agricultural? technological? hunter/gatherer? Why is it so often ignored that there is more than one way right way to live a life and raise a family? In the lion kingdom, the men stay with the cubs while the women hunt and come "home" and share their kill with the male lion and their cubs. In seahorse, the male seahorse carries the fetus.

      Now I'm ranting but I have to say honestly, that I decided to stay home with my daughter for as long as we were breastfeeding because I felt that was best for her and let's face it... her father can't breastfeed her, even if he really really wanted to. But pregnancy and breastfeeding aside, there is absolutely no reason, biologically, socially, or otherwise, that men and women's roles in child-rearing and bread-winning can't be interchangeable and shared.

      August 22, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • TexasR

      I appreciate the sarcasm, Naomi. Others missed it. However, the task of raising healthy children is harder than any wage-paying job, and I feel sorry for the "career" women who belittle it, and feel intimidated by it. The fact is that women are better at it than men, which is the main reason why they should try to stay at home. My wife left a six-figure media career to stay at home when kids started coming. My five-figure earnings had to make-do, and we did. Three kids with college degrees later, and my income does the two of us just fine. My wife is obsolete in the broadcast media, so she's looking now for something fun. I keep going to the salt mine. Raising children is too important to be put behind, or even with, a "career."

      August 22, 2011 at 21:28 | Report abuse |
    • Eve

      Angie, First off you are a psych major so you are nuts. You and Naomi are in a precarious situation. I hope that your husbands do not leave you because if they do you are doomed. My brother did this to his wife and she ended up in a shelter because of her lack of work skills. God forbid your husbands lose their jobs, then your entire family will be in financial ruins. I can tell you that what you both condone is highly irresponsible.

      August 22, 2011 at 22:09 | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      Your idea has a few flaws.
      1) Getting a good education and doing nothing with it is just stupid because it is a waste of money and knowledge.
      2) Putting all of that pressure on the "man of the house" is a bit extreme too.

      The 50's are gone, we need to adapt.

      August 22, 2011 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Slp


      August 23, 2011 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
    • Crimson Wife

      "40% of first marriages currently end in divorce. No woman should count on her husband being there forever, because chances are high that he'll either divorce her or die before she does." "I hope that your husbands do not leave you because if they do you are doomed."

      Can we stop with the fear-mongering already? The divorce rate has declined dramatically in recent years, especially for the demographic of the typical CNN reader. For first marriages where both spouses are college graduates, 6 out of 7 of them these days will end up NOT divorcing.

      August 23, 2011 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • WorkingSingleMom

      I am a single Mom, working full-time, raising a 6 year old. It is wonderful when a woman has an ability to choose to be a stay-home Mom or a working Mom. In my case, I couldn't chose – I had to provide for my child financially and had to go out to a 9-5 office job. My ex-husband walked out on us because he had an affair with a much younger girl (that he is no longer with and moved on to the next). My child was only a year old at the time. My ex is no longer in our lives and I am the sole provider, it is anything but easy. Am I envious of women who have more time to spend with their kids, YES! If I had a choice not to work or cut down my work & commute hours, I would choose to stay home or work part time. However it is not an option. I make a modest salary and am responsible for every aspect of my and my child's life. I was a stay-at-home Mom for 8 months and loved every moment of it. In mu humble opinion working Moms have it much more difficult then stay-home Moms, especially single/divorced/widowed Moms. My respect and admiration goes out to every working Mom out there!!!

      August 23, 2011 at 09:43 | Report abuse |
  2. Naomi

    Women, concentrate on your kids. Your company or your society is not worth your effort. Look at the present American society. You are either wasting other people's money or being stolen by others. The sole losers from your stupid greed are your children. They are becoming worthless pleasure-addicts because of your absense. America is becoming a huge system not worth protecting. Unless you have uncontainable vision and talent or starving literally, put your children your priority, women, because most men are too stupid not to listen to you even when you are out of your mind.

    August 21, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anita Rogers

      Namoni it is obvious you are a zealot and a legalist, You know how sinful you are being right now. You are full of self-righteousness and sin. You believe your actions are so above reproach and you are in a dangerous spot equaiting yourself with God. REPENT! You are making terrible generalizations about mothers with jobs outside the home. Shame on you. You really don't want to go back to the days of Christ when women are 2nd class citizens and property. You can't have it half way, you would have no right to your husbands property should he fall dead today. REPENT! Yes, I admit we probably spend too much money on pleasure ?a nation. But watch your own idols, is being a martyer one of them? Is being more righteous your idol? Do you not want you children raised in a house that is basic. The rate of unemployment many women and men are out of work, not do to women working but due to a service lead system. The conservatives you support would rather give jobs away to the chineese than pay an american man a wage to support his children in the basics. REPENT LEGALIST AND SINNER

      August 22, 2011 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
    • jennygirl

      is a "stupid" man supporting you so that you can stay home with your kids?

      August 22, 2011 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Happy Wife

      Just because you work doesn't mean that your kids aren't priority in your life. I work because I WANT to work. I could stay home if I wanted, my husband could support us just fine on his income. However, I enjoy work. I love people. I love that my life has multi-faceted purposes. I love being mom. I love being a wife. I love being a banker. My house is sometimes a wreck, but who cares!? My family has dinner together EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I cook every night, we all sit at our table and share stories of the day and what everyone's favorite thing was that happened to them during their day. This is something we ALL do every day. The kids share, husband shares and I share. In addition to making the most of the time we do have together every evening and weekend, my husband handles pretty much half of the household chores. I cook every night, he cleans the kitchen every night. I usually give our boys a bath, simply because I love bathtime! 🙂 If I am busy with something else, or decide to take a run, my husband will handle the bathtime. The point is, we are well balanced, we have an exceptionally happy marriage and very happy children. If you chose to be a homemaker, so be it. That is your decision and I respect it..... However, DO NOT look down on those women who decide to also have a career. It doesn't make them bad mothers. As a matter of fact, I would venture to say they are probably very good mothers because they value even more the time they do spend with their children!

      August 22, 2011 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
    • a stay home mom who goes back to work soon

      stay home when they're very young. That's only a few years. What do you do with the remaining 60 years of your life. When your kid is in first grade, get a job.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:37 | Report abuse |
    • Noelle

      Naomi, you sound like an idiot. Not even worth taking what you say seriously.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
    • Grace

      Hey Naomi what's your big plan for when your husband runs out on you with his secretary? At this point in time you will have no way whatsoever to stand on your two feet.....no education, no skills, no job, no previous job experience. At this point in times you will have two options (the same options our stay at home grandmothers had when they discovered their husbands were cheating on them), turn a blind eye and protend you don't know about your husbands affair and continue living with him or leave and go to a womens shelter (aka homelessness). Good luck to you, I hope your husband is a good an honest man who in no possible way could ever lie to you about anything or stray! (Not all of us end up that lucky)

      August 22, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Actually, the divorce rate is down to 40% from 50% in the 1970s, and almost all women work at some point in their lives now. It's not an "if," it's an expectation. Besides, daughters of working mothers have higher self-esteem than daughters of mothers who stayed at home for long periods of time, and also achieve more education and have higher lifetime earnings. A mother working does not damage her kids. The benefits outweigh any negatives.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      I do pharmaceutical research, and have worked on very new cancer treatments based on immunological targets. What do you do?

      In case you haven't noticed, humans have discovered both fire and the wheel.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • PolishKnight

      Grace poses the age old scare tactic: "Hey Naomi what's your big plan for when your husband runs out on you with his secretary?"

      For starters, how many men have secretaries? If he's a CEO, she's not going to be starving to death if something like that happens. On the contrary, executive wives whose husbands left them have a lawyer on speed dial and collect "child" support in the tens of thousands a month in addition to alimony for the "sacrifice" she made playing tennis all day! Hahahahha!

      OK, seriously, bad example but let's work with the idea that Grace posed: What if a male breadwinner leaves her or dies? Pretty much the same thing a lot of working people face in this economy: Deal with it. A friend of mine's mother in the 1950's had her husband die in Korea. She worked as a waitress and put herself through basic nursing school and then from there to an RN. She did quite well for herself. She then married and went to work part-time. Women worked back then, but they didn't pretend that they were all going to earn big money AND marry up and then complain when that didn't work out for them.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • PolishKnight

      I do pharmaceutical research, and have worked on very new cancer treatments based on immunological targets. What do you do?"

      Let's try this thought experiment: Imagine if women's equality ended tomorrow and the women were all told to go home and become housewives and maybe work part-time. Staffing at research companies, the DMV, and office jobs might be understaffed but there are plenty of unemployed men who would quickly fill the slots. The world wouldn't come to an end.

      On the other hand, imagine if all the men were told to go home and have women support them. It's preposterous to even suggest it because feminism is about "equality" where men share assets with women and the women don't "share" back. Women's "work/life balance" is basically about having men work overtime so the women can "flextime" their way out of a full workweek. The lower class women unable to find 1950's career breadwinners go on welfare paid for still by taxpayers mostly shouldered by men. Even most career women quit their jobs from time to time to stay at home with their children for breaks (which explains the "70 cents on a dollar" earning claims that implies discrimination. Stop taking so much time off and pay for men to sit at home, and that would fix the problem!)

      Men don't live in a world where they can "choose" to do whatever they like and then gripe that society is made up of "greedy" corporations standing in their way. Newsflash: The government is almost out of money so there will be no free-everything-you-want from Obama anytime soon. No free daycare like Sweden. It's all blown. Now it's just time to wait for the whole house of cards to come falling down.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
  3. katscan

    I feel sorry for you.

    August 22, 2011 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

    ...so, the first four posts are crazy posts. Big surprise.

    August 22, 2011 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrea

      I always forget not to feed the troll. LOL

      August 22, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  5. Heather

    I find the word "unemployed" to be problematic. I'm a couple weeks from my 37th birthday and am a homemaker by choice. I desired this life after growing up with a mom who was the one who volunteered at the school, church and community. I had so much fun helping her with her projects and she was so full of life. As I approach 40, I homeschool one of our 3 children who has Asperger's Syndrome. I take dance classes and performed for the first time last year with the school's jr company. I volunteer as a costumer with the community theater. My life is rich and rewarding. Sometimes it's hard to make ends meet, but we are doing it with our enlisted military pay. I don't consider myself "unemployed." I consider myself quite employed but the pay isn't in dollars.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Monica

      Heather, you are definitely not unemployed!! I agree that unpaid work done by women in the home is devalued and unappreciated. Being a full time home-maker is definitely employment! Plus you probably save a lot of money doing things that a lot of women pay other people to do – childcare, food preparation, home maintenance, etc. Think of all the money people spend going through the drive-thru, compared to making your own meals at home. What many women have been doing for the last 30 years is taking their hard-earned incomes and giving it away to other women, just to keep the household functional.

      It probably evens out in the end for a lot of folks. Stay at home mom/DIY = working mom/pays for childcare, etc.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • Marissa


      I agree that you are not unemployed and that your wages are earned in love and respect rather than in dollars. I too am a military wife and am not currently working. My husband and I survive well on his Senior NCO pay. However, as military spouses, we must remember that our husbands' incomes are inflated and that civilian workers do not receive free health care or allowances for housing and food. I have chosen not to work while my husband is enlisted so that I may pursue my Master's degree. While I too earn no money, I work hard seven days a week. I know that one day in the future we will no longer have Tricare or received BAS and BAH so I am preparing now to earn a salary that will help maintain our current earnings.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • protect yourself

      Heather, I absolutely agree that you are doing very valuable work but I want to remind you of very cold, very hard reality: you will have NO Social Security income when you get old and if your husband leaves you, you wiill have NOTHING to show for all your years of service. Please protect yourself! I know you can't even imagine this happening but it happens every day of the year and chances are 50/50 it will happen to you. Get a retirement fund in your name only just-in-case. Our society spits on stay-at-home wives despite their priceless work. Please protect yourself. You are completely unprotected right now.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      You'd better pray that your husband doesn't leave you, and you'd better hope to high heaven that he outlives you.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • rh

      Yeah, helping mom with her projects. When my mom had to go back to work, us kids had to do the paperwork for the bowling league and women's club. That was wonderful.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • TexasR

      You are the most gainfully employed person on this post, and you make more than the rest of us combined. Bless you and your family.

      August 22, 2011 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
  6. Nicole

    "In fact, the young women who were the least likely to support the idea of blending home and work life had the fewest depression symptoms when they were actually working moms at age 40."

    Hypothesis: These women have grandma to stay at home with the kids. Women who planned to work at 20 and are working at 40 were more likely to have working moms themselves who are themselves still working. Solution: better child care.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Nicole

    Additionally, I wonder if they controlled for age of the children. Mothers who have always wanted to combine work and family probably had children later, so at age 40 they could very well have toddlers, whereas the women who planned to be SAHM but ended up working have much older kids at age 40 (possibly went back to work after their kids were in school). Lack of sleep is depressing.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ann

    Women need to do what works for them, and stop judging each other. I worked for a 3 years after my oldest was born, and it was miserable. It took a toll on my health and marriage, and I am definitely not a supermom. When my husband got a new, better paying job, I quit and stayed at home for about five years, until our youngest was in first grade. Now I'm back working about 25 to 30 hours a week, and loving it. The decision to work or not to work when you have kids does not have to be a final decision. Do what works for you and your family, and don't judge others.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • james

      You seem like the only poster without an agenda. Thanks for the snaity check.

      August 22, 2011 at 09:54 | Report abuse |
    • girlene

      Amen. I have kind of followed the same track but built a consulting practice that I run out of my home. We have a crazy life sometimes, but it works for us. I think viewing working/not working as a fluid state and rolling with it is your best hedge against depression at any age.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • Kangamommy

      Amen, again. No one can tell you what will work for you and your family, so no one else should be able to judge your decision on how much/when/how to work.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • azule

      Thank you Ann

      August 22, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
  9. Jean

    I don't have any children, but foolishly quit a job to look after two elderly parents with chronic health issues. Now that I'm actively looking for work, no one will hire me due to age. And, I can't leave my locale, due to another relative with dementia issues. We have to face the facts – women are often the ones who have to step up to the plate, no matter what, for children, elderly family members, ill family members – whatever the care need is. We are looked to as 'the problem solvers.' And I suspect that was just as true in the past, as it is now.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maimonida

      Jean you acted not foolishly but very noble way. Taking care of your parents is a proud task. I know how difficult it is but I am sure if you look hard it will work one day.
      I wish the best for you

      August 22, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • eddantes

      Hi Jean,

      Women are not always the one stepping up to the plate and taking care of their elderly parents. I for one took care of my father who had dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s until he passed away a month ago. I have no family of my own, I'm single by choice. I do have a sister but she's married and has 3 kids so the task of taking care of our parents is mine alone. It was very hard work since I do have a full time job; I cannot begin to tell you of how many sleepless nights I had to endure because of my father's illness; I did it while I was still employed. The last 6 months of my life were hell on earth but I survived the storm, life is not easy but we have to do what we have to do, good luck Jean.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Cheryllyne

      Jean, you are a wonderful daughter and caregiver. I'm sure your family is very proud of you. You definitely didn't do anything foolish.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • azule

      Thankyou for being one of societies unsung heros Sending you good thoughts and prayers that your job search is soon successful

      August 22, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
  10. scott

    Naomi, good for you for standing up for yourself. As a 40 year old man, I sit and watch the sad state of affairs in our country. Every kid is ADD or ADHD and on drugs. Because, well....putting them on drugs is simpler than the two parents figuring out how to teach them to live. And....when they both work, well there "isn't time for that". This is just ONE example of exactly what Naomi is saying. The only people who "suffer" are the kids. As for "having" to work to keep a house and clothes. The reality is, you can CHOOSE to change your lifestyle to fit whatever level of income you have.....and the kids don't need or want THINGS.....they want parents attention (plain and simple...mentally health kids get parental attention).....it unfortunately is the parents that want THINGS which causes the problem.

    August 22, 2011 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • d

      ohhh scott if it were only that easy.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • girlene

      Um, if by "things" you mean a house and food, then I am guilty as charged for being so darn greedy. I live in CA and it is impossible to live on one income here. You have a very limited world view. And by the way, my kids are straight A students involved in lots of community activities AND SHOCKER: they don't have ADHD, but are pretty happy kids.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • Noelle

      I think Scott is very out of touch with reality. I work because I have to (and want to) and I spend lots of time (all day besides my eight hours at work and my commuting time) with my son. He is fun, charming, and has no medical issues. He goes to school/camps in summer and has fun with other kids his age during the day. I don't see what the issue is with women working.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
    • Noelle

      Also forgot to add- do you actually have any children Scott? I'm guessing not.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • marie

      A few thoughts for Scott....
      1. I assume you have a medical degree of some sort if you are judging the entire ADD/ADHD population to be a problem of poor parenting? Wow...
      2. If you are so adamant that society's problems can be solved by more parental attention, then, by all means, why don't YOU go ahead and quit your job?
      3. I have two beautiful school age daughters. I work full-time. But I bust my butt to show up for EVERYTHING – even at the expense of my job/career. I am the room-mom when it's my turn. I drive for field trips. I bring them to swimming practice. I do their math homework with them. Plus, we eat dinner together every night. My husband does the same. Please explain to me how having two devoted parents is a detriment to my children? Besides, if I didn't work, I wouldn't be spending anymore time with them. They are at school all day.
      4. The stay at home moms I know are amazing women. Some truly do spend more time interacting with their children through out the day (if they are home). But most of them do what I would do...they are busy running errands, cleaning the house, volunteering at school, etc etc etc. Like me, they are present in their kids' lives, but also contributing to the rest of the world (because we need them to!).

      Every single FAMILY (not just the women) needs to find an appropriate balance for them. Some people truly NEED the extra income for food/shelter. Others, like me, don't need the income but feel like God has called them to serve Him at home and outside the home.

      Such a silly argument.... Instead of trying to judge an entire gender by their paycheck or lack there of, let's talk about real problems. Poverty. Hunger. Unemployment (men or women!). Education. Break down of the family (which cannot be blamed solely on women). Access to health care. Etc.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse |

      As parents what do we want for our children? Safe and healthy environment to grow up in and good schools. Both of these things are expensive to come by.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • dbcooper17

      Nice one, Scott. As soon as you start questioning women's priorities, they all want to give you their Mommy resumes. It's funny and it solidifies the idea that you're onto something.

      August 23, 2011 at 06:35 | Report abuse |
  11. suzanne

    Not everybody can afford to stay home. I have been a working mom for years and believe me I am not proud of it. It was a necessity. I wish I could have stayed home but I could not. So, macho man we are not in the 50's anymore. Life has changed and you should change your mentality. Go and get a life that what's you are missing.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      Why are you not proud of it? You're showing your kids how to be adults, by being self-sufficient and not having to rely on anyone else for your survival. That's what being an adult IS. You're setting the best example possible.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  12. Kristen

    I agree to a point with Naomi. I think the state of this country does have a lot to do with both parents working. Growing up I always had my mom at home. Today that's not usually the case. Kids these days are out of control. Parents are lazy, they're not around or just plain not doing their job. By women joining the workforce it has influenced a lot of economic factors – the requirement to have 2 incomes to survive being a very big one. So now we unfortunately don't have much of a choice and mothers are needed to supplement the income to survive. I'm forced to work full-time and raise my 4 year old. Thankfully I have a job that allows me to work from home, but I still have deadlines, need to be available for work during the day, etc. and feel the pressure of spending time with her and working on top of that. So yes, women joining the workforce in the beginning has created some consequences that we can't turn back now. We just have to learn to live with them and do our best to raise our kids. I would MUCH rather be a SAHM and focus on the house and my daughter like my mom was able to do. But that's not an option anymore.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob C.

      You don't need two incomes to survive. Many of the "necessities" of today (HDTV, more than one TV, Xbox, cable, cell phone, PCs, more than one car, 2000 sq. ft. house, central A/C) were considered to be luxuries 50 years ago. Cut out all that unnecessary spending and you can easily live on one income.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      The real problem isn't women working - it's the fact that dads haven't stepped up to the plate enough. Mothers STILL spend more hours on housework and childcare duties than men, even when they work the same number of hours at their jobs. If dads did more, moms would be happier, and kids would be better off.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  13. K

    I am a 41 yr old stay at home mom. My husband and I chose together that as long as we could afford to do it this way, we would. I think women in my situation may be more depressed because it is harder for adult women to make friends. In a work environment, there are automatically people to talk to on a daily basis. Women not in the workplace may find it hard to meet others with whom they have things in common other than children.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Naomi

    America, you need Christianity again. Your self-smartness got you nowhere. Weakend men, greedy women, unwise children and great number of confused perverts are the only result. Unlike before, you are leaving only bad legacies lately. Thanks for ruining the world.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Thank you for your reinforcement of why your militant version of Christianity should be resisted at every turn. It's as bad as the worst of Islam, trying to force women to be hidden from the world.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
    • Excuse me ma'am

      I have a question. In the bible it says for women to obey their husbands...so what if your husband obeys you to get a good paying, support-the-family-with-him kind of job?

      😀 A conundrum my wee little female brain cannot possibly handle!

      August 22, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • Excuse me ma'am

      woops! I meant, what if your husband COMMANDS you to get a good paying job. Typo!

      August 22, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • azule

      Niami the new testament is about the golden rule, God's mercy and love, people being ignorant and closed minded about Jesus radical message of God so loving the world they sent him down to tell us of his love and but people were scaed of his good ness and too closed minded to hear his message so they in humanely killed Jesus. Jesus says repeatedly to care for the widow and the orphan and to love one another. The over whelming message I found in the whole book was of Gods love and care for the world. I hear the fear, ager and judgement in your words but cannot hear any message I ever read in the Bible. I hope you are ok, your anger and harshness and your opinions apear so reactionary and extreme God have mercy on us ALL

      August 22, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  15. Maimonida

    For professional woman educated and with good income it is quite possible to do both. And woman of this type might feel neccessary to express herself, her talent and will not be happy without it. I am very happy professionally, love my children and my house, and proud to save money for my kids education. And I can hire people to weed, clean house etc.
    But I realize that many women must work and do every task in the house and raise children. Not because they love their professional life but because 2 salaries is a way for family to survive or husband is unemployed.
    I think that both staying at home and working must be available and respected. What is better for woman character and financial situation of family is the best.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      I appreciate and agree with this post. Both working outside the home AND working inside the home need to be options for women that are equally respected by society. Whatever works and is best for that particular family and that particular mother is the way they should live, and no study or rumor or stereotype or paradigm should make the declaration one way is better than the other.

      August 22, 2011 at 21:25 | Report abuse |
  16. Naomi

    Western women, please keep some womanliness in you. You are too male-like. Why do you think you need to intimidate men? You think you have to either threaten them or lure them by showing your skin. Neither is needed. (Especially if you are overweight, don't show your skin too much. It's bad to beholders' brains.) You need to show some inner grace. If you are sleeping around, I guess it's impossible. Keep your own honor by being modest so that men won't chase after under-age girls. Your manly behavior is directly putting children's lives at risk.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • erin

      Why do you equate equality with intimidation or seduction? I feel sorry for you.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • Tessa

      Intimidating women cause pedophilia? I've heard everything now. The worst part is, given your other posts, I'm afraid you're not a troll and that you may actually believe some of this vile, backwards logic.

      Pedophilia has been around for millennia, with varying degrees of acceptance at given times and in certain cultures. Womanliness or lack thereof has nothing to do with it. I would suggest suggest studying current research as well as cultural histories before you start drawing causal links between unrelated phenomena.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • azule

      ok Naomi I get it now you are acting a part for fun and agitating to get people fired up lol funny No way could you be real ...telling fat people to hide their skin to this audience? ha ha and you are most probably male whoa tying to harsh my mellow you are tooo much

      August 22, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  17. Naomi

    America, dress modestly. Isn't there a scientific study that proves seeing scanty-dressed overweight people is bad to human brain and animal brain? If you are overweight, be thankful that you have reasons to be humble in life. Don't think about your weight and do something, anything, to feed the starving – 1/4 of human population. America became rich to feed the world.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maimonida

      Things that you are saying is very narrowminded. Women that work do not do it to be like men. Many of us do it because we have talent that we want to express.
      Less fortunate of us are doing it to generate income. There are divorced women, widows, women with husbands that cannot generate all income in family.
      We do not want to intimidate men. Men that are smart will not be intimidated by smart women. They will be proud of their wife's successes and be happy to share success with her. Just like devoted and loving wife would not envy her husband.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • Violet

      Gee, I bet you're a ton of fun at parties.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      I would love for you to cite the study you're referencing. I cannot imagine that seeing an overweight person dressed a certain way "hurts" our brains. Please feel free to keep your idiotic and discriminatory assertions to yourself; the rest of us are simply not interested.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Nora Jones

      Women are not TRYING to be equal to me we ARE equal to men. Why do you feel that 50% of the population should be treated as second class citizens? Also, how do you equate conservative dress with being a good woman. I work full time, dress conservatively AND I demand that I be treated as an equal.
      Naomi, you make yourself sound like an idiot.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
    • KateB

      "Naomi" is obviously a Troll...with English being his/her second language...don't bother folks.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  18. erin

    Once we finally end the backwards idea that child care is solely women's work, things will be a lot better for men, women and children in our society.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Louis

      you cannot defy nature.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • erin

      Who are you to declare what "nature" is, Louis? You think that because you're a man you're incapable of caring for your own children? You think because I'm a woman I somehow am magically suited for it? Get out of the stone age, dear; Ike isn't in the white house anymore.

      August 22, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • Mary


      In nature, sea horses carrying the fetus. In nature, the female lion is the hunter, the male lion stays with the cubs. In nature, the male penguin takes turn with the female penguin, to sit and incubate the egg.

      So.... what nature are you talking about? Pregnancy and breastfeeding? Because I'm not speaking for everyone, but considering that children are children for 18 years, pregnancy and breastfeeding are just a blink of the eye in the big picture of child rearing.

      August 22, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
  19. Amanda

    I find some of these posts purpoting the idea that women are selfish for remaining in the workforce after they have children very narrow minded. There is nothing wrong with being a homemaker and I respect women who have chosen to dedicate their lives to their children. However, what fulfills one may not fulfill another and what right do we have to judge? Also, I have completed a Master's degree and plan to continue to work after my husband and I have children; as a result I'll be able to offer my children better opportunities for schooling and enrichment activities through my financial contributions to our household AND be a positive role model for what women can accomplish. How can we look at our daughters and tell them they can do anything they want to do when we ourselves do not believe this to be true? Our children deserve mothers who are happy, healthy, fulfilled and proud of their contributions to their family and society.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maimonida

      I agree with every word of yours.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Louis

      Do you have kids? Then you don't know what you are talking about. Wait until you have them and then tell us how that Master's degree is. You can't get the years back when raising your kids, you can get a job anytime honey.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • EducatedWoman

      Louis – I have a 2 masters degrees and a PhD and 2 kids. She is completely correct. And NO you can't get a job anytime. If took a year or 2 off from my research, I would be behind and have a very difficult time getting a new job.

      August 22, 2011 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  20. Louis

    Who do you people think you are? The Mom Police? Nobody knows what they are talking about. I think it's pretty simple. There are those that can afford to stay home, and there are those that can't. For anyone that's had to pay their own way in life, especially college gets this. Loans, debts are preventing many people from having what generations ago had. An affordable mortgage, food and gas. You people are stupid, honest to god. It's called having choices. I do however agree with some that speak about kids being obnoxious nowadays? and why is that? They aren't taught manners!!! Stop trying to make something complicated that isn't.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • azule

      calling folks stupid is not exactly mannerly sir spread the love

      August 22, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  21. El Kababa

    Who ARE these super-mothers. I don't know any of them. Most of the parents I know are not that involved with their kids and apparently not that interested in them. Most of the employees I know are not that perfectionist either – men or woman. I think this article is a myth. Or if there are perfectionist super-parent-super-employee out there, they hide themselves pretty well.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Louis

      You can always tell when someone doesn't have kids. Here I'll try to help you out. I worked with kids and stay at home now. What I picked up on is this, the amount of time that it takes to get ready, drive to work and actually "be" at work is WAY more than the 40 hour week. You need to take into account every aspect of work related activity. It's a LONGG day. I want every woman out there to have the "choice" to have shorter hours and more flexibility in the workloads, or life will not get any better.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • bigrick

      my ex is a self-described super mom. It's like a badge of honor to her....primary parent with long hours at work with a high salary to match. As if this isn't enough....she flips houses on the side. The kids don't get enough attention, but this she would never admit to this....it would hurt the super-mom image she has of herself.

      August 22, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • BIHT

      As a mother who used to work full time and now stays at home with my three kids, I understand this supermom myth. There's a lot of pressure to be the perfect mother who never gets angry with her children, cooks every meal from scratch where anything less than organic is a sin, serve nothing that contacts BPA, exercise 3hrs a week, help with homework, keep the house clean, do all the laundry, do all the doctors appointments and be the loving wife... The list could go on. Some don't have a choice, some do either way its a tough job. Ultimately what it comes down to is truly loving your children, your partner and doing your best. Even if that means you work, have a messy home and are far from perfect. Parenting is hard if you take time to care and sometimes its hard to take the time.

      August 22, 2011 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
  22. Katie

    I hope SAHMs out there aren't teaching their daughters to be SAHMs. That would be really sad and backwards.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. MsLady

    "SuperMom" The woman that can do it all whether she works outside the home or not. I as a single divorced mom of one, work, raise my child, got to sports practice, go to school events, work on my degree, do doctor appts, etc; everything that a loving caring mom would do. My child loves going to have playmates during the day but knows that if I am really needed b/c he doesn't feel good then yes work come second...all in all my child comes first. My child is my priority number one on top of the list...period.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Artfullee

    I've worked part time and full time as a mon and can tell from experience that trying to be supermom is relentless and exhausting. I think the only people who enjoy it are people who love routine (every day scheduled to the minute) and dont' have many outside interests - work scratches an itch for them that it doesn't for me.. I also think those who like it usually have someone who helps them (grandparent, nanny, housekeeper, etc.) and they seldom acknowledge the help. I worked part time until my youngest was in first grade and have worked full time for the past eight years. It has taken a toll on my health and I know I"m not as available to my kids as I was when I worked part time. We have also pretty much given up on having a social life, hobbies and weekend trips - I just can't take that much time from cooking, shopping, cleaning and doing laundry on the weekend. I don't expect perfection and have just accepted that many parts of my life have to take a back seat until the kids are out of high school.

    That said, few jobs will support a family and women put themselves at risk financially if they don't work. I've told my children that I think the next generation will need to strongly consider one child families. If I only had one to drive everywhere, do homework with and only had half the expenses (not to mention only one college tuition a few years from now), it would be much, much more doable.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. susan

    I 'd rather have less "stuff" and more time with my kids. You CAN have it all,,,,,,just not at the same time. If women try to be a good worker, a good partner, a good mother and good to herself all at the same time they usually do all not very well. All your children want is you and your time.

    August 22, 2011 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Kira Wylok

    After reading these comments I feel a lot of people are back in the 1950's. From statements like women "Having to work, having a job to bring in supplemental income, raising spoiled outrageous kids" ..... I work because I WANT to work, I make "a man's salary in a man's career" I am an engineer and I do have some travel to do for my job, I have 4 daughters, I have coached soccer for 10yrs, my girls are all respectful..It doesn't take a SAHM to raise respectful, thoughtful children. Take the time when you are with them to teach them right from wrong. 3 of my 4 are grown and off to college now and they would not have wanted me to not have my own career and ambition because they now have the ability to be independant women and stand on their own two feet.I always tell my girls-In a relationship, you should "want" to be with someone, not "need" to be with them for financial support. That way the burden of bills is not on one person.

    August 22, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      I applaud you! All to often people try to pass the mother's job off as "Oh, she HAS to work because these days life is so expensive that families HAVE to have two incomes to survive." It's bull. First of all, women are earning more college degrees... what's the point of going to college if you're not going to use it over the next 20 years because you stayed home to raise kids, and then no one will hire you at age 45 because of ageism and lack of work experience?

      Furthermore, what if your husband gets laid off? Or leaves you? Or DIES? THEN how will you provide for your children. Working and being self-sufficient is part of being an adult, and while mothers may feel more comfortable staying home when their kids are very young and need a great deal of attention, the hiatus for earning an income shouldn't be too long. Even if the family doesn't "need" the income, and even if daycare and taxes eat up the second salary, continuing your career is an investment in your future. Chances are VERY good that a woman will wind up either divorced or a widow... where will they be without a man to live off of then?

      August 22, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  27. Linda

    As for becoming depressed working in or out of the home ... our life and career satisfaction, personal and societal expectations, and the choices available to us are all important factors regarding mood. What are we telling ourselves? "I'm succeeding" or "I'm failing." And what or who's standardards are we judging ourselves by? I hope for peace and calm for anyone suffering from despair.

    August 22, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Rita

    Please stop wasting time responding to these posts by this "Naomi". "Naomi" is neither a woman or even a so called militant christian. "Naomi" is posting nearly word for word the same comments made everyday by muslim men on articles relating to women being anything other than fully covered slaves. Look at the posts by "Naomi" - referring to the way American women dress, referring to American culture of greed, referring to how American women should learn to dress modestly, insinuating that western women are not feminine and then saying that a working woman is to blame if a husband goes after a younger woman. It is one of the new ways to get western commenters to take their backwards posts seriously - pretend to be a western person, a western woman on articles about clothing, women working, forced hijab, etc. Seriously, don't waste any more of your time on "Naomi".

    August 22, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sonas76

      I totally agree that Naomi is a dude.

      August 22, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Maybe Naomi is a pimp?

      August 22, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Naomi

      I'm an Asian woman living in outside of USA. Sorry I grieved you by being too honest. Seriously, you Western ladies need to be more feminine and modest. You'll look much more beautiful and graceful and the society will be safer. Don't let white men run after Asian women either by turning them off by your manliness because the female population is in shortage in Asia. We don't want stupid wars over brides.

      August 23, 2011 at 01:48 | Report abuse |
  29. UKSci

    As someone pointed out earlier, it should be every woman's decision to work or not to work, depending on her family and life situation. I will not even deign to reply directly to this "Naomi" person, who obviously is so out of touch with reality that she does not even deserve our attention. How close minded and idiotic people can be sometimes. I feel sorry for "her". Her extremist and one-sided views are disgusting and you can easily see how this thinking can lead to bigger problems. To all the mothers out there – as long as you give your children your love and support, it does not matter if you are a stay at home mother or if you choose to work. NO ONE should judge you on that decision.

    August 22, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. jps

    Many women have no decision to make. Work or suck off the system is sometimes the only choice. I have a husband but know better than to assume he will be there for me and our famlly forever. My kid knows I'm working for her. She gets more atttention than plenty of kids with stay-at-home moms. Most moms nowadays are working full-time AND raising our children. Unless you are home-schooling, if your kid is older than 5, you should have plenty of time to work at a job IF you want to or need to. I always advice moms and dads to try to keep their kid out of commercial day care for the first few months because of the germs/illness. Beyond that, my only advice is to love your kid - kill or die for your kid - live for your kid. But have a life of your own as well. Interesting, most moms are working nowadays, but it seems the women we hear from in the media nowadays are the SAH moms. I guess some of them have more time on their hands than I do. I don't judge them so they shouldn't judge me. But if they do - who cares. I've got better things to do than worry about it.

    August 22, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rh

      Exactly. Some women shouldn't work, and some men shouldn't work. Some would rather do something completely different.

      The worst situation is when you HAVE to work doing something you hate. That is true about men and women. My three brothers all said "MY wife isn't going to work" and each wife eventually went to work. Now they brag about how much their wife makes. No difference to the husband if the wife works, unless he believes that 100% of the housework is the women's responsibility regardless of work.

      August 22, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
  31. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

    Am I the only one who doesn't believe anything once a poster starts bragging about their accomplishments, whether it be as a mom, employee, or both? Call me a cynic, I suppose.

    August 22, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Paul

    Stay at home moms are the most boring type of people there is. Can't blame them. All they see are diapers, food and homework. When kids grow up they have nothing to talk about with their moms because they do not care that much about diapers and food.

    August 22, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. ProudDaughterAndMomToBe

    Women at an economic disadvantage have always had to work. When my stay at home mom was made a widow, she was left with a mortgage, two small children and part of a BA. By careful, careful money management and sheer grit she finished her degree, became a teacher, kept our house, and performed many other miracles on pretty much a daily basis. My brother and I did chores around the house, and with a big kitchen garden and several pets we had plenty to do. We were raised to be part of a team and this taught us responsibility, helped to develop a work ethic and gave us an deep sense of pride. At times my mom was stretched thin, but even as a kid I was proud of her and grateful for the home she provided us. She did her best by us and it was absolutely amazing. This strength was passed down directly from my great-grandmother, who was widowed very young, worked in laundries and sewing garments and who managed to send my grandmother to college. Sometimes you have no choice but to get up, work hard and provide for your family. I honestly can't think of anything more maternal than that. I am carrying my first and I will be lucky enough to stay home. I am also a military spouse and I start online college classes in the fall so that when my husband leaves the service I can get a decent paying part time job to help make up for losing our benefits. I was damn lucky indeed to be raised by my mother- she taught me how to love your family, run a house, be an outstanding human being, grow food, have a good time, and if need be, do all this while having a professional career.

    August 22, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. dan

    Our society would be much better off if we all went to single provider households. I'm not saying that women should stay home, or that men should stay home, just one of the two. The simple fact is before dual income homes were the norm a family could survive very happily on a single income. Now two incomes are the norm, and guess what because there are twice as many workers on the market people are payed half as much and it now requires two incomes. This has been catastrophic for single parent families in today's society.

    August 22, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Erin

    I'm 35. My grandmother had a masters, my mom has a masters and I'm working on my masters. All three of us stayed home for the first few years of our kids lives. I was taught that woman can do ANYTHING they work hard for. But I was also taught that family is first, always. The myth that you can't leave and reenter the work place is a myth. My grandmother did it, my mom did it and I have been back to work for a year. Keep it simple, value family and live. Life is too short to get caught up in all the "super mom " babble.

    August 22, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Bilszbub

    Women, give up on your kids, husband, and family and devote your time to making money working for a corporation who is destroying the environment, weakening society, and suppressing the middle class into extinction. Look at it this way, you're beating most of the men out there (upper 1% aside) and you can always blame your problems on the men (upper 1% aside – don't ask me why – maybe its easier than thinking). Remember, all men are your enemies – except the upper 1%. Warren Buffet is a dream boat!

    Of course this idea hasn't been sold to you based on the upper 1% deciding that you having kids is a problem for them. No, its not like they want a smaller, dumber population so they can own everything and thus have power over everything in the world. No, that would be nuts. Ignore the fact they own 70% of the wealth (and are setting their sights on the remaining 30%). Obviously its all the guys pulling minimum wage at Wall Mart who are holding you down.

    You can have it all! And were telling you that with full knowledge that you'll never achieve it. In fact we know your attempts to achieve it will backfire and you'll end up with nothing. Aren't we clever?

    This message brought to you by the Bilderberg Group and the letter 2. Yes, 2 is a letter. And we are not robbing you blind.

    August 22, 2011 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. pdrapala

    I did it all in the 1980's; having children, being married, having a great career, traveling, owning a home, cooking meals, taking classes at the local college/university, attending church, etc. And after 32 years, I finally retired in 2009. I never thought myself as being a Supermom. I just thought it was a normal life because my mother did the same in the 1960's. My dear husband has always supported me in everything that I needed. In 2010, I finally graduated from the university just like my daughters and husband did. I do remember doing a lot of praying and ensured that we all ate healthy and exercised. Time passes by quickly, and before you know it, that sweet little baby sleeping in her crib is all grown up have a baby of her own.

    August 22, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • melissa

      this is the first post i've read yet that made me smile 🙂

      August 22, 2011 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
  38. hah

    women dependent on men, staying at home raising kids, just means that men feel more powerful to do what they want with their women, including run around on them.... before feminism women were very discriminated against, you couldn't even get a credit card in your own name... ask some of your oldest female relatives, they will tell you....

    August 22, 2011 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. azule

    wheres naomi ? I am a stay at home mom and need some more sparing seeing I am boring dependant stupid underemployed,unchristian about to be abandoned poor rich intimidating woman showing too much skin and hurting people's brains and not making my kids a priority ..... I am also super mom , able to balance my great sucessful job and family, miserable and forced to work by this bad economy and society , married to someone at walmart , materialistic unmoral and you know all this from a few lines I wrote here I need a few more laughs .........SIR NAOMI lol

    August 22, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. nanobelle

    Women have brains as well as bodies and how we choose to use them is our right. Having a man, a job or children shouldn't define us as fulfilling our function. We are human beings first, capable and intelligent. It's the pressure to be everything to everyone that overwhelms us. It is not unnatural to question or regret our choices but to assume that they are wrong because they do not follow tradition or expectations is to discredit our ability to reason.
    It's time to stop thinking of ourselves as second class citizens who have to apologize for our choices, martyring ourselves so we can feel less guilty for getting what we need. No man is ever expected to apologize for wanting a job and a family so why should we? So what if we make mistakes and things aren't perfect. Perfection is an unrealistic goal that narrows our horizons and limits our growth. Be who you came here to be.

    August 22, 2011 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. melissa

    a few points:

    1. i'm in my mid-30s, and for a few reasons (economic, romantic, etc.) have not yet had children, though i plan to. i'm lucky enough to have been raised in a middle-class family, have gotten an education, and be in a position where i can direct my career in such a way that i might some day have control over my working hours, and be able to work around my future childrens' schedules if i must. i'd like to retain a middle-class lifestyle and provide the same opportunities for my children, and i don't fool myself that a one-income household in this economic climate will be able to accomplish that with any certainty.

    2. my mother was a stay-at-home mom. for various reasons, she and my father divorced after 20 years of marriage during which she tended the household and raised the children. my father worked three jobs all his life to provide us with the middle-class lifestyle we enjoyed, and today looks forward to a pension, a healthy social security benefit, and a wealth of skills he can still draw upon to continue producing income. my mother, on the other hand, lives off of a small alimony and works in a gruelling factory job, which provides no health insurance, at age 60 in a desperate attempt to build enough social security to live off of when she's too old to work any longer. she considers herself one of the lucky ones.

    3. naomi, you sound like an idiot.

    August 22, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Ellen

    I am not a "homemaker" but rather a full-time mother. As in, when I worked for money (with my Master's degree), I worked 10-12 hour days. When I had a child, I wanted to raise him, not hire a nanny and have our dueling careers and travel obligations for work keep us from having a parent with our child, 24/7. My husband loves our now-teen very much, but he does not have the knowledge of his life that I do, and although we freely share the information about our kid, there are just flat out things that he has missed along the way. Our mothers both raised us, and we are returning the favor to the next generation. For over-educated professionals such as ourselves, it is simply not true that we needed our two incomes in order to survive. We live small, our house is nothing special, but we have raised a great kid and not missed out on his life. You can imagine that you haven't missed anything in the 10 hours you have been gone every day, but it's not true. For those homes where both parents have to work in order to provide simple shelter/food/clothing for their kids – I am not talking to you. But if you chose a big house, fancy cars and vacations, and have missed a lot of games and conversations with your kids – come on, do you think it was worth it? It is easier to go to work than to raise kids, I remember how much easier it was to have people do what I told them to, and get a big pile of money at the same time. The hours of a full-time parent are the worst ever, and it takes all your brainpower to develop a child. It has rewards that are beyond explanation, and for everyone who set it aside in order to have more things – you don't know what you missed. I had things before, I will have them again later, but the laughter and heart and heartbreaks of being the mother of this child – all the hours have been worth it, even on the hard days. It is NOT the same to see the kids for a couple of hours a day, no matter how much we all pretend that it's fine and they don't need us, their parents, as their guide. Any kid would rather have had their parents around than lived in a big house, I call some of the kids around here the "wealthy homeless" because their parents travel on business for weeks at a time, and the kids come home to empty, huge houses, where the housecleaning service has come through, but there's no one to talk to.

    August 22, 2011 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Slp

      Judge much?

      August 23, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Way to waste your education.

      August 23, 2011 at 07:08 | Report abuse |
  43. Amanda L

    Wow, I would love to stay home with my children and live such a wonderful fairy tale life right now, but unfortunately I am the one stuck working 60 hours a week to support a family of five. We are barely making it and my husband has been searching for a job for 2 years. Face it, our economy sucks and this fairy tale lifestyle is only one that some people can dream of. People live the way the live not always by choice, but its a way to survive. I barely get to spend any time with my family, because I have to work all the time so we are not homeless. Some of you people have no idea how hard it is to just survive. I am so happy that you are blessed the way you are, but many of us do not have the luxury of this decision. I do the best that I can do and my family is just fine.

    August 23, 2011 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Slp

    Ladies and Gentlemen – DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.

    August 23, 2011 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Naomi

    For those who wondered: I'm an Asian woman living in outside of USA. Sorry I grieved you by being too honest. Seriously, you Western ladies need to be more feminine and modest. You'll look much more beautiful and graceful and the society will be safer if you women behave better. Why do you behave like a fighter jet pilot when you can't operate any aircraft? Don't let white men run after Asian women either by turning them off by your manliness because the female population is in shortage in Asia. We don't want stupid wars over brides.

    August 23, 2011 at 01:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Boka

    I think women should stay at home and raise the kids and keep the house in order for a man. It's not that I don't think women can't do the well in the workforce but I think it's better for kids to be raised properly.

    August 23, 2011 at 02:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. AGuest9

    I keep wondering after my ex-wife left me laying in a hospital 700 miles away, and I divorced her if she's happier now raising the kids by herself a third of a country away. She destroyed the home we had and forced it into foreclosure, and I feel so bad for my children. They are now raised by their godparents because my ex apparently thought that the 13 hour days I put in were for fun, or something. She rarely cleaned, cooked or washed their clothes when she WAS home all day, laying on the couch or out for social lunches with friends, or on shopping sprees to buy the latest scrapbooking gadget, or shoes or Vera Bradley handbag. I heard how great it would be when she quit her job. She would take the kids to the zoo and to the library and on field trips. So much for that pack of lies. I just keep remembering her screaming at me at football games that I would show up late for due to traffic on my 40-mile commute, or a last-minute problem on a system. Now she sees how it feels to work until 8 PM. Hope her health holds up, because mine didn't.

    August 23, 2011 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. NBE

    The whole idea of "super" anything is ridiculous-except in cartoons and comic books. We say someone's a super cook or a super guy or a super boss . . . and it's a compliment in a form of casual speech. But if you take such language seriously, and aspire to be a "super" something, or measure other people against a standard of perfection in all things-then it is ridiculous. Let's tone the language down-and how about if the press helps?-and talk about good parents or even great ones, or terrifically capable people, or people with great skill in balancing or, as school-teachers used to say ages ago, "using their time well." Wouldn't this be a better way to talk, write, and have a discussion that is interesting without name-calling and and counter-name-calling and counter-name-calling? The whole "super" language business is inflammatory, and I daresay intentionally. Likewise "having it all." Meaningless stirring up of tempers already a bit frayed by the vicissitudes of modern life!

    August 23, 2011 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. dragonwife

    I don't think too many people disagree that it's better for children if at least one parent is home with them while they're growing up. However, with the economy the way it is, for the large majority of families it's not practical. My parents were able to afford a nice house, two cars, and so on with my mother staying home. But now, with an average 1200-square-foot "starter home" in my area costing around $150,000 (and I know we're by no means the most expensive place to live), and groceries, gasoline and utilities becoming more costly every day, for many families it's just not possible to afford to live comfortably without both parents working. I'm not talking McMansions, luxury cars, and so on – I'm saying a modest house, decent, reliable car(s), enough food, and so on. My older son is a firefighter/paramedic, has three children, lives in a small 3-bedroom house, and drives an older van. My daughter-in-law managed to stay home for the first couple of years for each child, but it was extremely difficult for them financially. It's easy for some people to judge and say that those who have two-income families are greedy, doing it only for "things" and not caring about the children, and that every family can manage on one income by "making sacrifices". But the truth is that it's no longer our parents' economy, and soaring prices for everything means that a much larger PERCENTAGE of our income is being used to simply provide the necessities, let alone any kind of extras or emergencies that come up. With many people losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts in order to keep their jobs, the basics take a much bigger bite of take-home pay than they used to and leave a lot less behind for anything else. All three of my grown children are working two jobs simply to afford to have a place to live, a vehicle, and food, and to try to pay off unexpected bills (one had major medical expenses, for example). So if someone can afford to have a parent stay home (mother or father) that's great. But don't assume that all two-income families are doing it just for material things; they may be doing it for survival.

    August 23, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. E

    So, does this study suggest that the daycare workers or housekeepers who do the jobs that are designed for parents to do are less likely to be depressed? It seems very circular to me. Anyway, I thought depression was a chemical imbalance, not a choice.

    August 23, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
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