Fashion, beauty, and home online magazine Redbookmag.com published a survey, which found that stay-at-home moms with four or more kids are “very” or “extremely” happy.
For the first-of-its-kind survey, entitled, The Gig, the magazine asked 558 women who self-identify as stay-at-home moms various questions about their everyday lives and maternal responsibilities. The respondents were asked to record their activities, hour by hour, to ensure the most accurate answers.
“While it may feel like you spent 14 hours doing laundry, you probably didn’t,” wrote author Laura Vanderkam. “This approach is similar to the research I did for my 2015 book, I Know How She Does It (Portfolio/Penguin), about how working moms balance career and home lives.”
The research found that 10 percent of moms are “extremely happy,” 46 percent are “very happy,” while 34 percent are “somewhat happy,” making it the most satisfying profession of any kind. Just 8 percent of the moms surveyed said they were “slightly happy,” while just 2 percent said they were “not happy at all.”
“Our respondents’ lives were incredibly diverse,” Vanderkam wrote. “One mom spent the day substitute teaching. Another milked goats and spent five hours building a tool shed. A third played tennis for three hours.”
As of 2012, there were 10.4 million “traditional” stay-at-home moms with working husbands in the U.S., according to Pew data. Pew has previously found that 6 percent of fathers who are married or living with a partner do not work outside the home.
Redbook’s survey also concluded that “almost two-thirds of stay-at-home moms (62 percent) contribute to their household income, and 25 percent said they ran a business from home.”
Vanderkam further noted:
As I reviewed these time logs, I realized just how much untapped capacity is out there. Economists have talked a lot recently about the declining labor force participation rate; from these time logs, I know exactly where a portion of that labor force is: They are sitting in their living rooms researching how to buy and sell stuff off Craigslist. If more businesses could accommodate their time—say, by creating jobs that allow working 15 to 20 hours a week from home—they could capitalize on this workforce.
Some of the mothers also said their work deserves a $50,000 salary.
The survey also asked the women what their children think their mom’s job is. It covered the four different types of stay-at-home-moms, featured stories about stay-at-home moms with special needs children, offered tips on how to make $2 million from a “side hustle,” and reported on what they call “the newest stay-at-home moms—dads.”