Let's take a break from debating Ann Romney's controversial parenting quote of the week and consider these sad statistics: stay-at-home moms — which, in this case, mean non-employed women with children under 18 — are more likely to spend time feeling sad, angry, and depressed than employed moms, who are about as emotionally content as working women who don't have children.
All stay-at-home mothers, regardless of socioeconomic status, are sadder, angrier, and more depressed than employed moms, but at least middle- and high-income stay-at-home mothers reported experiencing laughter, enjoyment, happiness, worry, stress, "learning something interesting," and "having a high life evaluation" at the same rates as employed moms.
It's the women with annual household incomes of less than $36,000 that are so much less likely to say they "experienced happiness," learned something interesting, laughed, or even smiled "yesterday" — likely because they're staying home because they have to stay home due to financial pressure (childcare is expensive, finding a job is difficult, etc), not because they can afford it.
"While many mothers are rightfully dedicated to parenting as an important and fulfilling vocation, those who desire to work should feel encouraged by these data to pursue it," Gallup reports. "And for those who choose to stay home, more societal recognition of the difficult job stay-at-home mothers have raising children would perhaps help support them emotionally."
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