After years of decline, a new look at government data shows that the number of stay-at-home moms is finally on the rise. This news comes courtesy of Pew Research Center analysis from 2014. According to the research, the percentage of mothers who don’t work outside the home surged to 29% in 2012, up from only 23% in 1999.
It appears a convergence of factors has contributed to this trend. As Pew reveals, the ups and downs of the economy have surely played a role, as have issues surrounding poverty, immigration, and even affluence.
But there is one scenario that these numbers cannot possibly reflect — the number of moms who have successfully launched part-time businesses or side hustles out of their homes. Although there is no hard data on those numbers, more than 8.6 million U.S. businesses are owned by women. Undoubtedly, many of those businesses are run by mothers who manage their businesses’ affairs while also keeping an eye on the kids.
But what are they doing?
According to “The Work-at-Home Woman,” mothers who work at home are doing a multitude of jobs, everything from career coaching to blogging to birthday-party planning. And the gravitation toward working at home makes perfect sense. After all, the Internet has paved the way for careers and side hustles that no one thought possible just a decade ago.
Why the Idea Is Looking Better
Many women have taken notice of the new opportunities available and chosen to take on a work-at-home job — or simply create their own. But why? Here are five reasons the idea of being a work-at-home mom is now more than attractive than ever:
It’s the Best of Both Worlds
When you’re a mom, sometimes it feels like the grass is always greener somewhere else. If you work, you wish you were home with the kids; but when you’re home 24/7, it can feel like a big mistake. Working at home with the kids gives you a balance of both worlds — you can feel productive and earn some cash without stepping away from your parental role during the workweek.
You Won’t Miss All the Milestones
Working outside the home has its perks, but it also means missing out on some of the biggest moments in your child’s life. Your baby’s first steps, her first “oooohhh” or “ahhhhhh,” and her first giggle are priceless milestones you are likely to miss. When you’re a work-at-home mom, you have a much better chance of being there for all of the moments that matter.
A More Flexible Schedule
The messy logistics of having two working parents is one of the biggest reasons many women choose to stay at home in the first place. After all, juggling multiple kids and their schedules can be a job in itself, and that’s especially true when you have more than one or two kids. Having one parent at home means having more flexibility to get the kids to soccer practice or band camp before dinner, all without consuming valuable PTO or making your boss angry.
You’ll Have More Time
Get out a pen and paper and add these numbers up – the amount of time you spend getting primped for work each day plus the number of minutes — or, in some places, hours — you spend on your daily round-trip commute. Now multiply that number by five and you’ll see just how many hours you’ll gain if you can manage a side hustle that you can do in your pajamas. Over the weeks, months, and years, it could add up to thousands of hours!
Gain Career Momentum While the Kids Are Still Young
According to some of the most recent data available, the average woman who works full time earns only 78% of what men earn. Although there are many ways to frame this issue, many experts argue that women’s earnings remain suppressed due to the time they spend outside of the workforce caring for young children.
While working at home may not allow you to stay in your prior profession, it can allow you to keep your business skills fresh while you take a break from your regular job. The skills you learn while working at home, coupled with the years of experience, could be seen as justification for higher pay if you choose to return to your previous career down the road.
Working moms vs. stay-at-home moms is a battle that has been waged for decades, so why not try to do both? Thanks to modern technology and the innovation of individuals and businesses around the globe, there are more ways to compromise on the issue than ever. If you want to explore your options, check out these 10 work-at-home jobs for 2015.