Gallup: Stay-at-home moms report more anger, sadness, depression than women who work

posted at 7:12 pm on May 18, 2012 by Allahpundit

Good thing “Julia” was a working mom or else we’d probably have to pay for her antidepressants too.

Second look at the blue social model?

My gut reaction: Of course stay-at-home moms are stressed, they live in poorer households than women who work do. This result is simply an artifact of worrying about money, not having to take care of kids. Right? Actually … no. Says Gallup:

Stay-at-home moms fare worse than employed moms at every income level in terms of sadness, anger, and depression. On the other items Gallup measures — laughter, enjoyment, happiness, worry, stress, learning something interesting, and having a high life evaluation rating — middle- and high-income stay-at-home moms for the most part do as well as employed moms.

However, low-income stay-at-home moms do worse on all of these items than their employed counterparts.

In other words, yes, of course being poor is adding stress to the load for lower-income stay-at-home moms, but that doesn’t explain why equally poor working moms are a bit happier on balance. The numbers for families earning less than $36,000:

You would think that having to worry about kids and work would mean more worry and stress for lower-income working moms, but there you go. My hunch here is that many/most working moms who live in households that earn this little are probably single mothers and therefore the sole breadwinners for their families, and paradoxically that responsibility may add up to less stress. When you’re this close to dire poverty and homelessness, knowing that you have it in your power to put food on the table for your kids may be something of a psychological relief; if you show up every day and do your job well, you stand a fair chance of holding down a steady paycheck. If, on the other hand, you’re a SAHM married to a man who’s earning less than $36,000 a year, the only thing standing between you and dire poverty or homelessness is his ability to show up every day and do his job well. And the painful truth is that not every husband is going to do that. Simply put, financial independence may mean less worry in the aggregate even if it means more responsibilities.

The other wrinkle here is that lower-income moms who stay home probably are being forced by circumstances to do so, which is bound to add some frustration no matter how much they enjoy spending time with their kids. Poor families need as much money as they can muster so if mom’s passing on the chance to earn a second income, it’s likely because (a) she simply can’t find work, or at least work that pays well enough to justify giving up some of her household responsibilities, or (b) there are enough little ones at home that they require all-day attention. Either way, she’s compelled to forego an income stream that the family could really use, which means their financial situation is more precarious. Result: Worry and stress.

That explains the problem for lower-income SAHMs but, as noted up top, it doesn’t explain why anger, sadness, and depression are higher for stay-at-home moms than for working moms across all income levels. Here’s where you come in, HA commenters: Why is that? Any theories? Could be that modern expectations that an educated woman should have both a career and a family are weighing on even rich SAHMs and making them question their choices, but beyond that I’ve got nothing. How about it, ladies?


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Comment pages: 1 2

Socialcons to explode in 3…2…

Pablo Honey on May 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I have/had a jolly stay at home mom.

ninjapirate on May 18, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Gallup: Stay-at-home moms report more anger, sadness, depression than women who work

And they vote too.

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Well being unappreciated and mocked by the popular culture surely doesn’t help your self-esteem.

Which is why they do it. God forbid anyone being content with being a mother. They can’t have that.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Time for June Cleaver to kick some a$$.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on May 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

I live out in the country and most of my friends had stay-at-home moms.

I noticed that the town moms tended to outsource their cleaning to “cleaning ladies”.

ninjapirate on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Heck if I know. Staying home rocks. So much better than underwriting loans, as I used to do.

greyseal on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

“Why is that? Any theories?”

…Watching “The View”?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Well being unappreciated and mocked by the popular culture surely doesn’t help your self-esteem.

Which is why they do it. God forbid anyone being content with being a mother. They can’t have that.

Nessuno on May 18, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Exactly.

surrounded on May 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM

…Julia?

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM

“Why is that? Any theories?”

…Watching “The View”?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I was going to say…the pool boy is gay…

But I will refrain…

Electrongod on May 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Because small children in large doses are even more annoying and less interesting than co-workers?

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

it doesn’t explain why anger, sadness, and depression are higher for stay-at-home moms than for working moms across all income levels.

My theory, SAHM have to worry about their husbands/boyfriends/partners having affairs at their place of work ….in addition to other worries they have about their kids and financials .

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Daytime television…. it’s dire and depressing.

lexhamfox on May 18, 2012 at 7:22 PM

…Watching “The View”?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

…if they watch TV all day…look what’s on!
…I’d be sad, angry and depressed too!

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 7:22 PM

…Watching “The View”?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

or watching ” Maury ” or Jerry Springer and praying that their husband doesn’t show up on those shows !!

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Right now, in the middle of these economic hard times, you may find the ranks of SAHMs temporarily boosted by a number of moms who can’t find work right now. Are they home voluntarily, or are some stressful circumstances causing them to stay home for now?

Sekhmet on May 18, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Now Gallup is having a war at stay at home moms? This is crap..my mom was a stay at home mom, she wasn’t depressed,stressed, etc etc…having the advantage of staying at home and watching your kids grow is a good thing and nothing can convince me otherwise of that..including some insignificant poll done by a Gallup

sadsushi on May 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Because small children in large doses are even more annoying and less interesting than co-workers?

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

…your co-workers just never liked you!
…that’s why you are home collecting your check.

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 7:25 PM

That’s because raising kids as a stay at home mom is the hardest job to do well.

FireBlogger on May 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Oh, they’ve never worked a day in their lives. Why so glum? Snort.

Philly on May 18, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Was RFK jr’s wife a stay at home mom?

portlandon on May 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM

bunch a boys talking about what you know nothing of…
it’s easy it’s called isolation.

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

“… it doesn’t explain why anger, sadness, and depression are higher for stay-at-home moms than for working moms across all income levels.”

Since they lost their jobs…

… they have had the time to find out why, and what Obowma is actually doing to this Country and to the future of their children?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I have been a stay at home mom for 19 years- I have four kids, spread out in age, with the youngest being 9 now. I think I can tell you why this is- raising kids is hard work, that is not for wimps. But that is not why people may report being not as happy. On the day my oldest was born, I was full of joy, but I was not exactly all smiles during labor. It is the type of work that can be deeply satisfying because it is so hard, but you are not necessarily all giggles while you are washing the children’s bedding for the fourth night in a row. You can be deeply connected to your child, as you hold their little hands when they are sick in the hospital, but I wouldn’t say that was “happy” either. In my experience the moms who outsource most of their child care are certainly lots smilier than me- but I wouldn’t trade the deep things I have learned through the very human experience of raising my children. Doing the mom thing properly makes you an anchored person. The people who say they didn’t learn anything new while being a mother were doing it wrong.

Kristamatic on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Self evaluation is often crap.

Mimzey on May 18, 2012 at 7:32 PM

what is the difference between stay-at-home moms and go to work moms?

astonerii on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

sadsushi on May 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Looks like Gallup is trying to provide a poll to support
” Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” meme,
guess which 3 people this poll benefits ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

As a mom who left the workforce to be a SAHM, I find this fascinating—and true. Guesses based on my personal experience: If you’ve been out working, staying at home can be BORING. I know lots of SAHMs will disagree vehemently and say being a mom is the best thing ever, etc. Yes, it’s the most valuable thing you can do. And I’d do it all over again. But it’s boring. It’s tedious. Having a kid hanging on you 24/7 is exhausting. Naturally your sadness/depression/worry meters are going to be pegged a lot more than those of a mom who gets a break at work. And this is even taking into account that work outside the home is stressful, too. At least you get variety in your stress. And that mitigates all the stress, in my mind.

And second, when you work outside the home you have your ego/personal-self-worth eggs in two different baskets, at least. Kid’s throwing a tantrum, failing school, etc., and you feel like the worst mom ever? Well, at least you just got a promotion, got a pat on the back from boss, had a great lunch with marketing colleague, whatever. You’re getting positive personal feedback from more places. Sure, there are sources for this kind of positive input as a SAHM—but even those sources tend to be oriented around other moms and their kids.

I’m sure there’s more to it than this, but this is my initial reaction. Even with all this I’d do it again in a second. Meaning, there’s more to life than being happy/not depressed/worry-free.

ThanksMo on May 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM

It’s easier for working women to allow themselves to be distracted by their work and convince themselves that things are ok and the world isn’t really going down the crapper.

It’s called “hiding in your work”.

Cleombrotus on May 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Too much time to themselves and to think. Also the lack of social interaction goes into it, I am sure.

somnicide on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Meh. Twenty years ago, the bane of SAHMs were the soap operas and plenty of commentary about how they were hooked on it, leading to depression and resentment. Nowadays it’s the 500 channels of crap and nothing to choose from.

Methinks it’s the isolation. Generations ago, SAHMs didn’t just stay at home, they socialized with their counterparts as they went about their day.

That’s the question to be asking in these surveys — socializing.

AH_C on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

What a load of crap. Do you think any progressive woman is going to admit they’re miserable trying to live up to the unrealistic goals of feminists? Of course not.

lowandslow on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

what is the difference between stay-at-home moms and go to work moms?

astonerii on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Go to work moms have 20 year old dropouts raising THEIR kids .

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Because small children in large doses are even more annoying and less interesting than co-workers?

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Trying to compare those two groups is impossible, unless you’re Elaine Benis.

Get Down!

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:39 PM

What a load of crap. Do you think any progressive woman is going to admit they’re miserable trying to live up to the unrealistic goals of feminists? Of course not.

lowandslow on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

No doubt. I see them every day. To think that so many give up the chance to be with their children for that oh so short period.

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

bunch a boys talking about what you know nothing of…
it’s easy it’s called isolation.

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

This absolutely makes sense to me.

Now Gallup is having a war at stay at home moms? This is crap..my mom was a stay at home mom, she wasn’t depressed,stressed, etc etc…having the advantage of staying at home and watching your kids grow is a good thing and nothing can convince me otherwise of that..including some insignificant poll done by a Gallup

sadsushi on May 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Looks like Gallup is trying to provide a poll to support
” Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” meme,
guess which 3 people this poll benefits ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Yes, of course. Any poll whose numbers you dislike must be the result of some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Doing the mom thing properly makes you an anchored person. The people who say they didn’t learn anything new while being a mother were doing it wrong.

Kristamatic on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Yes they did not measure what really counts. How happy the women were with their choice to stay at home. How unhappy women who worked were that they could not stay at home. The (un)happiness of that decision.

But then to it the Government has made it almost impossible to raise children these days. Even the lunch you pack could be ruled illegal by some bureaucrat. The NAZI Child Protection could show up at any moment and force your children into their reeducation camps. You can not allow you children to take their bible to school or talk about it there let alone pray there. The children are taught at school that their parents are stupid and ignorant.

That is why these figures are low.

Steveangell on May 18, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Heck if I know. Staying home rocks. So much better than underwriting loans, as I used to do.

greyseal on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

My better half would agree.

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:41 PM

sadsushi on May 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Looks like Gallup is trying to provide a poll to support
” Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” meme,
guess which 3 people this poll benefits ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Of course that is why this “poll” is coming out now.

Sigh. Gallup used to be the Gold Standard of public opinion polling. But then they were forever tainted by their partnership with CNN.

And they’ve gotten even worse since CNN dumped them under the bus in 2007, although their 3-Day rolling average for the President’s job approval is usually pretty accurate.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Who ever said a selfless life was easy?

Daemonocracy on May 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Plus, every single woman’s magazine or TV show is telling stay at home mothers how miserable they must be, week after week, month after month, year after year, that’s all they hear. It’s a constant barrage from liberals that there is something wrong with them.

lowandslow on May 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

I bet you shot down that silly the Gop’s War on Women meme right?

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

This explains why stay at home mom Michelle Obama looks so angry.

Flange on May 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Methinks it’s the isolation. Generations ago, SAHMs didn’t just stay at home, they socialized with their counterparts as they went about their day.

That’s the question to be asking in these surveys — socializing.

I don’t know that this is true. The SAHMs I know are, on average, pretty good about getting themselves and their kids out to play dates and other avenues of socializing. That is, most SAHMs I know don’t “just stay home.”

ThanksMo on May 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Why is it that I have seen plenty of women either complete give up their jobs or go part-time? I guess they like to be sad.

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Who in the media or society is telling these stay at home mothers that what they are doing is noble, righteous, an honorable thing? Nobody, that’s who.

lowandslow on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Yes, of course. Any poll whose numbers you dislike must be the result of some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Conspiracy – Anything the right says the left disagrees with.

Truth – Lies the left tells all the time so often people believe them.

Proof – The right is wrong no matter what they say.

Problems – Just find the Republican responsible and blame him forever.

Steveangell on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Now Gallup is having a war at stay at home moms? This is crap..my mom was a stay at home mom, she wasn’t depressed,stressed, etc etc…having the advantage of staying at home and watching your kids grow is a good thing and nothing can convince me otherwise of that..including some insignificant poll done by a Gallup

sadsushi on May 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Looks like Gallup is trying to provide a poll to support
” Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” meme,
guess which 3 people this poll benefits ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Yes, of course. Any poll whose numbers you dislike must be the result of some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Please tell us why this “poll” is coming out now. I just went to Polling Report, and they have absolutely no evidence of this particular question ever being asked in any prior “poll”. That would lead one to believe that Gallup’s not suddenly asking this question now for the very first time without a reason.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Go to work moms have 20 year old dropouts raising THEIR kids .

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Wrong. We have illegal aliens.

Trying to compare those two groups is impossible, unless you’re Elaine Benis.

Get Down!

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:39 PM

True enough. Each annoying in their own way. ;)

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

It’s actually quite expected, given the modern culture.

SAHM’s are generally more educated, met someone who earns more than they do, and decided to stay at home with the kids. 50 years ago, this behavior was expected of the woman. Now, women are “empowered” to believe that they can do more than men. Every single afternoon television show that isn’t unveiling paternity tests or lie detectors has an audience of well-to-do working moms who have an extra few thousands of dollars to afford fancy clothing. Or they’re treated to “real housewives” who’s biggest concern is that Lunatic 1 has just called her some kind of slightly derogatory thing, which has caused her to go home and cry into her designer pillows.

Now SAHMs are treated to a constant parade of “you should do more” feminism, both from TV, books, and their own education, which has embedded guilt into the psyche of anyone not doing what the Feminist Ideal wants them to do. Worse, they are also treated to images which reinforce their own inferiority because of their decision (and fantastic decision it is!) to stay at home and nurture their children.

My wife is currently looking for work after being a SAHM for 7 years because we want to get the kids into a pretty expensive private school. My salary doesn’t give us the money to meet the bills, so we’re having to find her a job. It’s not what we’d choose, but it’s a function of what we think is best for the kids. And I think if you consciously make these decisions as to what is best, then it alleviates the guilt to some degree.

Nethicus on May 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Quantitative measurements of happiness are largely worthless.

Here’s an example of why: women generally want kids. At the same time, studies tend to show that women who have kids are less happy than their childless counterparts. But would these women change the choice they made to have kids? Hell no. So they’re happier with the kids that make them less happy than if they hadn’t had the kids, and thus you see the futility of such measures.

TallDave on May 18, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Trying to compare those two groups is impossible, unless you’re Elaine Benis.

Get Down!

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:39 PM

True enough. Each annoying in their own way. ;)

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Most people I know go to work to do their jobs, not to associate with their co-workers.

Only those Leftists who work for the Government get to have that luxury.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I was a SAHM for twenty-one years and I was never depressed or angry because of it. I also didn’t isolate myself or my kids. I took them to the park, the library, and to all the “free” things our town offered for kids/families.

When they went to school, so did I serving as a room mom and on the PTA, which is a great way to get involved in the school. I got the chance to be creative and fun and interact with so many kids. I went on all the field trips, helped on picture day, field day, all the fall festivals and bike rodeos.

The school is so grateful for the help and if validation or praise is what one needs, there is PLENTY to be found by volunteering at your kid’s school. I helped struggling readers, quizzed them in math, led play at recess, filed papers in the office, monitored the lunchroom. Oh my, I probably spent 30 hours a week at the school.

The single greatest thing my husband ever did for me was to give me the lives of my kids. All the recitals, plays, sports events, everything.

We did have to sacrifice A LOT but I wouldn’t change it for the all the material things in the world.

Jvette on May 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Go to work moms have 20 year old dropouts raising THEIR kids .

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Wrong. We have illegal aliens.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Was that supposed to help move forward the real war on women?

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Yes, of course. Any poll whose numbers you dislike must be the result of some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Then WHY did Gallup do this poll ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Working mothers are primarily focused on their own happiness. Stay at home moms are primarily focused on someone else’s happiness. Simple.

Shump on May 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM

I bet you shot down that silly the Gop’s War on Women meme right?

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

“War on women” is taking a series of GOP positions and shrink-wrapping them into a convenient package. It’s marketing — for better or for worse — not imagining everything you don’t like made up out of whole cloth by a vast shadowy conspiracy.

Please tell us why this “poll” is coming out now. I just went to Polling Report, and they have absolutely no evidence of this particular question ever being asked in any prior “poll”. That would lead one to believe that Gallup’s not suddenly asking this question now for the very first time without a reason.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM

So, you can only take a poll if the same poll has been taken before? “Mommy wars” are hot these days — and were long before Ms. Romney became an issue. Besides, how does this help or hurt either candidate?

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Any theories?

Gallup polls lie. They aren’t designed to report people’s opinions – they are designed to shape people’s opinions.

imasoulman on May 18, 2012 at 7:58 PM

This explains why stay at home mom Michelle Obama looks so angry.

Flange on May 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM

See that’s why Gallup had to do this poll !!!
Now It will be Ann Romney painted as the angry one by the LeanStream Media…..just to keep the media limelight away from the angry woman

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:59 PM

AP, why are you assuming correlation implies causality? Maybe the ones that stay home were the ones more prone to depression and such anyway.

mikeyboss on May 18, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Shump on May 18, 2012 at 7:55 PM

This. +1000

Kristamatic on May 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Most people I know go to work to do their jobs, not to associate with their co-workers.

Only those Leftists who work for the Government get to have that luxury.

Del Dolemonte on May 18, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I never said nor implied that anyone goes to work for the company of their co-workers. Your eagerness to be bitter is unhinging your logic.

The point I made, facetiously, is that spending eight or ten hours alone with small children might be tedious at times, whereas co-workers are — usually — capable of adult conversation and can converse on a broader variety of subjects than a 6-year old.

Stay angry, my friend.

Was that supposed to help move forward the real war on women?

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Unsure what you’re getting at.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM

bunch a boys talking about what you know nothing of…
it’s easy it’s called isolation.

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 7:31 PM

This absolutely makes sense to me.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Hey, troll boy nothing I have to say should make any sense to you as you and I have nothing I repeat nothing in common.
I stay home with my kids instead of farming them out to some idiot.
I make them breakfast and pack their lunches so they don’t get it “free” from the government. I say it is isolating because you don’t always get the adult conversation that you might like, but personally I found it more stressful trying to work and shuttle my daughter back and forth to daycare, people are just babies these days, IMO
Your childs life – look at it like its a ruler, the measure of when they are young and need your care is less than an inch, it goes by quickly.

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM

What about stay-at-home Dads?

NPP on May 18, 2012 at 8:02 PM

ThanksMo on May 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM

I think you nailed it. But I also think we’ve spent so many years telling everyone how they should feel about everything, we’ve become very self-centered.

It probably also depends on the day of the week and the time of day they polled!

lilredhen on May 18, 2012 at 8:05 PM

People who eat Lucky Charms for breakfast are less likely to have heart attacks than those who eat All-Bran. Because kids eat Lucky Charms and old people eat All-Bran.

mikeyboss on May 18, 2012 at 8:06 PM

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 8:01 PM

I apologize for agreeing with you. I will think twice before doing it again.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 8:07 PM

That explains the problem for lower-income SAHMs but, as noted up top, it doesn’t explain why anger, sadness, and depression are higher for stay-at-home moms than for working moms across all income levels. Here’s where you come in, HA commenters: Why is that? Any theories?

Sure. Stay-at-home is not the cause; it’s the effect. If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, it’s a little hard to hold down a job (to put it mildly). This survey is just picking up the women who can’t keep a job or don’t want to job because of emotional disorders.

pearson on May 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Looks like Gallup is trying to provide a poll to support
” Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life” meme,
guess which 3 people this poll benefits ?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Bingo!

jersey taxpayer on May 18, 2012 at 8:13 PM

pearson on May 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

That’s what I was getting at.

mikeyboss on May 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Was that supposed to help move forward the real war on women?

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Unsure what you’re getting at.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 8:00 PM

The real war on women is from the left. Look at the number of females destroyed in abortion. Your side devalues motherhood. Your side thinks it is just great that the scummiest of common male failures (like promiscuity) be seen as a positive. To heck with raising the bar…let’s lower it right? Look at what your side does to the likes of Palin. Bill Maher he’s yours. Really gross.

“War on women” is taking a series of GOP positions and shrink-wrapping them into a convenient package. It’s marketing — for better or for worse — not imagining everything you don’t like made up out of whole cloth by a vast shadowy conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:56 PM

So in other words I will take your non-answer as an answer. You let the silliness of the meme go because it suits your politics.

CW on May 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

That’s what I was getting at.

mikeyboss on May 18, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Yep. The poll shows no real difference when it comes to stress. The biggest difference is with depression and sadness. AP’s mystery has a theory now.

pearson on May 18, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I think there are many contributing factors, but I think many people hit the nail on the head, those of us who choose to be SAHM aren’t doing it for how we’ll “feel” doing it, I choose to do it because I think it is what is best for my kids. It can be a sacrifice and hard work, but I’m confident it’s the right thing to do. Going through it isn’t always fun and of course that will reflect in a survey. Would you ask a soldier on the front lines, how are you felling right now? No, he’s not there for how he feels, he’s there for what he is trying to accomplish. A stretch maybe? I don’t know, come spend a day alone with my 3 kids and tell me, ha.

As for the even more pronounced effect amoung the wealthier, I would guess that they are aware of their sacrifice even more. Staying home changing diapers and getting spit up on is probably more frustrating when you are used to dressing up in $500 work clothes and rubbing elbows with important people and pulling in 6 figures than it is when you’re giving up say being a secretary for a jerk boss. Not that both aren’t content to be at home and happy on the good days, but on the bad days, maybe that explains the increased anger and depression?

And not that anger or depression that lasts should be common, hopefully anyone who experiences that seeks help. But it’s certainly not all sunshine and rainbows, nor should it be.

rose-of-sharon on May 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Conversely, I’m a stay-at-home dad who wants to work and my wife works and wants to stay home.

Problem is, she makes very good money, has good benies and a great vaca deal. She may still quit her job though to stay home and work from home. I’ll probably get a part time job.

Sometimes you do what you have to do, whether you like it or not.

Logus on May 18, 2012 at 8:25 PM

You know who this poll benefits the most? Ann Romney!

I mean, does this not prove that Bill Maher and all the other stuck up, elitist liberals who claim that stay-at-home-moms do not really work because being a mom is not real work are full of it? If being a mom was not real work than explain these numbers? Worrying, being stressed out and depressed are not sign of someone who is living a carefree, laid back life. It is the sign of someone who is busting their butt!

We should be thanking Gallup in my opinion. They just proved that the decades worth of liberal dogma that women who did not work were lazy parasites is just a bunch of crap. Motherhood, or should I saw parenthood in general is the hardest job in the world and this just proves it!

bright right on May 18, 2012 at 8:25 PM

I’m sick of these polls who think all everybody wants in life is to “be happy.” If that was the case then we’d all be miserable failures.

Happiness is a fleeting, ephemeral thing. It resides in your child’s laughter, the slant of sunlight across your new vegetable garden, the joy of your wedding day, getting into the college you dreamed of, etc etc. Our daily lives are not “happy.” We slog, we count pennies, we deal with all of life’s hardships and worries, yes we stress. That’s life. We rely on the little fleeting moments of happiness to get us through the rest. We start thinking happiness is our due, we are in trouble.

I’m not “happy” and I don’t believe many other people would say that is their default state of being either. But I’m content with my lot, and I work hard every day to improve it. I am stay at home, and believe me I’m never bored. Raising kids as well as looking after four adults is enough to keep me busy. What does depress me is I’m regarded as some kind of failure because I’m not a high flown career executive. When you tell other women you are a stay at home, their eyes glaze over and they find it difficult to continue the conversation. That’s what is depressing.

Ozwitch on May 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Wait a second. The Obama administration tries to destroy Ann Romney by insulting stay at home moms. Then Gallup come out with a earth shaking poll describing how pitifull, desperate, and degrading it is to be a SAHM. Seriously, is there any doubt as to motive. I don’t believe anything these people are shoveling. They all have a motive. They all have an agenda. But, whatever, my wife and I decided to take the economic hit and have her raise our children. My kids are at the top of their classes, getting close to their black belts, happy, popular, and very appreciative of their mother’s sacrifice. Every bit of lost income was money well spent. My wife is very proud of her accomplishments. I am incredibly proud and so thankful for my wife.

ghettogasman on May 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

what is the difference between stay-at-home moms and go to work moms?

astonerii
on May 18, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Go to work moms have 20 year old dropouts raising THEIR kids .

CW on May 18, 2012 at 7:38 PM

.
Runner-up.
.

That’s because raising kids as a stay at home mom is the hardest job to do well.

FireBlogger on May 18, 2012 at 7:26 PM

.
Threadwinner.

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

rose-of-sharon on May 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Nicely done:)

MontanaMmmm on May 18, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I don’t have any issues with the study, I’m positive that mothers who stay with their kids, especially young kids, have a lot of the same issues.

I have worked long hours (starting early morning, coming home at midnight) outside of my home, worked part-time out of my home, telecommuted full and part-time, worked exclusively for my family from home and now freelance from home.

Without question, the time when my kids were young and I stayed home without outside employment were the most difficult year so my life. Being on call 24-7-365 is unbelievably difficult in and of itself, but the societal opprobrium of being “just another f*ing housewife” (and that is a direct quote from a former “friend”) was extraordinary. At times, I was probably very depressed.

And I would do it all again in a New York minute. As personally difficult to me as the sacrifice was, it was an act of pure love and I see the results in my children.

On the other hand, I know of mothers who hire day and night workers to care for their newborns out of fear that contact with their infant children would cause them to lactate– and that’s a nasty distraction in executive suites. Sign me up for the depression. Now.

obladioblada on May 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

The real war on women is from the left. Look at the number of females destroyed in abortion. Your side devalues motherhood. Your side thinks it is just great that the scummiest of common male failures (like promiscuity) be seen as a positive. To heck with raising the bar…let’s lower it right? Look at what your side does to the likes of Palin. Bill Maher he’s yours. Really gross.

Really? You’re going go after Maher with Rush hanging around your neck?

I love the sick psycho-sexual relationship your side has Palin. Every American male conservative thinks they’re Sarah’s big brother, out to beat up the mean old media/progressive establishment on her behalf. You pretend you think she’s tough, but you fall directly into traditional roles at the drop a hat. The you talk about how hot she is. Then you cry “sexism” like Gloria Steinem at a Tea Party rally.

We tried women like human adults. You treat them like little girls. Or sluts.

So in other words I will take your non-answer as an answer. You let the silliness of the meme go because it suits your politics.

CW on May 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

That discussion has nothing to do with the posted topic or alleged conspiracies, but the ongoing anti-woman policies and attitudes embraced by GOP — from Hillary Clinton to Michell Obama to Lily Leadbetter to Sandra Fluke — certainly add up to at least a “police action” against women.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM

“Why is that? Any theories?”

.
…Watching “The View”?

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 7:17 PM

.
: )

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Because small children in large doses are even more annoying and less interesting than co-workers?

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Huh. I work in a hospital and would rather have questions/interactions aimed at me by people who honestly don’t know something rather than people who should, but are too stupid or lazy to know.

You’re lucky then.

kim roy on May 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM

That discussion has nothing to do with the posted topic or alleged conspiracies, but the ongoing anti-woman policies and attitudes embraced by GOP — from Hillary Clinton to Michell Obama to Lily Leadbetter to Sandra Fluke — certainly add up to at least a “police action” against women.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM

.
Joy Behar . . . . . . is that YOU? ! !

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This is news? Did Gallup never read The Feminine Mystique?

Bobbi on May 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM

…some vast conspiracy.

urban elitist on May 18, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Why do leftists always add “vast” to the word “conspiracy”? Could they be compensating for something?

Archivarix on May 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I think AP is right, that the anger/sadness/depression comes from societal expectations of women being Miss Independent with kick ass careers and such. But it also likely comes from SAHMs who lack any real social interaction, like the kind you get when you leave your home-bubble for work each day. If the mom doesn’t have a social outlet or someone to praise her for a job well done, she’ll feel lonely and resent that all the child-rearing work she does is unrecognized. So, I would venture to guess that the woman who has good friends and a husband to let her know he appreciates her contribution is going to score higher on the happiness chart.

Similar can be said for a man who goes to work to support the household expenses — he may spend more time at work to get praise / social interaction if his wife and family don’t recognize his importance at home. It’s human nature to want to feel important and needed.

EarthToZoey on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

Stay-at-home is not the cause; it’s the effect. If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, it’s a little hard to hold down a job (to put it mildly). This survey is just picking up the women who can’t keep a job or don’t want to job because of emotional disorders.
There is no need for any further explanation.

pearson on May 18, 2012 at 9:10 PM

EarthToZoey on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

.
Well stated.
.
HEY . . . Pablo Honey, urban elitist . . . where’d you go?
This is great stuff you’re missing out on, here.

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Ummmmmmm…

… I don’t want to be indelicate, but what time of the month did they conduct the poll?

/

:)

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Many of the comments from the HA community of SAHMs rang a bell with me.

I worked full-time or part-time throughout college and until after our fifth child was born, as a computer programmer and as a college instructor in programming (never got around to using my MA in PoliSci on a job).

Of the three populations in the poll, one would expect the “employed moms” to be on the outside and the SAHMs in the middle, because the employed are dealing with two sources of stress rather than just one (kids) or the other (job) – hence the search in socio-economics for an explanation of this counter-intuitive conundrum.

However, several of the posters here have described what I believe is the fundamental cause of the “depression” factor.

Employed moms still have to deal with this:

Being on call 24-7-365 is unbelievably difficult in and of itself,

but not this:

but the societal opprobrium of being “just another f*ing housewife” (and that is a direct quote from a former “friend”) was extraordinary. At times, I was probably very depressed….obladioblada on May 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

This is true as well:

[at work] You’re getting positive personal feedback from more places. Sure, there are sources for this kind of positive input as a SAHM—but even those sources tend to be oriented around other moms and their kids….
ThanksMo on May 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM

And this:

Plus, every single woman’s magazine or TV show is telling stay at home mothers how miserable they must be, week after week, month after month, year after year, that’s all they hear. It’s a constant barrage from liberals that there is something wrong with them.
lowandslow on May 18, 2012 at 7:42 PM

This

Stay-at-home is not the cause; it’s the effect. If you suffer from depression or anxiety disorders, it’s a little hard to hold down a job (to put it mildly). This survey is just picking up the women who can’t keep a job or don’t want to job because of emotional disorders.
pearson on May 18, 2012 at 8:12 PM

may be true for some women, but not for myself and most of my friends, who were also college graduates, competent homemakers and mothers, very engaged in life, and occasionally depressed, just as I was.
(Not continually, but definitely at certain “snapshot” points that a poll might or might not pick up.)

My blues occurred mostly because of this:

What does depress me is I’m regarded as some kind of failure because I’m not a high flown career executive. When you tell other women [OR especially men] you are a stay at home, their eyes glaze over and they find it difficult to continue the conversation. That’s what is depressing.
Ozwitch on May 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM

buttressed with this:

If the mom doesn’t have a social outlet or someone to praise her for a job well done, she’ll feel lonely and resent that all the child-rearing work she does is unrecognized. So, I would venture to guess that the woman who has good friends and a husband to let her know he appreciates her contribution is going to score higher on the happiness chart.

Similar can be said for a man who goes to work to support the household expenses — he may spend more time at work to get praise / social interaction if his wife and family don’t recognize his importance at home. It’s human nature to want to feel important and needed.

EarthToZoey on May 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM

As long as I was pulling down a paycheck, my opinions were listened to and respected on many topics, not just my work-expertise.
When I stopped working (because I was just passing my paycheck through directly to baby-sitter), suddenly my contributions to any conversation outside of home & family living were without merit.

That’s pretty depressing.

AesopFan on May 18, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Now SAHMs are treated to a constant parade of “you should do more” feminism, both from TV, books, and their own education, which has embedded guilt into the psyche of anyone not doing what the Feminist Ideal wants them to do. Worse, they are also treated to images which reinforce their own inferiority because of their decision (and fantastic decision it is!) to stay at home and nurture their children.

Now? You should have seen how SAHMs were treated in the 70s by the likes of Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem! If a woman didn’t “do it all” (not just work but have a career, take care of the kids and hubby, and do all of the chores around the house), she was worthless as a woman. The propaganda was that we were Super Women and we could have it all.

I told them “no thanks”, and had plenty of scorn and pity heaped upon me. But, I wouldn’t trade being a SAHM for the world. I wasn’t depressed or worried, though. I think the biggest problems I ever had was being lonely and missing adult conversation, and even those weren’t real problems. I made plans with friends who had kids. My own play date, if you will.

kakypat on May 18, 2012 at 9:19 PM

My wife is currently looking for work after being a SAHM for 7 years because we want to get the kids into a pretty expensive private school.

Nethicus on May 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM

I wish you both well in that endeavor. Many public schools are to be avoided if at all possible.

kakypat on May 18, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Ummmmmmm…
.
… I don’t want to be indelicate, but what time of the month did they conduct the poll?

/

:)

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

.
Chauvenist pig.

listens2glenn on May 18, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Seven Percent Solution on May 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM

LOL

kakypat on May 18, 2012 at 9:25 PM

What would make this poll interesting, though, would be if the moms also homeschool. Would that be considered employment?

I know homeschooling moms are plenty stressed, but there is a certain level of satisfaction in having a job to do, and oftentimes the types of husbands that support this kind of work are the supportive kind in general.

LibertyJane on May 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Why is that? Any theories? Could be that modern expectations that an educated woman should have both a career and a family are weighing on even rich SAHMs and making them question their choices, but beyond that I’ve got nothing. How about it, ladies?

Because being a stay at home mom is harder than going to work.

I left a high pressure, high paying, fascinating job in biotech to stay home with the kids. I wanted to be the one who raised them. I couldn’t leave my babies with a nanny or a day care. But it is FREAKING HARD! On a bad day, I am very tempted to dump them in day care and escape back to work, but I am committed to being there for them.

I know I am very blessed to have a caring husband who makes enough to support our family, and I really treasure all the time I have with my kids. I remind myself that this is a small slice of my life, and it will be over before I know it so I have to make the most of every day.

I also had no SAHM friends when I first had kids. It is very hard to lose the working friends and the childless friends. It is very isolating, and you have to build your entire friend base up again from scratch with kids in tow. We moved from our trandy downtown neighborhood to the burbs just so i could find other SAHMS. I used Internet social networking working sites to get to know people with my kids’ ages.

Modern expectations have something to do with it, too. I am treated very differently as a stay at home mom than I was as a research scientist. People treat you like an idiot when they hear “stay at home mom” or see you toting around a stroller and a diaper bag.

bitsy on May 18, 2012 at 9:40 PM

I’m not a SAHM, but when I read the article, my theory was that the poll is just wrong … polls can be useful, but they are not reality, in reality I don’t believe it. JMHO.

toby11 on May 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

There is a huge surrender of control by a SAHM. For those who are highly educated, and highly motivated, there is an inherent conflict in that ultimately their fate is not in their own hands.
It’s like the anxiety that can go with riding in the passenger seat. For life.

sleepingiantsup on May 18, 2012 at 9:58 PM

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