Today’s stay-at-home moms are not only running households, they’re by and large still doing compensable work. Staying at home to raise kids no longer means sacrificing the opportunity to earn an income.
The image of a stay-at-home mom as someone outside the professional world simply isn’t accurate anymore. When the little ones are old enough to go to school, the stay-at-home mom gets back some extra hours in her day that she didn’t have before. Those hours can be spent teaching someone a foreign language, writing content, taking customer service calls, or analyzing data.
So, what’s the catch? For starters, some of these moms might not want another job on top of taking care of the kids.
Laura Vanderkam explains in City Journal, “Families can’t afford child care, but they also can’t afford to have mothers not work.”
Some companies have a strong bias against hiring caretakers, thinking that job flexibility means a lack of dependability. Others take advantage of the tidal wave of women who do want these jobs and run scams.
But when this sort of job pans out, both spouses benefit. Parents gain a little extra income, a lot of savings on child care expenses, and a chance for both husband and wife to stay in the professional world.
Blogger Kristin Whitten told City Journal, “The money I earn allows us to save a bit more, travel in the summer to see our family across the country, and accomplish big house projects.”
In other words, Whitten’s side gig improves her family’s quality of life.
For employers, a major advantage of part-time workers is that they often do not receive benefits like health insurance or a 401(k). This makes hiring less expensive, allowing companies to hire more employees. Work-at-home moms usually don’t have health insurance through their jobs, but many are covered as a dependent their spouse’s insurance. Income from these jobs cannot support a family, but they can certainly be a welcome addition to family finances.
However, well-intentioned government regulations aim to make every job provide benefits and a living wage. “Fight for 15” argues that current minimum wage levels are inherently wrong because they aren’t enough to support someone. Obamacare requires companies to insure workers who work 30 hours or more each week.
When every job has to provide high wages and benefits, part-time jobs start to disappear. Stay-at-home moms will have fewer options, leaving families to live on less or work full-time.
For years, the “Mommy Wars” referred to the contention between stay-at-home-moms and working moms. The changing workforce now means that stay-at-home-moms and working moms are the same people – and the new Mommy Wars are them against government regulations.