Balancing work and family responsibilities brings many challenges for working mothers and fathers with children younger than 18. Roughly half say being a working parent makes it harder for them to be a good parent, and about as many say that at times they feel they can’t give 100% at work. Despite these challenges, many working parents – including about eight-in-ten full-time working mothers – say their current employment situation is what’s best for them at this point in their life, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
A majority (55%) of U.S. mothers with children younger than 18 at home are employed full time, up from 34% a half-century ago, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau Current Population Survey data. The rise in full-time employment has fueled the overall rise in employment among moms: Now, 72% of moms are employed, either full time or part-time, compared with about half in 1968. Among fathers with kids in the home, the vast majority (89%) are employed full time.
About half of employed parents with children younger than 18 – including similar shares of mothers (53%) and fathers (51%) – say being a working parent makes it harder for them to be a good parent. But employed moms (50%) are more likely than employed dads (39%) to say being a working parent makes it harder for them to advance in their job or career.
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