Happiness is often a grass-is-always-greener prospect for moms. Nearly half of all working moms in a recent survey said their overall happiness would increase if they weren't working, yet nearly one in five stay-at-home moms said they'd be happier if they worked outside the home.
Research by pregnancy and parenting website TheBump.com and ForbesWoman revealed that nearly 70 percent of the working moms surveyed feel pressure to be in the office because their family can't survive without the added income, yet more than half say their partners or others sometimes make them feel they aren't devoting enough time to their kids.
For moms who do stay home, the survey found that 44 percent said they have a husband who sometimes makes them feel like they're not pulling their own financial weight.
"This survey reveals that whether working or stay-at-home, moms are feeling pressure from their financial situations and partners to choose their role," said Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of TheBump.com, a pregnancy web site.
The increased financial pressures being faced by families are taking their toll on mothers, Meghan Casserly, ForbesWoman staff writer, said.
"The majority of working women tell us they consider the opportunity to stay at home with their children to be a financial luxury, and more than a third resent their partners for not earning enough to make it a possibility," Casserly said. "This raises some significant questions for parents and the companies that hope to keep them in the workforce."
The combination of parenting and financial pressures has forced women to give up their personal time and wants, the survey found. Nearly half of working moms and 34 percent of stay-at-home moms said their biggest sacrifice was "me" time. In addition, the research shows 63 percent of working moms and 78 percent of stay-at-home moms spend $100 or less on themselves each month.
"Personal spending and even full-time careers are taking a backseat to raising children and are ultimately having an effect on moms' overall happiness," Roney said.
The study was based on surveys of nearly 1,000 stay-at-home and working married or partnered mothers in the United States.