One Year Leave Of Absence
Mothers who give up work to stay home and tend their babies during the first year of life give up more than just the career track. They often suffer a huge drop in the family income. But families are making do by buying clothes in thrift shops and eating a great deal of rice and beans. They do without because they feel that babies need their mommies during that crucial first year. It's that simple.
An analysis of data on U.S. moms who are leaving the workforce to stay at home and care for baby for one year shows a seven-year trend of women at all levels of income taking a break from their jobs. It's not just college-educated women or wealthy moms, these are women from every demographic. This demonstrates a dedicated belief that women all over the U.S. feel about the mother and baby relationship during baby's first year.
The data suggests that new moms are staying out of the workforce from between 1-3 years on average and that the work break has been shortening over the past several years. This reveals that women are now honing in on that first year as the most important developmental year in the life of a child. Even though the breaks are getting shorter, moms who stay home cause some radical changes to their family life. The upheaval of work and home roles can cause the family finances a great deal of turmoil, bringing some households to a virtual monetary standstill. For some families, this means cutting back on discretionary purchases, while for others, investments and college savings fall by the wayside.
The collation of this data and its analysis was undertaken by the Bureau of Labor Statistics with its intent to determine whether the father's income had an impact on whether or not moms decide to stay home. Other factors were assessed, such as the level of the mother's education and the mother's ethnicity. As expected, those mothers who had at least a bachelor's degree were the largest number of moms leaving the workforce. They were followed by women whose husbands were in the top 20% of wage earners, say economists Sharon Cohany and Emy Sok.
However, there were women taking leave from the workforce in every demographic including those women whose husbands earn in the mid-range, or in the 40th-80th percentiles. But the women who decide to stay home are overwhelmingly mothers of babies under the age of one year.