New study: fewer than one in ten women staying home with children

Dina sent me this article from the UK Daily Mail.


Fewer than one in ten women stay at home to look after their children

  • Latest census figures show 300,000 fewer staying home than thought
  • Concerns for well-being of mothers and impact on toddlers in day care
  • Stay-at-home figures dropped from 17 per cent of women 20 years ago

The stay-at-home mother is fast becoming consigned to history, according to the latest census figures.

Returns showed there are 300,000 fewer than officials  had previously estimated, with those who devote their lives to bringing up families now reduced to a tiny minority.

Fewer than one in ten women of working age are stay-at-home mothers.

The collapse follows a decade in which governments urged mothers to take jobs on the grounds that working is the route to fulfilment for women and that families with two incomes are much less likely to fall into poverty.

Critics, however, are concerned for the well-being of mothers who might prefer to be with their families, and the impact on increasing numbers of toddlers who spend long hours in day care.

The 2011 census results found there are 1,598,000 women who do not work because they are looking after their home and family – 298,000 fewer than estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

Note that this is applauded by feminist groups, like the UK Labour Party:

The decline in numbers of stay-at-home mothers will be welcomed by ministers as the Labour drive to push mothers into work has continued under the Coalition.

Childcare minister Elizabeth Truss has made a priority of providing cheaper day care to help mothers into jobs.

In an article earlier this year  she said it was ‘vital’ for mothers to work, adding: ‘To power ahead Britain needs to look at best practice from overseas to discover how to increase women’s participation, especially for those who are parents.’

But critics say the sky-high level of house prices and the lack of help for two-parent families in the tax and benefit systems means most mothers have to work, whether they like it or not.

Earlier this week I blogged studies that showed the importance of fathers to children. But it’s important to remember that mothers are also important to children, especially in the first few years of the child’s life. And we have studies to back that up as well.

Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected
Brain scans of 3-year old children: normal vs neglected

This was discussed before in another article from the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Dina)


Both of these images are brain scans of a two three-year-old children, but the brain on the left is considerably larger, has fewer spots and less dark areas, compared to the one on the right.

According to neurologists this sizeable difference has one primary cause – the way each child was treated by their mothers.

The child with the larger and more fully developed brain was looked after by its mother – she was constantly responsive to her baby, reported The Sunday Telegraph.

But the child with the shrunken brain was the victim of severe neglect and abuse.

According to research reported by the newspaper, the brain on the right worryingly lacks some of the most fundamental areas present in the image on the left.

The consequences of these deficits are pronounced – the child on the left with the larger brain will be more intelligent and more likely to develop the social ability to empathise with others.

But in contrast, the child with the shrunken brain will be more likely to become addicted to drugs and involved in violent crimes, much more likely to be unemployed and to be dependent on state benefits.

The child is also more likely to develop mental and other serious health problems.

Professor Allan Schore, of UCLA, told The Sunday Telegraph that if a baby is not treated properly in the first two years of life, it can have a fundamental impact on development.

He pointed out that the genes for several aspects of brain function, including intelligence, cannot function.

[…]The study correlates with research released earlier this year that found that children who are given love and affection from their mothers early in life are smarter with a better ability to learn.

The study by child psychiatrists and neuroscientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found school-aged children whose mothers nurtured them early in life have brains with a larger hippocampus, a key structure important to learning, memory and response to stress.

The research was the first to show that changes in this critical region of children’s brain anatomy are linked to a mother’s nurturing, reports.

The research is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

Lead author Joan L. Luby, MD, professor of child psychiatry, said the study reinforces how important nurturing parents are to a child’s development.

If we are really interested in providing for the needs of young children, then we have to voluntarily limit the freedom of adults. Traditional marriage is the way that societies have provided for the needs of young children. Marriage puts boundaries on sexual activity (premarital chastity, post-marital fidelity) that are beneficial to children. Children need to have access to their parents over the course of their development.

We should be promoting behaviors and policies that strengthen marriage, like chastity and low tax rates. We should be opposing behaviors and policies that weaken marriages, like hooking-up and no-fault divorce. That’s what we would do if we really had the best interests of children at heart instead of the best interests of adults.

5 thoughts on “New study: fewer than one in ten women staying home with children”

  1. the very persons and organizations who champion “The Chiiiiillldren” are the very entities who destroy The Children, in pursuit of their endless Team Woman demands and their incredible selfishness

    Woman’s “careers” are merely further exercises in solipsism, selfishness, and powerseeking, to no end except ego gratification and fabulous new purchases for Me Me Me

    while the world burns and children scream, crying themselves to sleep each night, Team Woman raises its claws in Victory, dancing the dance of the Happy Monstress

    her Medea then provides full coverage

    well done, folks


    1. Ha ha. Well, to be fair, I think that radical feminists do think that, but I think that a lot of women who work would rather stay home with their children. Many married women especially vote for lower taxes, and would love it if their husbands could keep more of what they earn so that they could stay home with the children. But I think that feminists and many single mothers do act out of selfishness.

      I think the most shocking thing for me is day care. I would never put my pet in the charge of strangers, but many women happily hand their young children to strangers. My pet would be confused and terrified. But many women are very careless about doing marriage and parenting the right way, so they end up making use of day care for one reason or another. I think that women need to set out their goals in advance (my children will have a mother in the first 5 years of their lives) and then make decisions to prepare for marriage to a man who will provide for the family and be faithful. But I think that many women find that rules-based moral approach to marriage “too strict”, and prefer to wing it with the chemistry/peer-approval/fun approach. And when this approach doesn’t “work out”, then they resort to divorce, full-time employment with young children and day care. Which is, in my opinion, child abuse.

      I have no problem with women working, just not when there are children under 2 years old, and preferably not with children under 5 years old. Providing for the needs of young children should be a guiding principle for men AND women during courtship.


  2. I must live in a freak zone, because most of the women I know, 9 out of 10 stay home with their kids. It’s the “liberal” mother of course that has someone else raising her kids. most of the other mothers home school.


  3. I must be in the minority, then, because I am a stay-at-home wife and mother. I gave up my full-time teaching job when I got married (due to relocating) and just worked part-time until my daughter was born. Now I am at home full-time and I love it. I wouldn’t have a problem with teaching part-time (i.e. one college class per semester) as long as my husband could watch the children during that time. However, I couldn’t hand my kids off to a daycare in order to work a job. I want to raise my kids and I want to be the primary influence in their lives – which means being the one who is with them and interacts with them during their waking hours. I just don’t trust others, even well-meaning others, to do as good a job at raising my kids as my husband and I can. God gave them to us, after all.


  4. I don’t understand what the big deal is about working mothers. I grew up in a two parent Christain household and I was always taught that the man should be the head of the household and I have conservative morals and values. My mother worked, so I was enrolled in private school daycare (doing homework in a high chair at age 2). The most important thing I learned in daycare was how to socialize with other children, especially since I am an only child. I will never mock a woman’s choice to stay home with her children like feminist do, but I also don’t see daycare as child neglect. For example, some could argue Adam Lanza should not have been homeschooled by his mother and he would not be as socially awkward and feel alone and depressed. Then there are studies that children who start pre-k at age two will always be ahead of their peers academically. I started pre-k at two and graduated as valedictorian of my class and do not hold liberal views. For example I oppose gay marriage, abortion, women in combat postions, illegal immigration amnesty etc.


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