What Mothers Really Want: To Opt In Between (INFOGRAPHIC)

Aug 12, 2013 | Updated Aug 12, 2013

The discussion over Opting Back In continues, in response to Judith Warner’s New York Times Magazine cover story this weekend, "The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In" which was an update of my New York Times Magazine cover story, "The Opt-Out Revolution" on the same subject ten years ago.

Warner’s piece has been the talk of the internet this weekend, with writers weighing in across the spectrum. Some wanted to say “I told you so”; some wanted to lament ; others to criticize; and many to explain.

One theme common to nearly all the commentary is the question of data. How many women chose home over work? How many regret that choice? Were they pulled off the career track by a desire to be at home, or pushed by a workplace that didn’t bend?

Hulafrog, a network of local parenting websites, is one of several groups to ask these questions of mothers who have and have not “opted out.”

Hulafrog’s survey of 2,127 U.S. women with children at home under the age of 18 find that rather than Opting In or Out, mothers today would prefer a third option, someplace in between.  Currently 45 percent of those polled work full-time, 25 percent work part-time and 30 percent stay-at -home. But what do they WANT to do? Given their choice, 65 percent would work part-time, only 9 percent would work full-time and 26 percent would stay home.

Of those who are home, more than half (57 percent) say they would stayed in the workplace if they’d had the option to work from home.

Hulafrog has put its findings into an infographic, which vividly illustrates the gap between “what mothers want” and what they currently get. Take a look. Then use the comments to talk about YOUR ideal work/life equation.

moms at work

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