Research from the Department of Education has found that over a third of working mums would happily quit their job in order to be stay at home mum¬†and raise their children, if they could afford to. This comes after the Government have been pushing to get more and more mums back into work and shows the majority of mums returning to work after the birth of their children, do so reluctantly and purely for financial reasons.
These figures aren’t just limited to women on lower or average salaries either; more than two-thirds of women in senior or middle management positions would prefer to spend less time at work and more hours at home with their children if they had the money to do so.
These figures totally undermine the assumption by the Governement that most mothers want to return to work and therefore should be encouraged to do so. Campaigners have also criticised the Goverment for offering little help to families with one earner but at the same time offering a childcare allowance of ¬£1,200 a year to working mums.
It also questions the notion that the reason fewer women are in high-flying senior roles, is because of discrimination. Rather, it suggests that most women would prefer to put their children and families first over career progression.
More help for stay at home mums
These findings are seen as a welcome insight for groups supporting mums wishing to stay at home. Mothers at Home Matter spokesperson, Laura Perrins said: “The Government’s own survey confirms the fact that the majority of mothers in work would like to spend more time at home caring for their children, not, as this Government would have us beleive, less. Ministers have placed relentless pressure on mothers to do exactly the opposite by bringing in policies that separate mothers from their young children…Until now the Government has only looked at measures of how they can lock up the toddlers in institutional care for even longer hours – this is not what families want. They want time to care for thier children. Instead of expanding childcare, for which families have no desire, we should be moving to a family-friendly taxation system.”
Liz Truss, Childcare minister said that it is encouraging that more parents are finding childcare to suit their work commitment. However, critics are keen to point out that the because the Government has totally overlooked stay at home mums, the traditional choice where dad goes out to work and mum stays home to raise the children, is being denied to millions of women across the UK.