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Study: Stay-at-home moms on the rise

The number of stay-at-home mothers is on the

The number of stay-at-home mothers is on the rise, according to a Pew Research Center report. (Credit: iStock)

More moms are choosing to stay at home full time with their kids rather than work, a Pew Research Center report found. But the reason why may not be what you think.

According to the Pew report, the cost of child care is most likely one of the reasons why more women are opting to skip full-time work, reversing a long-term decline in stay-at-home moms. The report stated: "The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29 percent in 2012, up from a modern-era low of 23 percent in 1999." About two-thirds of stay-at-home moms are married with working husbands, but the number of unmarried moms are growing.

Here are some other key findings from Pew Research Center:

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-- Sixty percent of U.S. moms feel kids are better off when a parent stays at home to focus on the family, while 35 percent say they are just as well off when both parents work outside the home.

-- Eighty-five percent of stay-at-home moms with working husbands say they are not employed because they are caring for their family. Single or cohabitating mothers are more likely than married stay-at-home mothers with husbands who work to say they are ill or disabled, unable to find a job or enrolled in school. Overall, 6 percent of moms claim they cannot find a job.

-- Mothers at home spend 18 hours a week on child care while working moms spend 11 hours. Stay-at-home moms spend 63 hours a week sleeping and 31 hours a week doing leisure activities versus working moms who spend 58 hours sleeping and 22 hours participating in leisure activities.

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