Feeling blue? Stressed? Not enough laughter in your life? If you’re a mother, the issue could be whether you are working outside the home or not, according to a Gallup survey. After interviewing 60,000 moms, the survey learned, “Non-employed women with young children at home are more likely than women with young children at home who are employed for pay to report experiencing sadness and anger a lot of the day ‘yesterday.’ Stay-at-home moms are also much more likely to report having ever been diagnosed with depression than employed moms. Employed moms are about as emotionally well-off as working women who do not have children at home.”
Based on their analysis, they project it’s pretty clear that being home with the children is depressing. But is that true? Upon further examination, the bigger factor appears to be income — the lower the income, the less likely they are to be happy.
As Bryce Covert notices at Forbes Woman, “Those with annual household incomes of less than $36,000 are less likely to report smiling or laughing a lot the day before or to have experienced happiness or enjoyment. They are also slightly less likely to have learned something interesting. On the flip side, they are more likely to have experienced stress and worry on a daily basis than low-income mothers who work outside the home. All of this leads them to be more likely to be struggling than thriving in their lives overall – the opposite of the experience of employed mothers and women workers who don’t have children at home.”
Covert’s explanation? That the women in the lower income brackets aren’t willingly choosing to stay at home like those in the higher income levels. Instead, they are being forced into the position — usually for economic reasons like inability to find a job that will pay more than the cost of putting a child into daycare.
Economic stress is one of the key reasons for fighting in marriages, would it be much of a shock that it could lead to depression in women, too? And although both women at home and women in the workplace in the lower income levels are likely to be having money issues, those who are working outside the home can at least feel as though they have some modicum of control over the finances. For the stay at home mom? Not so much.
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