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Redbook Magazine Survey: What does a stay-at-home-mom do?

Redbook Magazine Survey: What does a stay-at-home-mom do?

In a recent study called “The Mom Gig,” Redbook shed some light on the answer to the question many have been asking for years: What exactly do stay-at-home moms do on a daily basis? How do they feel? What salary should they earn? What do kids think that their moms do?

The study looked at over 550 women who categorize themselves as stay-at-home-moms, and asked them to record their daily activities. The results show that these women do a lot more work and larger range of work, than is commonly thought. 

While those surveyed consider themselves full-time stay-at-home-moms, 62% still contribute to the household income. Out of that, 25% run their own home business. For example, Mirta Desir (32, New Orleans, LA), quit her law career after having her first child to launch a business focusing on online language courses for children called SmartCoos.

Although these stay-at-home-moms might not be working your average 9-5 job, 87% still said that they are awake by 6 a.m. And, while some moms spend their days working (about 4.5 hours a day average), chores are another huge aspect of their job. 49% of those surveyed said that if they could choose between a nanny, a chef, and housekeeper, they would hire a housekeeper. 

So, the big question is, how much money do stay-at-home-moms think that they deserve? $50,000! Fair enough, considering that 72% said society doesn’t understand just how much they do.

There are various reasons why each of the women surveyed stay at home. For some, it’s their own choice, for others it's their husbands, and for some it’s merely the easiest choice. The survey concluded that 22% stay home because either childcare is too expensive or their careers weren’t family friendly, while the majority, 36%, said they stayed home because they wanted to.

Looking into the happiness factor of the survey, 56% of women said that they are very or extremely happy with what they do. And, what may come to a surprise to some – those with four or more kids are the happiest of them all!

The study also concluded that modern stay-at-home-moms fell into one of four categories: workers, volunteers, newbies, or caretakers. 34% surveyed are workers; women who list part-time work as a daily responsibility and who contribute to their household income. 24% are said to be volunteers; women who spend time helping at school or with other kid-related activities (45% believe they make working moms’ lives easier). 19% are considered newbies; women who have at least one child under two and see staying at home as only temporary (59% plan to go back to work). Lastly, 12% are caretakers; women who have at least one child with special needs, and are more likely to be very or extremely stressed (39% vs. 30% overall).

For more information, take a look at the survey on

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Megan Bailey


Megan Bailey, a former NYMetroParents’ editorial intern, is studying journalism at Penn State University. On top of her love for writing, her interests include Friends reruns, hanging out with her cats, any and all types of potatoes, lamely attempting to become famous on social media, and taking on Shania Twain karaoke with her friends.


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