More mothers report they want to work full time, survey finds

A sluggish economy appears to have shifted mothers' attitudes toward full-time work, as more women report wanting to work full time, a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found.

Among mothers with children under 18, the percentage that said they wish to work full time grew to 32% in 2012 -- up from 20% in 2007.


The survey, which also examined how fathers balance family and work life, also found that the public remains divided on the impact of parent's work schedules on their children.

Only 16% of those polled said mothers working full time is ideal, while 42% said the more preferable situation is mothers working part time. A third reported that the best thing for children is that mothers do not work at all outside of the home.

"Women have made major strides in education and employment, and the American workplace has been transformed," Pew said. "But with these changes have come the added pressures of balancing work and family life, for mothers and fathers alike."

The survey found that fathers are now taking on more household work and child-rearing responsibilities. The time fathers spend at work has decreased only slightly, Pew said.

Despite juggling work and family responsibilities, 45% of parents surveyed who have children under 18 said they believe they have done a "very good job" of raising their kids.

Pew Research Center polled 2,511 adults nationwide and drew on data from the U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics.