Surprising Truths About At-Home Moms

Three common notions debunked.
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Even though an increasing number of women are quitting jobs to raise children, outdated notions about at-home moms persist, say authors Mary Quigley and Loretta Kaufman. Their new book, And What Do You Do? When Women Choose to Stay Home (Wildcat Canyon Press, 2000), debunks these basic assumptions:

You can stay home only if you're wealthy.

The 7.7 million moms who've opted out of the labor force include women from all walks of life. Many middle- and working-class women cut costs, forgo vacations, and make other financial sacrifices to stay home with their kids.

You commit career suicide by taking time off.

"Many at-home mothers are heading school committees and running large volunteer organizations," says Quigley. These experiences can serve them well when they reenter the workforce -- which most at-home moms plan to do.

You become an unequal partner in your marriage.

"These are not women waiting for their husbands to write them a check," says Quigley. "Often, they're the CEOs of the family, managing finances, renegotiating mortgages, hiring contractors, and advising their husbands."


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