The number of stay-at-home moms in the United States is the highest it's been in more than a decade. A new Pew Research Center analysis found 29 percent of mothers chose to do so in 2012 compared to 23 percent in 1999.
The recent shift in mothers leaving the office and staying at home to take care of their children is driven by many different factors including the cost of child care and a changing workforce. However, two Holmen mothers said their choice to return home was all for a good reason.
Adrian Kolpitcke is new to the stay-at-home mom job
"I graduated from college in the cities in 2004 and then after 2004, I was a sign-language interpreter,” said Kolpitcke.
After doing that for about a year, she decided to go back to school,
"I went back and got my masters at St. Mary's in special education and after that I taught for one year and taught special education for one year,” said Kolpitcke.
She did this while being a working mother of two and a wife.
"I was probably bringing home a little bit of money, but most of my paycheck, yes, was going to day care,” said Kolpitcke.
After a third child, Adrian and her husband decided to switch things up a bit. She became a stay-at-home mom while he works two full-time jobs. She said being a stay-at-home mom is nothing like what she thought it would be.
“It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be. You have visions of a clean house and dinner prepared every night, it's nothing like that. I often don't have time to clean the house or prepare dinner in a timely manner,” said Kolpitcke.
Stay-at-home mother of four Tanya Neumann couldn't agree more.
"It's not like a regular job, but I think it's more than a job. I believe I do just as much as the next person,” said Neumann. "I can be stressed to the max and I make it work. It's just what you do."
But rather than being paid in cash for all their hard work, they get paid in something a little better such as laughter, hugs and kisses from their kids.
"I love what I do, I really do. I can't complain,” said Neumann.
"I landed my dream job after I got my master’s degree and that's staying home,” said Kolpitcke.
Kolpitcke and Neumann consider themselves lucky to be able to stay at home with their kids. Both of them said they would consider going back to work once all of their kids are of school age, but they intend to enjoy the time they have with them now and worry about that a little later.
The Pew Research Center gathered data from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey from 1970 to 2012.The report analyzes the characteristics of mothers in the U.S. that are living with children under the age of 18.