'Regrets Of A Stay-At-Home Mom' : Blog Of The Nation Katy Read quit her job to raise her two children. The time she spent with her boys was wonderful, but she says she's now broke, out of work and without any job prospects. Her advice to new moms: Stay at work.
NPR logo 'Regrets Of A Stay-At-Home Mom'

'Regrets Of A Stay-At-Home Mom'

Katy Read has a warning to would-be stay-at-home moms: Don't. iStockphoto.com hide caption

toggle caption

Katy Read has a warning to would-be stay-at-home moms: Don't.


Few things start an argument as fast as giving new parents advice. Katy Read steps into that no-man's land with a recent warning to new moms who might consider quitting their jobs and parenting full-time: "Now I lie awake at 3 a.m., terrified that as a result I am permanently financially screwed."

My biggest handicap may be my history of spending daylight hours in the company of my own kids. Just having them is bad enough. Research shows that mothers earn 4 to 15 percent less than non-mothers with comparable jobs and qualifications, that as job candidates, mothers are perceived as less competent and committed than non-mothers (fathers, in contrast, rate higher than men without kids). Heather Boushey, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, told me last year that the outlook for an at-home mother returning to work in this economy "kind of makes my stomach drop a little bit." I know the feeling.

As she related her experience, Read is careful to point out that, "This is not a plea for sympathy. More like a warning from the front lines." Good thing, too. A quick look at some of the 250 comments after the piece shows that she's not getting much sympathy.

You can read it for yourself at Salon.com.

Blog Of The Nation