To stay or not to stay at home

Sara Carlsson Mason City, IA

MASON CITY, Iowa – At one point, it was the norm.

If you were a woman, and a mom, you would most likely stay at home with the kids.

Then that trend took a turn more women were working some because they wanted to.

Others had no choice.

Now a newer trend is shaping and stay-at-home moms are taking over once again.

And it may be because, working, is just too expensive.

Heather Tollefson from Mason City is a stay at home mom.

With a small part time job at night to go to, she’s at home with her son Landon all day.

And having that chance to stay at home is amazing to her.

“The time goes by so fast and I mean you blink and they’re grown so it’s really nice to be at home with him,” said Tollefson

But it’s not just being able to be with her child constantly that has her staying home.

It’s also the money they’re saving.

“Daycare is incredibly expensive and unless you have a good paying job I mean if you have the option it’s absolutely easier just to do the stay at home thing there are lots of people that have to travel for work with the way the economy is and the gas prices, its very spendy,” said Tollefson.

That reason is one that seems to trend across the nation.

According to a new PEW research study, nearly three in 10 moms in the United States are stay at home mothers.

The number is now 29 percent compared to 23 percent in 1999.


Among the reasons, paying for daycare is getting too expensive for some.

But if you were to ask Sara Carlsson, mother of four with two in daycare from Mason City, it’s just part of every day life.

“Its definitely  a challenge a good portion of our monthly income goes toward care of the children but there’s also some benefits that may not show up in the paycheck,” said Carlsson.

She’s referring to being able to provide health insurance and save money toward retirement.

Carlsson says no matter how much she would like to have that choice of staying home, at this point; it will only be a wish.

“Oh absolutely, I mean I think every mother goes through days where you’re not sure if you made the right decision but you just get dressed and do everything all over again and you just try your best,” said Carlsson.

And that’s one thing these two moms can agree on.

“I mean as far as being a stay at home mom if you have the option do it, if you don’t, I mean by all means kuddos to the parents that have to do it that way,” said Tollefson.

According to the study, more of the mothers staying at home were women who had immigrated to the country.

And two thirds of the women had a husband working.

Meanwhile, a pew study last year shows that about 550,000 dads stayed home with their kids over the past decade.

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