New graduates choosing motherhood over career

Full-time mums and housewives – the next feminist revolution?

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It seems there could be a new parenting trend on the horizon, with both the Times and the Daily Mail reporting on new university graduates choosing the role of stay-at-home mum over high-flying career woman.

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Called the “new feminist housewives” by the Daily Mail, the basic gist is that a number of young women who have spent years getting degrees and qualifications are opting to be full-time mums rather than jump on the career ladder. The trend isn’t unique to the UK – similar young mums in the US seem to be doing the same, calling themselves “home managers”, words that emphasise how motherhood is their chosen career.

However, not all mums have the option to pick between being a stay-at-home mum or a working mum. It seems that 52% of mums head back to work after their baby’s born because they can’t afford not to. Under a quarter – 22% – say they returned to work because they wanted to continue their career, according to a survey by uswitch.com

“Despite women being told that they can ‘have it all,’ and can choose whether to be a working or stay-at-home mum, the fact is that most have this choice stripped away from them by the financial realities of modern life,” Ann Robinson from uswitch.com, told the Daily Mail.

And the “new feminist housewives” interviewed do agree you have to be prepared to live a simpler life on one income. “It’s a steep learning curve living on one salary, but it’s not impossible,” said 27-year-old Ellen, a graduate from King’s College London.

History graduate Kate Wheatcroft, 26, is currently pregnant with her second child. “I just laugh when people try and patronise me, because I feel that what I am doing is the most worthwhile thing. I could be earning a fortune  – but then I would be paying someone a fortune to look after my children,” she said.

“The idea of leaving him with someone far less qualified than me while I go out to work doesn’t make any sense.

“My education wasn’t for nothing. I use what I learnt to make learning fun for him,” Kate said.

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Are you one of the “new feminist housewives”? Or a working mum who loves her job? Tell us what works for you…

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