Q&A About American Mothers

Erica Yitzak

American Moms are far different today than they were 100 years ago. Here are a few things that we know are different of today’s American mothers and how everything has changed over time.

1. What are American Mothers about?
In America, there are about 85 million mothers. Today, there are about a third of women from the ages 18-63 that have young children at home. In 1960, 52% did. Women are having children at a much later age than they used to. Today, the average age of a first time mother is 25.8 compared to 21.4 in 1970.

Another fact is that the marital status of mothers has changed as well. In 1960, nearly all mothers with young children were married, compared to the 7 in 10 statistic today.

2. How many kids do they have?
Women who are in their forties and nearing the end of their child-bearing years: 1/3 has had two children, 19% have either had one or three and about 10% have had four or more children.

American mothers today have on average 1.9 children, compared to the 3.7 children in 1960.

3. How do American moms spend their time?
Today, moms work far more hours outside home and spend less time on housework than they did fifty years ago. Moms actually spend more time with their children than 5 years ago, and about twice as much as today’s fathers do. Dads todays pend much more time on housework and child care than the average amounts of the past, but they haven’t yet caught up to moms.

4. How many moms are working?
About 71% of mothers with children younger than the age of 18 were in the labor force, compared to less than half in 1975. Interestingly enough, mothers are actually staying at home more since 1999.

Moms these days are actually providing more for their families than they ever have. About 2/3rds of these breadwinner mothers are single moms.

Americans today still have mixed views about he ideal situation for raising a family and work-life balance.

5. How do moms feel about the job they’re doing raising their kids?
Moms still feel that they do not spend enough time with their kids, even though the amount of time has significantly increased over the years. three quarters of moms give themselves high ratings on their parenting skills, as working mothers are particular likely to give themselves a good rating as well.