Two facts are often obscured in the public conversation devoted to women, work, and family. First, the vast majority of married mothers don’t want to work full-time. Second, married mothers who are able to cut back at work to accommodate their family’s needs tend to be happier. The news cycle is stuck in a lean-in loop, but new data show mothers report more happiness when they can lean homeward.
Women married with children were more likely to be “very happy” with their lives if they made a family-related work sacrifice. By contrast, the happiness of married men was not significantly related to making work sacrifices for their families.