AbstractIn a context where the pressures of intensive mothering are all-consuming, mothers who work for pay, or those with mother-worker identities, face difficult challenges as they attempt to execute the tasks of both parenthood and employment in effective ways. In contrast, stay-at-home mothers, or those with mother-caregiver identities, receive reinforcing messages from intensive mothering ideology that they should remain solely focused on meeting their children's everyday needs. Using random sample survey data collected from 3,327 women in mothers' organizations during 2009, I find that only 18.5% of all mothers have strong beliefs regarding whether working for pay is best for children or not, and no single mothering identity (mother-worker or mother-caregiver) had a statistically significant relationship with holding such beliefs. However, among those who held such beliefs, full-time mother-workers were less likely than mother-caregivers to be able to align their current employment statuses with their preferred paid work preferences.
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