- The Iona Institute - https://ionainstitute.ie -

Vast majority of mothers want to be at home not work says new poll

More than two-thirds of mothers (69pc) with children under the age of 18 would prefer to stay at home with their children rather than go out to work if they could afford it, according to a new Amarach Research opinion poll commissioned by The Iona Institute.

In addition, 76pc of mothers said that women who work in the home are undervalued by society compared with women who work outside the home.

Over 70pc of mothers do not feel valued by society for their work as mothers.

The questions in the poll were identical to those used in a widely publicised survey commissioned by Sudocream in 2017, and the findings of this latest survey are extremely similar to the ones in that poll and other polls on the same issue.

Commenting on the survey on behalf of The Iona Institute, Professor Patricia Casey said: “The findings are extremely relevant to the upcoming referendum on carers. Currently, the Constitution acknowledges the importance of mothers, and it says they should not be forced out of the home by economic necessity. We see from this survey and others like it that the vast majority of mothers would prefer to stay at home with their children if they could afford it. This is exactly what the Constitution aims at, even if the State has failed to live up to the promise of the Constitution.”

She continued: “I have been a working mother for most of my adult life. This is what I wanted and Article 41.2 of the Constitution held me back in no way, shape or form. Children’s Minister, Roderic O’Gorman, says ‘a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be’, and that is exactly correct. The trouble is that the policy of this and past Governments has made it almost impossible for most mothers to stay at home with their children if that is what they want.”

Professor Casey concluded: “If the Government was really on the side of mothers, it would make it easier for them to stay at home with their children if that is their wish, and it is the wish of the vast majority of them, as the Amarach poll tells us. But the Government seems to be on the side of the economy, not mothers. It wants to delete the one reference to mothers from the Constitution, the one reference to the home in the context of mothers, and the one reference to try and protect mothers from being forced out of the home. This is not right.”

The following were the findings of the Amarach survey:

If you had the option (and money was no issue) would you prefer to be a stay-at-home mother?

Yes: 69pc

No: 22pc

Don’t know: 10pc

Which does society value more: women who work inside the home or women who work outside the home?

Women who work in the home: 3pc

Women who work outside the home: 76pc

Both equally: 12pc

Don’t know: 9pc

Do you feel valued for the work you do as a mother by society?

Somewhat or very much so: 29pc

Not really or not at all: 71pc

Don’t know: 1pc