MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study shows a jump in the number of moms who say they want to work full-time.

The Pew Research study says 32 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 said their ideal would be to work full-time.

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That is a 12-point increase over the 20 percent who said so in 2007, before the economy tanked.

It definitely is 40 percent of moms with family incomes below $50,000 that say they would like to work full-time.
But the study also found that a third of mothers who described themselves as living “comfortably” would also like to be full-time workers.

Jessica Huntington works in Hennepin County’s Healthworks program.

Her son Bryce is two and a half. Working part time is not an option, she said.

“There is a financial need for me to work full-time,” Huntington said.

But financial reasons, especially the cost of day care, can drive moms like registered nurse Shana Fink, a mother of four, from full to part-time work.

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“Financially and for my family its best for me to work part-time right now,” she said. “It was a huge adjustment for me to go from full-time with two children to part-time with four children. But you do what you got to do.”

The survey found 56 percent of working moms say it is difficult to balance their work and family responsibilities.

But dads worry, too. Fifty percent of fathers say they have a hard time juggling work and family.

And when it comes to feeling guilty about not spending time with their kids — it’s dads who feel the worst.

Forty-six percent of all fathers say they spend too little time with their kids, compared with 23 percent of mothers.

A major difference between working moms and dads is that moms say flexible hours, even with a full-time job, are very important.

“Oh, it’s huge,” Huntington said. “I think it makes it a lot easier. It takes a lot of the stress off instead of rushing from place to place.”

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As for “rushing from place to place” this will not come as a surprise to moms or dads — the surveys found that working parents feel a lot more rushed, a lot more often than their colleagues who don’t have children.