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Washington Post Poll

Motherhood

2005 Local Moms Survey Questions

1. How satisfied are you with your role as a mother: very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not too satisfied, or not satisfied at all?

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total99871211*1
Stay at home9987121100
Working9986121**1

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2. Overall, how good a job do you feel you are doing as a mother - excellent, good, fair, or poor?

  Exc/Good Fair/Poor No op.
NET Exc. Good NET Fair Poor
Total985246220*
Stay at home9848502200
Working975543330*

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3. If you had to give me ONE WORD to describe how you feel as a mom, what would it be?

POSITIVE NET 80%
Happy 13
Proud 9
Fulfilled 8
Blessed 7
Great 4
Overjoyed/joyful 3
Satisfied 3
Wonderful 3
Excellent 2
Awesome 1
Challenged 1
Content 1
Ecstatic 1
Excited 1
Fortunate 1
Good 1
Grateful 1
Gratified 1
Honored 1
Love 1
Loved 1
Loving 1
Lucky 1
Nurturing 1
Privileged 1
Responsible 1
Rewarding 1
Terrific 1
Confident *
Elated *
Needed *
Other positive mentions 10
NEGATIVE NET 17%
Tired 4
Busy 2
Overwhelmed 2
Exhausted 1
Frustrated 1
Stressed 1
Other negative mentions 4

Miscellaneous 2
Don't know 1

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4. Thinking of your role as a mother, how often would you say you feel (ITEM) these days: very often, fairly often, sometimes, or hardly ever?

a. Happy

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total59319**0
Stay at home65279000
Working563491*0

b. Guilty

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total510354190
Stay at home69354380
Working410364190

c. Loved

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total781381*0
Stay at home78156100
Working78129**0

d. Tired

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total4621275*0
Stay at home432823410
Working4818295*0

e. Stressed

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total2625391100
Stay at home2325401200
Working2724381000

f. A sense of accomplishment

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total4731203*0
Stay at home472820400
Working4732202*0

g. Appreciated

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total4028275*0
Stay at home422824600
Working3928285*0

h. Worried

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total262341920
Stay at home262738810
Working262143920

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5. How many of your children under age 18 now live at home with you at least part time?

 OneTwoThreeFour +
Total4137148
Stay at home31362310
Working4638106

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6. I'd like you to think about all the arrangements your family has made to care for your (child/children), whether it's staying home yourself or using some other child care arrangements.

Overall, how satisfied are you with the way your particular arrangements are working: very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not too satisfied , or not at all satisfied?

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total946827541*
Stay at home9876212110
Working9262307611

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7. Do you think motherhood today is (more demanding) than it was for the previous generation, (less demanding), or about the same?

 MoreLessSameNo op.
Total714241
Stay at home60435*
Working774181

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8. Do you think mothers today have (higher expectations) of themselves than the previous generation did, (lower expectations), or about the same?

 HigherLowerSameNo op.
Total6511231
Stay at home6514211
Working6510241

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9. How often do you find it difficult to manage all of your responsibilities as a mother: very often, fairly often, sometimes, or hardly ever?

 Very oftenFairly oftenSome- timesHardly everNever (vol.)No op.
Total2125401310
Stay at home1729381500
Working2323411110

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10. Are you currently married, living with a partner, widowed, divorced, separated, or have you never been married?

 MarriedPartnerWidowedDivorcedSeparatedNever married
Total70717411
Stay at home7772319
Working667*9612

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11. In addition to being a mother, do you also have a paid job, or not?

 YesNoUsually, but currently
unemployed / looking for work
Total74261
Stay at home26722
Working1000*

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12. (IF HAS PAID JOB, OR USUALLY DOES) About how many hours (do you spend working at your/would you normally spend working at a) paid job in the average week?

 Less than 2020-3940More than 40
Total11244025
Stay at home514900
Working5194729

12a. (IF WORKS LESS THAN 35 HOURS PER WEEK) Would you describe yourself as a "working mom" or a "stay at home" mom?

 WorkingStay at home
Total4951

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13. How satisfied are you with the amount of time you are able to spend (ITEM): very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not too satisfied, or not at all satisfied?

a. on yourself

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Fairly NET Not too At all
Total501436503713*
Stay at home6120413929100
Working431133574214*

b. (IF MARRIED OR LIVING WITH PARTNER) with your husband or partner

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Fairly NET Not too At all
Total642440363150
Stay at home672839332850
Working612041393450

c. with your (child/children)

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Fairly NET Not too At all
Total865332141320
Stay at home99831611*0
Working783642222020

d. socializing with other adults

  Satisfied Not satisfied No op.
NET Very Fairly NET Not too At all
Total702545302280
Stay at home732845271980
Working682346322480

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14. How much stress, if any, have the demands of motherhood put on (ITEM): a lot, some, a little, or none at all?

a. (IF MARRIED OR LIVING WITH PARTNER) your relationship with your husband or partner

  Stress NET No op.
NET A lot Some A little None
Total81153927190
Stay at home89123838110
Working76173920240

b. your relationships with your friends

  Stress NET No op.
NET A lot Some A little None
Total5810282042*
Stay at home64123022360
Working559262045*

c. (IF WORKING MOM) your relationships with your co-workers

  Stress NET No op.
NET A lot Some A little None
Working353131965*

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15. Do you ever feel guilty when you take time away from your (child/children) to do something for yourself, or not?

  Yes No Don't do things
for myself (vol.)
No op.
Total49493*
Stay at home465220
Working50473*

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16. Do you ever have second thoughts about your decision to have children, or not?

 YesNoNo op.
Total13870
Stay at home8920
Working15850

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17. For each statement I read, please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree.

a. Mothers today are too focused on their children.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total3411236531341
Stay at home3313206530352
Working3510256432331

b. Most mothers I know are doing the best job they know how to do.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total916724853*
Stay at home8964251083*
Working926923743*

c. Sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to be the perfect mom.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total743638261610*
Stay at home7338352715110
Working743440261610*

d. Many mothers I meet are very competitive when it comes to their children.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total783840211651
Stay at home764036231851
Working803742191542

e. Most workplaces are set up to handle the needs of working mothers.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total237177126446
Stay at home2061469264211
Working257187227463

f. Society has set expectations too high for modern mothers.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total6427373524111
Stay at home6329343523132
Working6426393525101

g. Society values the work mothers do.

  Agree Disagree No op.
NET Strg. Smwht. NET Not too At all
Total5113374927221
Stay at home501734492723*
Working5111404826221

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18. How often, if ever, do you feel that other mothers are judging your parenting choices - very often, fairly often, sometimes, or hardly ever?

  Very often Fairly often Some- times Hardly ever Never (vol.) No op.
Total1516343411
Stay at home1622362511
Working1413323911

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19. How often, if ever, do you rely on other mothers for advice or emotional support - very often, fairly often, sometimes, or hardly ever?

  Very often Fairly often Some- times Hardly ever Never (vol.) No op.
Total131937265*
Stay at home1622332630
Working111740266*

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21. (IF MARRIED OR LIVING WITH PARTNER) Overall, who would you say spends more time taking care of your (child/children): you, or your husband or partner, or do you share that responsibility equally?

 YouHusband/ partnerShared equallyNo op.
Total684280
Stay at home860140
Working577360

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22. (IF RESPONDENT SPENDS MORE TIME) Does that ever bother you, or not? IF YES: Does that bother you a lot, some, or just a little?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Total4882811520
Stay at home3442010660
Working61123613390

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23. (IF MARRIED OR LIVING WITH PARTNER) Who is more responsible for arranging and coordinating your (child/children)'s day-to-day activities, such as doctor's visits, homework, play dates, and sports: you, or your husband or partner, or do you share that responsibility equally?

 YouHusband/
partner
Shared
equally
No op.
Total851140
Stay at home97030
Working762220

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24. (IF RESPONDENT IS MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITIES) Does that ever bother you, or not? IF YES: Does that bother you a lot, some, or just a little?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Total315188690
Stay at home204125800
Working4162410590

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25. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) Not counting maternity leave, have you worked continuously since your first child was born, or have you stopped working at some point to stay home full time?

  Worked continuously Stopped working
at some point
No op.
Working62371

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26. (ASKED OF STAY-AT-HOME MOMS) Have you been a stay-at-home mom since your first child was born, or did you work for some period of time between now and then?

  Stayed at home
since first child
Worked for some
period of time
No op.
Stay at home46540

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27. How often, if ever, do you have second thoughts about your decision to (work/stay at home) - very often, fairly often, sometimes, or hardly ever?

  Very often Fairly often Some- times Hardly ever Never (vol.) No op.
Total107244712*
Stay at home782049160
Working1162646111

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28. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) What best describes your financial situation: If I didn't work: My family could maintain about the same lifestyle; We could get by, but would have to change our lifestyle; or, There is no way we could get by financially.

  Maintain
lifestyle
Get by, but have
to change lifestyle
Could not get
by financially
No op.
Working1145440

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29. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) As a working mother, which would you say is tougher: the (mom) part or the (job) part?

  Mom Job Both No op.
Working632971

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30. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) Do you ever feel your job suffers because of your responsibilities as a mother, or not? IF YES: Is that a lot, some, or just a little?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Working3031413700

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31. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) Do you ever feel your job as a mother suffers because of your responsibilities at work, or not? IF YES: Is that a lot, some, or just a little?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Working55112816450

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32. Given your family's current financial situation, would you say your current balance between staying home and working is what's best for:

  You AND your child/ren You, but not your child/ren Your child/ren, but not for you No op.
Total748171
Stay at home725230
Working7510132

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33. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) Please tell me if you've ever done any of the following specifically to spend more time with your (child/children).

  Yes No No op.
a. cut back the hours you worked5347*
b. shifted the hours you worked, such as arriving or leaving earlier8119*
c. changed jobs40600
d. turned down a promotion or new responsibilities38620
e. worked from home or telecommuted on a regular basis28720

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34. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) If you could live as well as you do now WITHOUT working, would you choose to: Continue working the same amount; Continue working, but work fewer hours or fewer days per week; or, Stop working altogether?

  Continue working Stop working No op.
NET Same amount Fewer hours/days
Working77156123*

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35. Would you agree or disagree with the following statement:

I have not achieved everything I could have in my life, because of the sacrifices I have made for my family.

  Agree Disagree No op.
Total4951*
Stay at home4455*
Working5248*

35a. (IF AGREE) Does that bother you a lot, some, a little, or not at all?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Total698313031*
Stay at home7592838250
Working668322634*

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36. Has anyone ever criticized you or made you feel guilty about your decision to be a (working mom/stay at home mom), or not?

  Yes No No op.
Total3367*
Stay at home41590
Working28711

36a. (IF YES) Does that bother you a lot, some, a little, or not at all?

  Yes No No op.
NET A lot Some A little
Total65212518350
Stay at home62162817380
Working67262318330

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37. Thinking about your friends who are (working/stay at home) moms, has the difference in your situations as mothers ever caused strain in your relationship with any of these friends, or not?

  Yes No Don't have friends
in this situation (vol.)
No op.
Total167861
Stay at home22753*
Working137971

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38. (ASKED IF MARRIED) Has the decision whether to stay home or to work ever been a source of tension in your marriage, or not?

  Yes No No op.
Total21791
Stay at home16831
Working2476*

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39. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:

In general, it is better for a child if one of the parents stays home full-time.

  Agree Disagree No op.
Total64342
Stay at home88103
Working51481

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40. If money is not an issue, and a mother is happiest working, do you think it would be better for the mother: (to work, because if she's more personally satisfied she'll be a better mother to her children), or (to stay home, because taking care of her children should take priority over her personal satisfaction).

  Work Stay home Depends No op.
Total603082
Stay at home523792
Working652772

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41. (ASKED OF WORKING MOMS) What kind of child care do you use on a regular basis: a day care center, day care in someone else's home, a nanny, a family member, an aftercare or after-school program or something else? (Multiple responses allowed)

Day care center (not in a home)17
Day care in someone else's home10
Nanny4
Family member23
Aftercare OR after-school program15
Au pair*
Babysitter2
Friends/neighbors1
School/school activities2
Something else2
Nothing/None/No child care31
No opinion*

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