Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers

Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers

A Lifespan Perspective

Cherlyn Skromme Granrose

Chronicling the lives and career choices of a dynamic group of women, this book provides a comprehensive and unique glimpse into the intricate balance of work and family. Women’s Employment and Homemaking Careers is based on three surveys, the first conducted while the women were attending university, and the second and third conducted one and two decades later. The surveys provide quantitative data that supplements the qualitative material gained from final interviews conducted at the end of the 25 year longitudinal study.

Chapter 5: Homemaking Careers

Cherlyn Skromme Granrose


Out of the women who started this study in college (Phase I) 59 percent believed they were likely to leave the full-time labor force for more than three years after the birth of their first child. Of the 72 women interviewed in Phase IV, 55 percent actually did not work full-time outside their home for more than three years after their children were born, However, many of these women were not from the group who thought in college that they were certain to become homemakers after childbirth and also many did not leave full-time employment after their first child was born. The women who worked part-time rather than full-time but never totally left the labor force for three or more years are reported in the part-time workers’ chapter, Chapter 4. Others who chose entrepreneurial or self-employed careers, some of whom ran a daycare service in their homes and who might also be considered homemakers, are presented in Chapter 6. The 15 women who became full-time homemakers without any employment for three or more years are included in this chapter. In this homemaker group are several different patterns of withdrawal from the labor force. The first and smallest group is the most stereotypical traditional homemaking career pattern where a woman engaged in the labor market after college graduation, remained at home continuously throughout her childrearing years, and never entered the paid labor force again. This study had only two women who had a homemaking career as their primary life’s work after...

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