Are working mothers happier?

Author's Note: Are working mothers happier?

Women today can have it all. They can pursue educational and career opportunities unhindered by gender, thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and advances in birth control mean they can better decide the optimal time for starting a family. But while we have the intellectual, legal and medical tools pursue careers and have kids, having it all can be an energy-sapping juggling act. Even in 2012, working mothers tend to take care of more housework than their male partners, regardless of employment status. And they typically bear the brunt of childcare as well.

So for this working woman who wants to start a family someday, I sometimes wonder whether "having it all" is worth the extensive hours and energy required. Could staying at home with the kids suffice, or do those briefcase- and backpack-toting professional mothers have the happier lot?

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