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When Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said over a week ago that Mitt Romney's wife Ann, a stay-at-home mom, "has actually never worked a day in her life," she was making the assumption that staying at home is a luxury.

Turns out it's not for most women who do it.

Stay-at-home mothers are younger, less educated and more likely to be Hispanic than they were in previous generations, and perhaps have a more traditional view of family and more limited job skills than other women these days, according to a Census Bureau report that analyzed changes in stay-at-home motherhood from 1969 to 2009. Eighteen percent of stay-at-home mothers lack a high school degree, compared with 7 percent of women in the work force. And black women were about half as likely as white women to be stay-at-home mothers.

Rosen later said her comments were more about Ann not having to "care for her kids AND earn a paycheck like MOST American women!" But "MOST American women" who stay at home aren't giving themselves money showers. Household income for families with a stay-at-home mom averages $64,000. That's $24,000 less than household incomes with two parents who "earn a paycheck."

[New York Times]

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