chapter  5
Life as a Working Mother: Teressa and Charise
Pages 13

Twenty-two of the mothers in the New York sample were working and received no income from welfare by the 6-year follow-up. Most of these young women (n = 18) also lived apart from their own mothers, but only three lived alone. The others lived with husbands or boyfriends who contributed to their income or provided child care, possibly suggesting that even with full-time work they could not support their children alone. However, a variety of factors likely co-occurred to contribute to their relative success in both relationships with male partners and work: With incomes, these women are more desirable partners. As we have seen, working mothers also tended to be less depressed and less stressed than nonworking mothers. Living with the grandmothers was not an option for many of these working women. The grandmothers were unavailable due to illness, moves, drug addictions, or histories of abuse or neglect. For the three mothers who lived alone at the 6-year follow-up, their situations reflected recent life transitions, including a separation from a boyfriend, an unintended pregnancy that had occurred in a new relationship, and family (who the mother was living with) moving away.