Surprising trend: More moms staying home after having a baby

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DENVER -- The number of moms choosing to stay at home after having a baby keeps growing, after more than four decades of dropping.

The Pew Research Center Found in 2012, 29% of women stayed at home to raise their children and of that,  85% of them did so by choice. The driving factor appears to be a combination of things from economics to demographics.

Busy moms like Jeni Reilly in Parker know that raising three kids is no easy task. She was a corporate meeting planner before making the choice to stay home. However, she says by making that decision, she and her husband did have to give up certain things. She said, “It’s a luxury for my kids, more so than me,” adding, "I wanted them to be raised like I was raised."

It’s a similar story for Sierra Berlin in Centennial.

She also made the choice to leave the workforce and stay at home. She says nine-month-old Tripp keeps her busy, full time. She says she’s lucky to be able to afford to stay at home with him, but she and her husband Vic did weigh their options, fully aware of the growing cost of child care.

Sierra said, “At the end of the day, with the little amount of money that I'm left with, is it really worth it to give up the experience and all the experiences that I get with Tripp?"

That growing cost is a tough reality for most parents.

“Colorado comes as the least affordable state for care,” said Stacy Buchanan. She’s the Vice President of Information Strategy for Qualistar, a non-profit dedicated to improving child care in Colorado.

Buchanan says it can cost as much as $1,200 a month for parents with babies.

Reilly stated, “What do you have to make to afford that?”

That growing cost only increases when you factor in the recession which forced some daycare centers to close and others to raise prices to recoup their losses.

Add to that, flexible work schedules. Buchanan said, “So many people are able to work remotely, set their own hours, that sort of thing, so there might not be as much of a need for full-time, traditional day care."

Both Reilly and Berlin said they enjoy being home and wouldn’t change their decision. But, the Pew Research Center did find about six percent of women stay home because they can't find work.

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