Deanna Campbell used to manage a call center in Nashville, Tenn. Now she manages four children under age of 5 at her home outside New York City.
For her, the decision to stay at home was clear.
"They get someone who is there 24 hours a day," Campbell told ABC's Kate Snow. "I think they know that they get my full attention 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
That type of schedule is what an increasing number of women are striving for, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center, which shows a distinct change in how women addressed the work-home balance a decade ago.
Nearly half of those responding said their ideal was to not work outside the home, up 39 percent from 1997, while 60 percent of the working moms said they would rather spend more time with family by working part-time.
"Overall, mothers of all stripes, regardless of what they're doing, are less likely to say that full-time work would be ideal for them," said Cary Funk a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center:
In part, the changing views come from a new generation of parents, as those in Generation X look to work while also having time for their kids. Part-time work may also be appealing as work schedules get more demanding.
"The biggest pressure is of course just the sheer tyranny of the clock. The hours have ramped up so tremendously -- full-time work is no longer 40 hours week," said Pamela Stone of Hunter College.
"We have more women than ever working in demanding professional jobs. … We have women who are doing jobs that are by their very nature time consuming and demanding, and moreover, we know those very jobs are seeing the biggest run up in hours."
Mixing Preschool With Private Practice
While a lot of women want to work part-time, most are still spending five of their days at work. The study found that among those with jobs, 75 percent of the mothers work full-time.
That leaves 25 percent, like Dr. Monica Ruehli, with part-time hours. She says she purposefully sought a practice where she could be an ob-gyn just four days a week, with one day left to devote to her child.
"I have a daughter who is in preschool, and that is the day I can go and drop her off and pick her up and interact with the teachers," Ruehli said. "So it's a day that I can just be a regular, regular mom."
While other women may dream of that kind of schedule, they may not have a choice or an option to cut their work hours. Financial realities and today's competitive workplace can preclude some from a part-time schedule, leaving women to struggle to find the right balance between home and work.
"These choices are so hard for women, and women are made to feel guilty, no matter what they do," said Leslie Bennetts, author of "The Feminine Mistake: Are we Giving Up Too Much?"
"I think everybody steps back sometimes and says, 'Did I make the right choice?'" Campbell adds.
The second-guessing may always be there -- but so is the joy of being a mother.
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