Married with children: The state of families in Utah

Jeannene Smalley of West Jordan and Christa Storms of West Valley City came to the same conclusion years ago: Their children would be better off having mom at home with them.

And so both women gave up jobs to become stay-at-home mothers.

"I don't regret it at all," said Smalley, who worked as a special needs teacher. "We had just decided it was important for me to be there at home to help our kids grow up. I have loved every minute of it."

Well, OK, almost every minute. There are days, Smalley admits, when she feels overwhelmed and jokes about going back to work, but it passes.

Their families are part of the reason Utah looks so different compared with the rest of the nation when it comes to family households and work-force participation, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report.

Utah is tied with Arizona in having the lowest percentage of children -- 53 percent -- with both parents in the labor force, according to "America's Families and Living Arrangements: 2007." The percentage is even lower for younger children.

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