The question has now been an open debate and often gets left in the uncertain zone. While working mothers live with the guilt of leaving their kids behind, the stay at home mums are often blamed for over pampering and over indulgence.
But it’s the working mothers who often face the maximum brunt from the society – of leaving their kids unattended for long periods or leaving them in the care of strangers.
But is this really true?
Not really. And there have been multiple studies to show that the alternate could actually exist. Children of working mothers are happier or as happy as the ones that have a stay at home mum.
According to a New York times article, working mums should simply discard their feeling of guilt, improve work-life flexibility, and strive for equality at home and work.
“People still have this belief that when moms are employed, it’s somehow detrimental to their children,” says McGinn, the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School. “So, our finding that maternal employment doesn’t affect kids’ happiness in adulthood is really important.”
She also says, “when women choose to work, it’s a financial and personal choice. Women should make that choice based on whether they want or need to work, not based on whether they are harming their children—because they are not.”Any child’s mental health and happiness ultimately depends upon the environment they get while growing up, the care and guidance that they receive.
There are certain skills that the children end up picking from their working mothers.
From an early age, they are tuned to do a large part of their work on their own. They may still need help, but they get acclimatised to function independently for most things.
Confident at social skills –
Kids whose mothers work, meet and see a large fraternity of people. They see their mums interacting with a variety, ranging from colleagues, sub-ordinates or friends. This sub consciously makes them aware. They learn to confront situations and become confident, self-reliant.
Working mothers manage an array of responsibilities, all at the same time. Office, projects, house children etc.
According to Professor Kathleen L. Mcginn of Harvard Business School, “If you’re actually observing an employed mom manage a complex life and handle multiple demands — a job, a family, a household — you see that it can work. Everything we know about role models and social learning suggests that children are actively picking up life skills from adults around them. It’s all about what they’re exposed to as children.”
Career oriented –
In 2015 and then subsequently in 2018, a ground-breaking study found that the daughters of employed mothers often perform better in their eventual careers than the daughters of stay-at-home moms. Additionally, it also states that they wind up just as happy in adulthood as the children of moms who stayed home.
Compared to women whose mothers stayed home full time, women raised by an employed mother are 1.21 times more likely to be employed; 1.29 times more likely to supervise others at work; and they spend 44 extra minutes at their jobs each week.
They also earn more money. Among the women who responded to the survey in the United States in 2012, employed daughters of employed moms earned an average of $1,880 more per year than employed daughters of moms who stayed home full time.
With this research, McGinn hoped for reassurance for employed mothers who are always in the midst of a mental conflict.
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