Working Mom? Feel Guilty No More!

Working Mom? Feel Guilty No More!

by Yash Saboo May 15 2018, 2:19 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 56 secs

While many believe the ‘ideal situation’ for young children is one where their mother doesn’t work at all (according to a 2015 Pew report) but studies suggest otherwise. Here’s some heartening news for working mothers worried about the future of their children. Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs and earn higher wages than those whose mothers stayed home full time. Findings of the study hold true across 24 nations.

A mother can never quite do enough, juggle enough, be enough in an age where the demands of family, work and (hopefully) a personal life keep them hopping morning, noon and night. This makes them feel guilty.

But not anymore!

“There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother,” says Kathleen L. McGinn, the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who conducted the study with Mayra Ruiz Castro, a researcher at HBS and Elizabeth Long Lingo, an embedded practitioner at Mt. Holyoke College.

Source : Parenting Hub

McGinn’s previous research, with Katherine Milkman of Wharton Business School, found that female attorneys are more likely to rise through the ranks of a firm (and less likely to leave) when they have female partners as mentors and role models. McGinn, Castro and Lingo wondered how nontraditional role models influenced gender inequality at home—both in terms of professional opportunities and household responsibilities.

“The link between home and the workplace is becoming more and more critical as we have two-wage-earning families,” McGinn says. “We tend to talk more about inequality in the workplace and yet the inequality in the home is really stuck.”

In developed countries, employed women in two-parent households report that they spend an average of 17.7 hours per week caring for family members, while employed men report devoting about 9, according to the researchers. At the same time, women report spending an average of 17.8 hours per week on housework, while men report an average of 8.8 hours.

The very fact that you're a working mom actually has substantial and meaningful benefits for your children and it opens up opportunities for those who were earlier staying at home.

While earlier research has also shown no negative consequences for the children of working mothers, the new study reveals that the children of working mothers have more liberal attitudes towards women in the workplace, and that sons of working mothers take a greater share of parenting and other household care roles.

“Our analyses find that sons raised by an employed mother are more involved at home as adults, spending more time caring for family members than men whose mothers stayed home full-time,” the study reported.

“Daughters raised by an employed mother spend less time on housework than women whose mothers stayed home full-time, but maternal employment has no effect on adult daughters’ involvement in caring for family members.”

Belinda Phipps, chair of the Fawcett Society for women’s equality, said: “Although we have known for a long time that there are lots of benefits to children to have working mothers, it is great to see more research confirming this.”

But Phipps said it was disappointing to see that progress on sharing domestic housework other than childcare was proving slow to change.

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