Working mothers face a lot of scrutiny. They’re expected to still remain the primary caretakers of their children on top of having a job, either full or part time. Working mothers often get asked questions like, “How do you balance work and family?” and “Who watches the kids while you’re away?,” questions rarely – if ever – asked of the father. While working mothers often feel the burden of guilt over choosing to have a career, they should feel guilty no more. Working moms, rejoice! New psychological studies have found that working mothers tend to have happier children than stay-at-home moms while also being happier themselves.
There are ever-growing amounts of research saying that helicopter parenting harms kids more than it helps them. A study of college students found that children given their independence report satisfaction, better health, and confidence as young adults, where children of helicopter parents are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and self-doubt in their decisions. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, the amount of time that parents – both mothers and fathers – spend with their children before their teenage years has little to no impact on the child’s performance socially, academically, or emotionally.
In fact, it’s not until the child’s teenage years that more time spend with a parent can help reduce delinquency. What actually makes a difference in the children’s lives is income: family income is a much bigger predictor of whether or not a child will have successful development than the amount of time spent with parents. This isn’t to say that people who are rich will have better kids, but rather higher household income for each income bracket correlates to better child development. An economically stable environment is more important in a child’s development than having a parent constantly present. So, working moms, if you’re working to give your child a better life, keep it up. You’re doing the right thing.
On top of having happier children, working mothers themselves are also happier than their stay-at-home counterparts. A study from the American Psychological Association said that mothers who are employed part time report fewer symptoms of depression and better overall health than mothers who stay at home with their children.
Moms, enjoy spending time with your children, but also enjoy taking time for yourself. Your children will thank you for it, and you’ll thank yourself.