Mothers who choose to return to the workforce after having a child — whether it's because they want to further their career or because they simply need the added income — have often been made to feel guilty for their choice.
Mom shaming is very real and is often aimed at working mothers. Women are often made to feel that they should be devoting every waking moment of their lives to their children instead of pursuing their careers and working outside of the home, while fathers are never even questioned about their jobs nor are they expected to stay home.
But while women have long been guilted for returning to the workforce after having children, there's no reason for it. A new study shows that not only are the children of working mothers turning out just fine, but they may be better off for having a mother that works.
A Harvard study revealed that not only are the daughters of working women more likely to be employed adults than those who were raised by a mother who didn't work, but they're more likely to work more, be paid more and hold higher positions than those whose mothers didn't work. While research didn't show a difference in the employment of sons of mothers who worked, it did find that they often married women who worked, contributed more around the house and "spent approximately 50 additional minutes weekly caring for family members," than men who had mothers who didn't work.
One could conclude that having some added responsibility around the home when they were young impacted them as adults.
“People still have this belief that when moms are employed, it’s somehow detrimental to their children," Harvard Business School Professor Kathleen McGinn commented. "So our finding that maternal employment doesn’t affect kids’ happiness in adulthood is really important.”
Obviously whether a woman chooses to work after having children or stay home is a very personal decision, and one that can only be make by the mother and her family. But for years women who have chosen to return to work have dealt with societal guilt that she was 'abandoning' her family and shunning her responsibilities as a parent. This study proves that the children of working mothers only benefit from having a role model who works outside the home.
“Women are socialized to believe mothers should stay home with their children, so when you separate from your kids every day for work, it can be painful," McGinn said. "As we gradually understand that our children aren’t suffering, I hope the guilt will go away," she reiterated.