A study by Kathleen McGinn has revealed that children of working moms wind up as happy in adulthood as kids of stay-at-home mums. The preliminary report of the Harvard Business School professor’s study had come out in 2015, where it had revealed the ground-breaking results that the daughters of employed mothers often perform better in their eventual careers than the daughters of stay-at-home moms.
The two surveys of more than 100,000 men and women across 29 countries revealed how the employment of mothers affects their adult children, both in terms of their own employment as well as how much time they spend at home caring for children and doing housework. This new revelation in the complete study will help many working moms sleep better tonight.
It is not easy being a working mother in any country and especially a patriarchal one as ours. Women don’t just have to fight their way into the professional world, they don’t get much leeway with their household duties. A big part of these duties is taking care of their children.
While families and partners are changing their attitude, but centuries of cultural conditioning still nags the conscience of working mums. Many worry that their work is impacting the well-being of their children.
The kids are happy, and so should be us
Every mother who spends time away from her child, battles pangs of guilt. Even when you are working from home, the thought that you are not spending time with your child instead, is there in the back of one’s head. But does this guilt and fear of neglect stem more from the social critique than facts? Those around us; men, women and elders, play a big role in inducing guilt of neglecting our child. But as this study proves, our fears may be entirely misplaced.
- Study reveals that children of working moms wind up as happy in adulthood as children of stay at home mums.
- This report will be such a relief to numerous working mums who fret over the impact of their working status.
- Having a working mother makes children independent, understanding and imparts values of sincerity and passion towards work.
Having a working mom doesn’t mean that she will neglect you. It just means she would be sometimes unavailable for your PTM and your father may have to accompany you. It means you will have to reheat the lunch after coming back from school that she so lovingly prepared at five in the morning.
Being brought up by a working mum taught me the value of sincerity. My mum had to fight so much criticism to hold on to her job, which made me realise how important it was for her.
Her work gave her an individual status, financial freedom and confidence. As an adult, I have imbibed the passion and love my mother feels for her work in me. She has also inspired me to take taunts and disapproving headshakes with my chin up.
But that’s not it. Having a strong bond with my mother also assured me that I could have the same with my child. In fact, I am happier and less resentful towards motherhood, after I began working after a long maternity break. Being back to work has helped me connect better with my child. Now I enjoy every minute I spend with her more, and not think wistfully of what I could be doing professionally instead.
The decision to work should be guided by whether you want to or not. Not from how it will impact the upbringing of your child. Because, as this study proves, it doesn’t.
What must change in our society though, is its approach to working mums. Everyone needs to read this study and accept that a mother’s working status doesn’t hamper her ability to bring up happy and healthy children. However, the constant nagging and criticism do affect her health. It wouldn’t hurt anyone if we can go to sleep without feeling guilty. After all bringing children up is a familial responsibility and as soon as families realise that, mothers in our country can be happy too.
Picture Credit: peacequarters.com
Also Read : #SheTheMom: Mothers And Motherhood In Indian Mythology
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.