So many working moms these days are concerned about not spending enough time with their kids. We worry, we fret, we weigh the pros and cons and then worry some more. But a new study is delivering some good news: Your decision to work has no bearing on whether your child grows up happy. In fact, having an employed mother can be beneficial for daughters and sons down the line.
A study from the journal Work, Employment, and Society looked at data from over 100,000 people from 29 different countries and found no notable associations between a mom’s employment status and whether her kids turned out to be happy adults. They were just as content in adulthood as kids who grew up with stay-at-home moms (and vice versa).
In addition to having no negative impact, having an employed mom could have some positive ramifications on children’s lives, researchers found. It turns out that in families with working mothers, girls are more likely to have successful careers when they grow up. The data showed that employed women who were raised by working moms were 1.29 times more likely to supervise others at work and reported significantly higher annual incomes.
And while having a working mom doesn't seem to affect boys' careers, it could affect their home life. The study found that as adults, sons who had working moms spent 50 more minutes each week caring for family members than those whose mothers weren’t employed.
So what’s at work here? The study points to a shift in gender attitudes and social learning in homes with working moms. “These findings add to a growing body of research providing a counterpoint to persistent beliefs and rhetoric that employed women are negatively affecting their families and society,” researchers said in their report.
So relax, working moms—the kids are going to be just fine.