When I first spotted this article I immediately wanted to post it. I read this article and thought, “Duh?! How obvious!” Rather than posting immediately I decided to take some time to assemble my thoughts, concerns, and experiences in relation to the findings contained within the article.
Finding #1-Working mothers are less depressed and have overall better health than mothers who stay home. This seems obvious. Mothers who have careers, and by careers, I would include ANY type of job outside of the realm of direct parenting, including: work from home mothers, bloggers, volunteers, part time, or full time employees, all get to interact with other adults on a professional basis. They have the opportunity to use their brains independently of their children, and achieve and set professional goals that are not related to the household. Working mothers are less socially isolated than stay at home mothers.
When I first began telling people that I was pregnant, one of the first questions I was asked was if I would be returning to work. As I’ve mentioned previously, I can’t believe how common this question is in 2011. Secondly, I was told by several stay at home moms that I would be “exhausted”, “stressed”, and “overwhelmed” by attempting to balance parenting and work. It seems, according to this study, that the opposite holds true. Women who work either part time or full time report that they are healthier, both physically and mentally, than stay-at-home moms.
Finding #2- Mothers working part time tended to report less conflict between work and family than those working full time, the researchers said. Again, this is a no-brainer. I know the issue of part-time work has come up recently in other posts. I am a part time worker and I love it, it allows me the best of both worlds. However, if you are a full time working mom, take a peek at this article, there are a lot of benefits you get out of all the hard work you do.
Finding #3- Mothers employed part time reported being just as involved in their child’s schooling as stay-at-home moms, and more involved than moms who worked full time. In addition, mothers working part time provided more learning opportunities for their toddlers than stay-at-home moms and moms working full time, the researchers said. This is my favorite. I recently shared this finding with a male co-worker of mine, whose wife is a stay-at-home mom, he didn’t believe it. “How can a working Mom be more involved in schooling and learning than a stay at home mom?” This may be counter to some individual’s logic, but based on the working moms and the stay-at-home moms that I know, I would absolutely say this holds true. The irony is that in my community, working moms are looked down on and often judged for not being “good enough.” What’s going on here ladies? There are scientific studies being conducted that show the emotional and developmental benefits of having a mom who works! Why do working moms still (sometimes) continue to get a bad rap?
Now, before I get criticized for “choice”, I do believe that deciding to work or not work is a choice that women have been afforded the privilege of making. I appreciate that, I support that, and I would fight for that. I’m simply taking my personal experience and my run-ins with judgy stay at home moms and pointing out alternative perspectives.
Oh, and I’m giving a big shout out to the amazing working moms that I know and love! Be proud of what you do ladies, not only are you helping yourself, you are helping your child.