Ask any working mum and they’ll tell you that the one thing they struggle with the most is mummy’s guilt. And if that’s not enough, we also have to juggle the demands of work and family and wonder where’s the work-life balance that we’re promised.
But thanks to a new study by Harvard, we working mums can finally shake off the guilt and stop beating ourselves up about working outside the home.
Women whose mothers worked outside the home are more likely to have jobs themselves, are more likely to hold supervisory responsibility at those jobs, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers stayed home full time.
According to the findings from Harvard Business School, daughters of employed mothers are more likely to join the workforce. And across 24 countries, 69 per cent of women with a working mother were employed. And not only that, daughters of working mothers go on to earn marginally higher wages and more likely to be leaders in their professional lives.
And mums with boys, you’ll be happy to know that boys raised by working mothers are more likely to spend extra time caring for family members and doing household chores than the sons of mothers who were at home full-time.
Not surprising，after I shared this news on my FB page, I received quite a response, mainly from stay-home mums that the study must be taken with a pinch of salt. In their defence, it’s hardly about whether the children had working mums or not, but rather how much time these mums spend with their children, how the mums raised their kids and the values that’s being imparted.
I do not disagree with them and agree that such studies can be skewed depending on the questions are asked, the way the result are sliced and diced and finally how they want to present the findings.
But personally, it’s refreshing to read something that suggests that working mums are not neglecting our kids when we make the decision to work. And I can take heart that my daughter IS going to turn out fine even though I’m a working mum who can’t spend as much time with her as I wish. And to cite this study, I am more than just helping my family economically and myself professionally, I am also helping our child in the long haul.
Then again, who’s to say that I will keep working. After all, I may take a career break, change to working part-time or maybe even become a SAHM in the future. After all, a family evolves and so some of these arrangements evolve along the way as well.
While it is challenging balancing work and family, it can be done with understanding bosses and colleagues, a supportive spouse as well as a positive mindset that it’s possible.
So husbands, remember to thank your wife when you get home today because as she’s working, she’s raising a new generation of modern men who can roll their sleeves up to help in their chores as well as independent and career minded ladies.
And mums – let’s not be too hard on ourselves. After all, we are being a positive role model to our kids whether you know it or not.
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Tagged: tips for working mums, work life balance, working mum
There will always be cases for and against being a FTWM / PTWM/ SAHM / WAHM etc. so I always read such studies with a pinch of salt too knowing there’s a lot more factors involved in how a child turns out in the future. Of course as a FTWM I love reading that Lil Pumpkin is “likely” to grow up to be a leader in her field and that we are appreciated for contributing to the family too, but whatever it is, however our working conditions, as long as we parent with love to the best of our abilities, I believe that our kids will grow and thrive.
AI @ Sakura Haruka
Indeed. As mums, we should always remember that it’s the quality time spent with our kids that matter. I don’t think Sophie feels short change in my attention or affection just because I’m working as well. The challenges that mums face may be different but at the end of the way, if we parent well our kids will grow up just fine 🙂
This question can be debated and researched endlessly! Yes, families evolve and as the children grow up, things will change.
When my girls entered secondary school, it was a time where they looked around for role models for their lives and careers. And mothers are usually their first role-model. They asked questions about my decisions – why I am a stay home mum, why I was working part-time previously.
I can see the difference in the eyes of my 17-year old. The thoughts going through her mind when she thought all i was doing was ‘nothing’ at home. Now that they are older and I’m starting to pursue my passion and dreams, she is excited for me and enjoys discussing my plans and work. I can also see that she is inspired.
That’s wonderful to hear that she looks up to you especially with your new passions in life. And more than just a role model in terms of work life, it’s important that we are a role model for living a full and purposeful life.
As a Christian, whatever studies will not supercede God’s teaching. Proverbs 31.
The Proverbs 31 woman is our gold standard!