There are many posts on the Internet which urge working moms to feel less guilty about how they are raising their kids — they seem to be doing better than some may think. This has been confirmed by a Harvard study which involved 50,000 children of career women from 25 countries. Researchers found that there were considerable benefits for kids raised by working mothers. The study included women who were working part-time in addition to full-time professionals.
The study found that these children were more accepting of non-traditional gender-role models in the home setting. Later, this contributed to daughters being more successful in the workplace in supervisory roles and sons who were more empathetic. Here are six reasons why these sons and daughters are more successful at work and at home.
1. Sons understand how gender roles have evolved
Both sons and daughters learn that a working mother is perfectly normal and that the woman’s role is not necessarily that of a housewife. In fact, according to the Office of National Statistics in the UK, the number of stay-at-home moms has decreased by more than 33 per cent in the last twenty years. Sons begin to understand that they too have a role to play in the running of the household. Later in life, they contribute more in childcare and in managing the home because of this early life lesson. In fact, the Harvard study shows that these men are spending twice the amount of time on childcare — 16 hours a week compared to the 8.5-hour norm.
2. Sons are likely to be more empathetic
Sons learn from an early age to pitch in and help out with household chores when their mother is away from the home. This makes them more sensitive to the needs of others. They will never wonder what stay-at-home mothers do all day. They are more likely to grow up being empathetic and caring, becoming better partners and parents themselves. There is no need to separate masculine from feminine qualities. A parent will teach their sons that there are only human qualities. The family with a working mom finds it easier to instil empathy in their boys.
3. Sons are more likely to marry a working mother
Other studies show that sons brought up by working mothering are more likely to have wives who work. The reason behind this is that the sons have a less traditional view of mothering because they grew up in a home where working and mothering was seamless. They are much more likely to be supportive and helpful when their own wives work.
4. Daughters have a positive role model to follow
Instead of worrying obsessively about how much actual time they spend with their daughters, working moms should reflect on how they are setting a positive example of gender equality and success. Daughters are inspired by the example and have no qualms about their own careers when they marry.
5. Daughters have more supervisory roles
The Harvard study found that daughters of working mothers were more likely to be successful and had more supervisory roles than those women brought up by stay-at-home moms. Twenty-five per cent of daughters of stay-at-home moms were in supervisory roles compared to 33 per cent of daughters of working mothers. These women were much more confident in holding down dual roles than their colleagues. The reason is that they had an excellent example to follow from an early age.
6. Daughters are earning more
The daughters of working mothers earn up to 23 per cent more (in the USA) than their counterparts and are better placed to gain more senior positions. That makes a difference of $7,000 annually in the USA. The reason is that these women are motivated from an early age to follow their own career choices, just like their own mothers. This is a crucial factor in their success.They were also taught to be independent and autonomous from an early age, as their mothers never had the time to indulge in helicopter parenting.
Long live women’s right to choose when it comes to working or staying at home. If they choose the former, they should relax and know that that their choice will have a beneficial impact on their sons and daughters. It is high time to change the stereotypes and recognize quality parenting is much more complex than many people imagine.
Featured photo credit: Dad helping Ricky while Sara looks on/Joshua Blount via flickr.com