Children with working mums grow up to be happier adults, study finds

By March 24, 2020For Talent

Working mums, this is interesting!

There’s a constant discussion about the pros and cons of being a working mum. And frankly, we support whatever decision a woman makes in her life. If you choose to work – fair play. If you choose to stay at home with your gorgeous kiddos – fair play. 

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to working mums, but there are quite a few interesting studies that have merit.

In 2015, the initial results of a study found that the daughters of employed mothers tend to perform better in their future careers than the daughters of stay-at-home mothers.

A few years on, the full study was released, and it revealed even more promising news for kids with working mums. Turns out that they end up just as happy in adulthood as the kids of mums who stayed home. Well, that’s comforting to know. 

working mums

Speaking about the findings, Kathleen McGinn, a Harvard Professor and author of this study, said:

“People still have this belief that when moms are employed, it’s somehow detrimental to their children. So our finding that maternal employment doesn’t affect kids’ happiness in adulthood is really important.”

She added:

“When women choose to work, it’s a financial and personal choice. Women should make that choice based on whether they want or need to work, not based on whether they are harming their children—because they are not.”

The study found that adult daughters of working mums are more likely to work themselves, hold more senior roles, and earn higher wages than women whose mums stayed home full time.

working mums

At the time of the initial release of the report, the findings were met with some negative feedback. However, Kathleen McGinn believes that the results are positive, and can alleviate the guilt some working mothers may feel. 

“Many decried the research as another instalment of the ‘mommy wars.’ But the most common response was from mothers who suffered guilt, self-doubt, and disapproval from others. They found our preliminary results to be welcome news.”

Interesting findings, all the same. 

Author Rebecca O'Keeffe

More posts by Rebecca O'Keeffe

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