Working Moms Don't Hurt Their Kids, Study Says

Filed under: In The News

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You can stop feeling guilty if you work away from your kids during the day.

Well, a little less guilty, anyway. You are a mother. A certain amount of guilt is part of the job description.

If not freedom from guilt, you can at least find validation from a British study that concludes mothers do not harm their young children emotionally or socially by going out to work.

As a matter of fact, London's Guardian newspaper reports, girls seem to benefit from being in a household where Mom works. Researchers from the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London found no evidence of detrimental effects on young children of mothers working part-time or full-time.

The ideal scenario for children, according to researchers, is for both parents to live at home and for both to be working. The Guardian reports the finding will encourage policymakers to help families stay together.

Lead researcher Anne McMunn tells the Guardian there seemed to be many benefits from both parents working "as long as parents are supported, do not have to work long hours and are able to combine child-rearing with paid work."

"In this study we did not see any evidence for a longer-term detrimental influence on child behavior of mothers working during the first year of life," she adds.

The Guardian reports thousands of parents, mostly mothers, answered questionnaires about their children in infancy and when they were 3 and 5. They covered external behaviors such as hyperactivity, tantrums and aggression, and internal ones including unhappiness, tearfulness and worry.

Katherine Rake, the chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute charity, tells the Guardian the study is welcome news.

"This study shows what mothers know intuitively," she says. "If you are able to get the balance right, your child and your career can both flourish."

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