8 Reasons Being a Working Mom Is Good for Your Kid

Working moms are probably among the guiltiest-feeling people on the planet: How can they tear themselves away from their kids all day to kiss some boss's butt in an office? Yeah, it's hard -- but working moms are also the majority these days, with more than 70 percent of mothers with young children clocking full-time hours. Yet even so, only 16 percent of Americans think a full-time working mom is best for the kids.

Well, we've got news for you: It turns out there's plenty of scientific evidence that working moms don't harm kids one bit and can actually be beneficial. Don't believe us? Take a look at the evidence below.

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  1. Your child will love you. Even though working moms are away all day, numerous studies from the 1950s up until the present have shown that the bond between mom and child does not suffer.
  2. Kids of working moms were just as close to their mothers as those with stay-at-home moms. So, you can stop worrying your kids don't love you as much, all right?
  3. Day care doesn't screw kids up. In Norway, a study of 75,000 children in daycare found that more time in day care did not lead to more behavioral problems in kids. The big qualifier was that's quality day care, not some hole in the wall, but of course you wouldn't leave your kids in a hole in the wall anyway. 
  4. Kids of working moms get better grades. A review of 50 years' worth of research determined that children whose mothers worked before their tots turned 3 did no worse academically or behavior-wise at school later on than kids with stay-at-home moms. These kids even had the edge in some ways, with fewer incidents of depression or anxiety and better grades.
  5. Working moms are happier (and happy moms make happy kids). Numerous studies suggest that women who work their entire lives feel better than stay-at-home moms, who suffer far higher rates of depression.
  6. Working moms spend just as much "quality time" with their kids. Strange but true: Modern-day employed moms spend just as much time caring for their children as stay-at-home moms did in 1975 -- particularly in terms of talking with their kids, going to their activities from ballet performances to soccer matches, and caring for them when they're sick. How is this possible? Well, it turns out these working moms typically just cut back on their sleep and leisure activities. Which sounds exhausting and martyr-ish, but hey, at least the kids are all right.

    More from The Stir: Children of Working Mothers Speak Out: Let's Listen

  7. Working moms are great role models. A recent study of 19,000 British kids found that girls with stay-at-home mothers were twice as likely to suffer emotional or behavioral problems by the age of 5 than girls with working moms. The reason? It's good for young girls to see their mothers be independent and engaged professionally rather than stewing at home. And it's great for boys (who someday might marry) to see a woman who works.
  8. Your kids don't even WANT you to home. In the 1990s, Ellen Galinsky at the Families and Work Institute conducted a survey of kids aged 8 to 18 with working parents, asking what's the one thing they wished they could change about their parents' work lives. Think they wanted mommy home? Hardly! Their top wish was that their parents would be less tired and stressed. Their second wish was that parents would earn more money. Time together ranked third. Well then! Sounds like the kids' votes are in: They want rich parents who can shower them with American Girl paraphernalia and Sony PlayStations. So keep on pulling in those paychecks!

Does this make you feel less guilty about being a working mom?

 

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