Every day, more than 25 million working moms travel across the country, climbing the clock and career ladders. And that number is growing.
At the same time, one-third of Americans believe that the “ideal situation” for young children is their mother’s workplace, according to a 2015 Pew report. Only 4% say it is about fathers. .
Mike Drop of a study published in the Journal of Work, Employment and Society in April found a treasure trove of data from two major international surveys. Researchers dug into more than 100,000 men and women through family and occupational data, and found that children of working moms lived different lives than mothers at home. But evil is no different.
“There is a lot of talk about why women work,” says study author and Harvard Business School professor Kathleen McGinn. “A lot of those questions, they think it’s harmful to their families. It’s almost a mother’s guilt based on the findings. ”
The true impact of working mothers is most evident in their daughters. Researchers have found that women who grew up with working moms have more careers than those who live at home, and they are also likely to find better, higher paying jobs. According to the 2015 Working Paper of the same group, daughters of working mothers in the US are 23% more likely than their daughters to stay home. Of the 25 developed countries represented in that survey, 21% of mothers who worked were found to have supervisory jobs, compared to 18% of women who had mothers at home.
Sons, for their part, grow up to spend more time looking after their children if they have home chores and careers for their mothers. U.S. In, it translates to eight hours a week, folding laundry, changing diapers and other forms of domestic work – almost twice as much as mothers’ sons at home.
At the root of this phenomenon is the way in which children internalize social things and the behaviors designed by the adults around them. People who have working mothers tend to have “more balanced” views on gender roles, the McGinn team has found. We repeat the patterns we had as a child – parents who grew up in a home where both parents worked, and divided household chores, were going to repeat those patterns when they started their own families. The same goes for those of us who grew up in the traditional Leave It to Beaver home.
This does not mean that stay-at-home moms are hurting their children’s future. McGinn stressed that there is no “right” way to raise a child and that no choice is inherently harmful. While most mothers enter the workforce, some wrestle with the guilt of leaving their child at home, her research struggle is a small fist for mothers.
“When you see your mom going to work every day, especially if you’re a girl, you’re learning how to handle a really complicated life,” she says.