Having a Working Mom Benefits Kids Later in Life

No mom guilt here.

Okay, let me just preface this by noting: this is NOT a work-from-the-office mom versus stay-at-home mom debate. Do you love your kid(s)? Do you feed them, show them affection and generally make sure they don’t do dangerous things, like, sticking their fingers in electrical sockets and wearing high-waisted pleated pants? If so, pat yourself on the back because you’re doing pretty great.

This is, however, the kind of article we like to share because it’s yet another reassurance that moms do not need to feel guilty about their choices. In this instance: A huge study reveals that growing up with a working mom not only doesn’t hurt kids, but it may also have some benefits for them later in life.

According to CNN, a team of researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom analyzed data on more than 100,000 men and women across 29 countries to determine whether a mother’s employment status has any link to her children’s outcomes in adulthood. The bottom line:

  • Girls raised in homes with working mothers are more likely to grow up to have successful careers.
  • And the sons of working mothers? They spent more time as adults caring for family members.
  • There was no significant link between a mother’s employment status and whether her children grew up to be happy adults. In other words, the children are just as happy in adulthood as the children of stay-at-home moms.

But let us be clear: The findings in no way suggest that there are no benefits for children of stay-at-home mothers, as well. That wasn’t the focus of this particular study. All right?

“This research doesn’t say that children of employed moms are happier or better people, and it doesn’t say employed moms are better,” Kathleen McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School and lead author of the study, told CNNMoney.

“What it says is, daughters are more likely to be employed” and hold supervisory responsibility, she said. “And sons spend more time in the home.”

So if you enjoy working outside of the home and/or have to work to support your family, be more like Claire Huxtable and leave that mom guilt behind.


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