For far too long, being a working mother was considered a "tough decision" that was made out of financial necessity instead of enjoyment. Women would work, but only if they had to and if they didn't, well, then they would most certainly stay at home. That isn't the case for all women — and probably never exclusively was — but along with more and more women choosing to work because they want to, comes guilt (either internally or externally imposed) and a seemingly never-ending discussion on just how good working mothers are for children.
Of course, this isn't to say that working mothers are better than stay-at-home mothers. In fact, the lessons that working mothers teach their children are lessons that stay-at-home mothers could easily teach their children, too. Which is, perhaps, the point: No one way of parenting is better than the other. Working mothers aren't hurting their children by being away from the house, and stay-at-home mothers aren't hurting their children (or underselling themselves) by staying home.
Turns out, a mother who works is teaching her kids some valuable, life-long lessons. Here are just a few things working mothers teach their kids, because you don't have to be around them every minute of every day to leave a lasting impression.
They Learn Valuable Work Skills
Working mothers teach their children how to schedule, prioritize, stay organized and be productive. Of course, stay-at-home mothers have to do all of these things too, but working mothers show their kids how to apply these skills to the outside world as well. This can come in handy when they're applying for college or a job, and they know that they can ask their mother how she accomplished a certain task in a work setting, to better prepare themselves for adulthood.
In fact, a 2015 study found that daughters of working mothers "completed more years of education, were more likely to be employed and in supervisory roles and earned higher incomes," according to The New York Times.
They Learn About Responsibility
Working mothers are responsible for more than just their children, and have to balance multiple obligations on a daily basis. This will definitely come in handy when the kids grow up and more things are asked from them. If mom can be responsible for multiple things simultaneously, so can the kids.
They Learn That They're Not The Center Of The World
For too long, when people talked about motherhood, they talked about sacrifice. Women were (and sometimes still are) considered "bad" mothers if they don't sacrifice absolutely everything for their children and make their kids the center of their universe. But that isn't healthy, and isn't what motherhood should be about. Working mothers teach their children that they are not their entire world, but rather a very important part of it, and that lesson can be extremely beneficial for kids as they grow up and realize that they're not, in fact, the most important person in the world.
They Learn That Motherhood Isn't A Prison Sentence
So many women assume that having a kid means you can no longer do anything for yourself, ever again. Sure, you might not be able to sleep in on Sundays like you want, but in general, motherhood isn't a prison sentence. Working mothers teach their children that just because they're mothers, doesn't mean that they can't also be employees or bosses or successful or career-oriented or any number of things.
They Learn About Social And Gender Equality
According to The New York Times, in a study of 50,000 working mothers, "daughters of working mothers earned 23 percent more than daughters of stay-at-home mothers, after controlling for demographic factors, and sons spent seven and a half more hours a week on child care and 25 more minutes on housework."
Kathleen McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School, said, "This is as close to a silver bullet as you can find in terms of helping reduce gender inequalities, both in the workplace and at home."
And there you have it. Boom.
They Learn That It's Important To Do Things For Yourself
"Selfishness" is labeled as a dirty word, but when a mother does something for herself, she is doing something for her family, too. Working mothers teach their children that before you take care of anyone else, you have to take care of yourself, and that often means doing something for you, outside of your family or friends. At the end of the day, the only person that is responsible for your happiness is you.
They Learn That Women Can Have Whatever They Want
So seriously, can we stop asking that ridiculous question? Women can work and raise children, just like men can work and raise children. Enough is enough, alright?
Images: NBC; Giphy(7)