16 Benefits of Being a Working Mom

16 Benefits of Being a Working Mom

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Working moms make the world a better place. Whether you’re a corporate mom, a teacher mom, or a work from home mom, there are a number of benefits for you, your kids, your family, and the future. Here are 16 benefits to being a working mom.

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Benefits to Kids

Working moms serve as role models.

Working moms are role models of professionalism to their kids. Kids grow up seeing their moms accomplish professional goals, which serves as inspiration for them to pursue their own goals, even when things are difficult. In turn, knowing that you serve as a role model can inspire working moms to keep going when things are tough. Former First Lady Michelle Obama said, “For me, being a mother made me a better professional, because coming home every night to my girls reminded me what I was working for. And being a professional made me a better mother, because by pursuing my dreams, I was modeling for my girls how to pursue their dreams.”

Working moms demonstrate work ethic.

The late, great Jim Henson said, “The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” Working moms have to be hard workers. Kids of working moms grow up seeing your perseverance, dedication, and grit. They learn first hand that it is possible to do seemingly impossible things.   

Working moms help kids learn independence.

Kids of working moms learn the skills to be independent. When kids of working moms learn how to help themselves get ready in the morning or how to help out with chores and routines after school, they are practicing important life skills in being independent which will serve them as adults later. Kids learn that they can do things for themselves which generates confidence and self-esteem.

Kids of working moms are adaptable.

From an early age, kids of working moms learn to be adaptable. Kids adapt to different childcare situations and mom’s working circumstances and hours, and in the process learn to be flexible. Sometimes the transitions from home to childcare provider are difficult, especially in the early years, as most young children struggle to transition from one activity to the next, but over time, kids learn how to calm themselves down and adapt to different situations. As they get older, kids use these skills to feel more comfortable when entering new situations and can more easily adapt.

Kids of working moms can make plans.

Related to being adaptable, kids of working moms grow up understanding that everything they want to do may not be able to happen right now because of schedule conflicts, working hours, etc. Working moms can help their kids learn how to think about future plans by creating a family calendar and helping kids think about when would be the best time for activities. You may not be able to break off from work today to go get some frozen yogurt, but how about Saturday afternoon? Kids who learn how to delay gratification and make a plan are learning really important executive functioning skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

Kids of working moms experience more people.

Exposure to different caregivers and their styles as part of childcare arrangements, as well as other children, helps expand a kid’s view of the world and the people in it. Kids of working moms have greater opportunity to learn about different personalities, cultures, and ways of life through interacting with other caregivers and kids. Kids of working moms have a larger network of people who care about and support them. One of the best things about being a working mom for me, personally, is seeing my kids how much other people love them and how much love they have to give to other people.

Kids of working moms do better in school.  

A 2013 study of Danish working moms found that when moms work, their kids have higher GPAs than children of nonworking mothers. Kids of moms who work at least 16 hours per week were found to have a GPA 6% higher in the 9th grade than kids of nonworking moms. While there are a number of limitations of this study (small sample size, the social and political differences between Denmark and the US, etc.), it provides important insights on how learning to be resilient and adaptable from a working mom who serves a role model impacts a child’s performance in school. Another study, a meta-analysis of 69 studies over 50 years, found that kids whose moms worked during their toddler years score higher on achievement tests and are rated as high achievers by their teachers.

Kids of working moms do not have more behavioral issues.  

One of the primary concerns about kids of working moms is their behavior, but a meta-analysis of 69 studies over 50 years found that kids of working moms have no more behavioral issues than kids of nonworking moms. Working moms do not need to blame their work when their kids misbehave. Kids are kids and misbehavior will happen whether you work or not.

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Benefits to Families

The quality of time a working mom spends with her kids matters.  

A 2015 study found that the sheer amount of time a mother spends with her children has very little impact on emotional, behavioral, or academic outcomes. The study also found that engaging in specific activities, rather than just being physically present, with teenage kids meant that teenagers were less likely to engage in risky behavior. Because working moms have to be more selective in how they spend time with their kids, the emphasis is on quality over quantity.

Working moms bolster family finances.

In about 40% of families today, a working mom is the sole or primary source of income, as reported by a 2013 Pew Research Center analysis. ⅔ of those surveyed reported that working moms make a family’s financial situation more comfortable. Research further shows that when the mom is the primary breadwinner for the family, their income is about $2000 higher than when the dad is the primary breadwinner, which may be related to the fact that mothers today tend to be better educated than fathers.

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Benefits to Mom

Working moms have an outlet for her talents.

With mothers today tending to be more educated than ever before, working provides an outlet for talents and expertise whereas staying at home may not give you that chance. Staying at home with the kids can be highly rewarding but won’t give you the opportunity to use your education or practice the skills you gained if you worked prior to having kids. Time away from the kids can give you a greater sense of identity and accomplishment.

Working moms are less depressed than nonworking moms.

Staying at home with the kids is really hard. I, for one, could not do it. A Gallup analysis of a 2012 study of 60,000 women found that stay at home moms report significantly more feelings of worry, sadness, stress, anger, and depression. Stay at home moms report smiling and laughing less, and are less likely to say they learned something interesting or experienced happiness or enjoyment on a daily basis. However, working moms report about the same levels of enjoyment, happiness, smiling, laughing, and learning as women who work but do not have children.

Working moms are less likely to experience poverty.  

As a working mom, you and your children are less likely to experience poverty, according to Pew Research Center findings. 34% of nonworking moms are considered poor by federal guidelines as compared with 12% of working moms. The number of stay at home moms experiencing poverty has more than doubled since 1970, up to 34% in 2012 from 14%.

Future Benefits

Kids of working moms grow up to be happier.

In a 2015 study of 100,000 adults across 29 countries, researchers found that the adult child of working moms reported higher levels of happiness and satisfaction.  They also tend to be better educated than the children of nonworking moms.

Daughters of working moms are more likely to be supervisors and earn more money.

The same study as referenced above also found that the adult daughters of working moms were more likely to be employed in supervisory positions in their work and earned an average of $1,880 more per year than the daughters of nonworking moms.

Sons of working moms are more likely to hold equal views of women.

The study also found that the sons of working moms are more likely to hold egalitarian views of women, meaning they view women more as their equals and are willing to share in the housework and caring for others. Adult daughters of working moms spend about an hour less on housework than the adult daughters of nonworking moms.

Being a working mom can be a challenge. Negative stereotypes and misconceptions about working moms abound. Intense pressure and guilt are applied to all moms to be the very best mom for your kids. However, the research is pretty clear – working as a mom has a number of benefits to you, your kids, and the future. Let go of the guilt, mama, the kids are going to be just fine and you’re doing a great job!

What are your tips for making it work as a working mom? Share below!

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I’m Amy. My husband, Keith, and I have two littles – David, age 6, and Avonlea, almost one, plus 2 cats and an old lady dog. I’m a school district leader and recently finished my EdD in school improvement and educational leadership. When I’m not working, I love to read, cook, and spend time with the family.

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2 thoughts on “16 Benefits of Being a Working Mom

  1. I still find it amazing how working moms are viewed negatively in some circles. Whatever works for that family is obviously is what’s best for that family. Working mom or stay at home. You do you. LOL!

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