Sometimes I feel that I spend too little time at home – I reach home at 9pm, my kid goes to bed at 11pm (sic, I know it’s late but I reach home at 9pm). That’s only 2 hours, of which I spend 30 mins to cook, 30 mins for must-do chores and 45 mins for dinner. (Anyone doing the math?).
So uhmm.. very strictly, quality time speaking, I only have bedtime routine from 11 pm to the time my kid falls asleep (which is 11.45pm to midnight, I know (double) sic). Bottomline – I’m a working mom who is not so much feeling guilty but worried if earning that 2nd income harm my kid.
Worried Working Mom
Totally understand! Your question applies so much to me, it’s spooky! Ok, we all love to be validated by hard evidence and there are quite a few studies that suggest, point toward, conclude that working moms are not harming, but helping our children. Studies have reported:
- Review article found that children whose mothers worked before age 3 didn’t have worse academic or behavior problems later in life than those with stay-at-home moms.
- Based on meta-analysis study, toddlers with working moms grew up to have fewer depression and anxiety issues and got better grades.
- Open-ended questionnaires study did not find that children wanted more time with their parents or thought that their parents were inadequate in their parenting.
- On the other hand, having resources (including money) and offering stability seem to correlate positively with a child’s academics. Childcare quality is critical to a child’s development, especially since working mom’s kid will spend longer hours at childcare. Quality childcare is associated with better academics and higher likelihood of college graduation.
- Based on review of surveys, there were observations that daughters of working moms had higher incomes (supervisory roles) while sons were more likely to spend more time at housework and childcare.
Sounds good right? I’m a working mom and when I first read the headlines, I was saying ‘Yes!’. But (there’s always a BUT) deep down, I know I don’t need studies on other families to tell me if I’m doing the right thing. You also don’t need me to tell you if you’re doing the right thing. Well, since you wrote in, you’d probably like some advice.. so here’s my Working Mom – Work or Stay at Home? thought process!
That’s what I believe – I don’t think it’s so much of an issue whether you’re a working mom or stay at home mom. I think (I can be wrong though!) that it’s THE ISSUE that got to be sorted out. So what’s the issue? Hmmm.. maybe
- You are impatient or get upset easily with your kids from work stress?
- You are not happy at work?
- You want to pursue an interest, a cause but that can’t be achieved while you’re holding a 9 to 5 job?
- You don’t parent when you should be parenting? (I’m all for chilling at parenting, but sometimes it needs warming up.)
- You find cracks in your marriage from how little time you spent with your spouse (and not with your kid)?
- You find yourselves hiding behind the excuse of ‘busy work’ to not do what you know it’s right?
If you often think about whether you ought to be a working mom, you ought to think why you’re thinking about it. And of all the studies in the world on what’s good for our child, no study can tell you what’s right for you. Only you know what’s right and being happy is a clue if something’s right.
Signing off with xoxo, #SkinishMom