Why Kids of Working Moms Can Become Happier Adults

For many years working mothers have been stressed out because of the stereotypes claiming that their kids don’t get enough of love, care, and attention. It’s tough indeed to balance parenting and a career, but should you really worry if you work and you don’t spend as much time with your kids as you want? Good news: science says kids of working moms turn out to be just as happy as those whose mothers stayed at home full-time, and quite often they are more successful in their adult life.

Here at Bright Side we’ve taken a closer look at the results of a study that proves both sons and daughters actually benefit from having an employed mom, and here they are.

Kids of working moms don’t suffer and they’re just as happy as their peers.

This has happened to many working moms: your child wants to play and cuddle with you for another minute in the morning, and you kiss them good-bye and leave for work. Guilt, social disapproval, and doubting their own parenting skills are things that working moms have been struggling with for ages.

But the study, carried out by Professor Kathleen McGinn from Harvard Business School, shows that having an employed mom doesn’t actually affect children’s happiness. Both sons and daughters of working moms are happy as kids and as adults, and they often benefit from having a mom who has a job.

This big scientific research project that started in 2015 combines the data of several international studies that, all in all, survey more than 100,000 men and women in 29 countries. The results of the survey free working moms from guilt and self-doubt, showing that their children are not deprived of happiness and success, and, on the contrary, are better off in many aspects.

Daughters of employed moms are more successful in their own career and tend to get higher wages.

Kathleen McGinn’s survey has shown that daughters of working moms tend to have higher annual earnings, they are more likely to be employed, and often occupy supervising positions. All in all, daughters of working mothers earn $1,880 per year more than daughters of moms who stayed at home. The study has also revealed that working moms’ experience teaches their daughters a simple truth: you can successfully combine career with raising your kids.

Sons raised by working moms spend more time caring for their families.

As men traditionally tend to be employed, we don’t see a strong influence of working moms on their sons in terms of career. Instead, observing mom’s working experience makes men more concerned about supporting their wives. According to the study, they tend to spend an extra 50 minutes per week helping their wives and taking care of their family members.

Both sons and daughters whose moms worked have egalitarian attitudes in their family and social life.

Another important thing that the survey revealed is that kids raised in families where both parents were earning money have a tendency to avoid gender stereotypes. Sons of employed moms tend to choose working wives and treat women equally at the workplace. Their daughters, at the same time, are free of guilt toward their own children, since they know what it means to be the child of a working mom, and they know it’s actually possible to balance parenting and career.

Are you the child of a working mom? Do you think the fact that your mom worked or stayed at home when you were a child affected your adult life?

Please note: This article was updated in March 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


My mom also has been working since I was born :)
I guess I'm a happier adult too
So basically, children follow the example of their parents! If they see that their mom works hard, she is serious, she knows hpw to organize her time, how to talk to other people and so on, kids will understand it and will try to do the same as they grow up

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