Bright Side

Your Job Can Make You a Worse Mother, Study Finds

When looking for a new job, mothers often choose what’s more important to them — salary or career. But according to science, there is at least one more factor they have to consider. Mothers need to understand what people they’re going to be working with because a toxic office environment may ruin not only their life but the life of their kids as well.

We at Bright Side feel that mothers have to choose their jobs more wisely than others. We also want to explain how a toxic workplace can influence your kids’ lives.

It isn’t about our bosses only.

When we talk about a “bad job” we tend to think about our bosses primarily. But in reality, bosses don’t have to scream at the top of their lungs daily to create a toxic workplace. In general, a bad work environment is mostly about a lack of concern for others. For example, office rudeness can include making offensive remarks about others or shutting people out of a team.

We tend to drag problems from work into the home.

To better understand the influence of the behaviors mentioned above, the research team surveyed 146 working mothers and their partners. While different moms shared their opinions on how they were usually treated at work and how effective they believed they were as a parent, their spouses had to report if the couples had any negative parenting models.

The results were pretty clear: bad workplace culture is usually brought home and can lead to deep consequences. This can be seen in mothers who’ve had to deal with crappy coworkers and tend to use stricter, more authoritarian parenting styles.

Authoritative parents influence the social adaptivity of their kids.

Researches suggest that it’s “more of a negative style of parenting as compared to other styles.” Such parents have high expectations and tend to set a lot of rules. More to the point, they may harshly punish mistakes and prefer to manage almost every aspect of their kids’ lives. They also fail to provide their children with the productive feedback and support they need.

As a result, these kids have lots of problems. For example, they can show aggressive behavior outside the home or can be shy or fearful when communicating with others. These types of kids are more likely to develop depression or anxiety, have low self-control, and lack social competence.

Toxic offices make mothers believe they aren’t effective parents.

It’s worth mentioning that rudeness at work caused many working mothers to feel as if they weren’t effective parents. This idea may explain why they try to adopt stricter behavior and attempt to control everything that’s happening in their children’s lives.

While more research still needs to be done, these findings can help working mothers today. First of all, now you're aware of how your daily troubles at work can affect your relationship with your kids and can determine what your next steps will be. For example, you can talk to your boss or colleagues about the unhealthy work environment or find another job. You can also try to change your parenting style and not drag your work problems back home with you every day.

Have you ever noticed that your work negatively impacts your family relationships? What have you done to change it?

Preview photo credit Tully / Bron Studios