Moms rule. Whether you work the traditional 9 to 5, work at home with your kids, or own your own business, moms make the world go round.
In today’s world, many families don’t have a choice about whether or not mom (or dad) can stay home with the kids. For most families, a two-income structure is the only one that will allow them to put food on the table, a roof over their heads as well as afford other essentials like band uniforms and a hockey facemask.
Many moms work the traditional 9 to 5, but a growing number are entrepreneurs who own their own businesses, freelance full time or piece together side hustles into a full-time gig. Thankfully, the number of women-owned businesses is on the rise: up to 29% in 2015.
There will be no “mommy wars” here. Whether you work inside or outside of the home, you are some of the most important people in our society — the moms who are raising the next generation.
However, lots of moms who work outside of the home do have a nagging or sometimes even overwhelming guilt about it. Shouldn’t they be home full time? Shouldn’t they do every drop-off and pick-up? Shouldn’t they be the one putting the baby down for every nap and feeding her every bottle?
Relax. The answer is a resounding “no.” Here is a look at why working is good for both moms and their families.
Working: How It Can Help Your Family
1. Setting Your Kids up to Succeed
The “working mother effect” shows that kids of working moms have better prospects. A study from Harvard University concluded that daughters of working mothers earned more and climbed higher on the corporate ladder than their counterparts who had stay-at-home moms. It’s good news for the boys, too. Sons of working moms were more likely to spend time on housework and child care.
2. Working Forces Your Time Together to be Intentional
Moms who work recognize the time they do spend with their children is precious, so they are intentional with those special hours. Many moms who feel guilty about heading to work find that turning off their phones and turning their full attention to their children when they can is a great way to overcome that guilt.
You may “only” have three hours between school pick-up and bedtime, but those three hours are going to be golden. How? Read together, cook dinner together and color. If you don’t have time to take your kids to the local park, consider building a playground at home! Kids spend 50% less time playing outside than they did in the 70’s, and outdoor activities are incredibly important for kids to develop their sense of self, physical and social skills.
3. Examples of Teamwork and Smashed Stereotypes
Hello, it’s 2016. Why is the pressure still on mom to do it all around the house and in the workplace? Instead, as a working mom, business owner, and entrepreneur, you are exhibiting to your children that women can pursue any line of work they wish.
Further, if your partner is on board with your professional goals, and they should be, then you are showing your children the importance of teamwork, professional development and support, no matter one’s gender. That is a lesson that will last a lifetime.
4. Bringing Home the Bacon: Additional Financial Security
Let’s not pretend as though the benefits are all emotional, mental or personal. There is also the paycheck to consider, and it should be seriously considered. Your time away from your family needs to be worth it, so make sure to ask for the salary you deserve and expect raises comparable to others in your field. When you are able to buy a home, provide for your children and provide the security that comes with a stable income, you’ll know working is good for your family.
Beyond the paycheck, work gives you an outlet to interact with adults and utilize your skills and academic background — as well as get a break from the baby bottle brush and laundry room.
While some might argue you are just as likely to turn into a referee at work as you might at home with your kids, embrace that. Enjoy this break from child care because it will allow you to come home ready to spend some quality time together.
Moms are subject to a lot of criticism and unsolicited advice. Ultimately, though, all of that advice is not as important as what is best for you and your family. So, go ahead, mom — work it!
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