It’s often been debated whether the lady of the house being a working mother is good or bad for the family. Is she overworked; is it too hard for her to find a work-life balance; is she prone to get depressed more? The answer to all of these questions might be yes, but if you ask us: ‘Does working make mothers happier and/or healthier?’ we will still answer a firm, confident YES.
#1 Women who work feel fulfilled which makes them even better mothers.
Whether full-time or part-time, whether at the office or remotely, working mothers are generally happier. And when mommy is happy, the whole family is happy. Everyone needs time away from the same environment, and working is the best way for mothers to feel useful outside house and baby chores. They feel more fulfilled and refreshed when they come back home.
It’s important to know that there are alternative job opportunities apart from working full-time outside the home. According to a study, moms who work part-time “scored” best on measures of health and stress. Moreover, a survey from FlexJobs found that 95 percent of working parents say that having a flexible job would make things easier. Working from home is also a possibility for mothers who miss their kids. This way, you have the satisfaction a career gives you without leaving the warmth of home.
Plus there’s always freelancing! You work on your own rules, on your own pace! The possibilities are endless and knowing that making yourself useful in any kind of job is good for your happiness level, why not try it?
#2 Fewer risks of maternal depression
Women who sacrifice their careers to care for their kids 24/7 often feel the burden of having given up on their professions. And staying at home all day leads to social isolation, and social isolation leads to an increased risk of maternal depression for these women.
A study has found that stay-at-home mothers are more likely to experience stress, worry, sadness and anger than those with paying jobs.
#3 The better the job, the lesser the stress
As it turns out, a lot depends on the quality of the job and the preference of the woman to work or not. As it can be imaginable, high-quality jobs face the lowest risk of depression even if the women do not want to work for pay. On the other side of the spectrum, women working low-quality jobs are more prone to being depressed.
#4 Confidence level
We might not particularly enjoy having to wake up a tad bit earlier in the morning to get ready and dress up for work every day. The process seems a hassle, but with my dark under eyes covered, funny (exaggerated) as it sounds, I feel like I can take over the world! And I do, one task at a time. Since we get stuff done every day at work, we feel worthy, and our confidence level is higher. That can also be for the fact that we practically have no time for overthinking!
Stay-at-home mothers don’t have an occasion that they must get ready for every day. Since they’re at home with no one’s company, apart from their family, they don’t feel the need to waste their time to look approachable. However, unfortunately, this can lead to low levels of self-esteem for them. They might also feel bad for their non-motherhood-related skills to be going to waste.
#5 Less time, more motivation
Even though working moms have less time for activities outside of work, the time that they do have they make sure to use to its full advantage. They are often more motivated to go for walks or see friends after work. They are never bored and always active. And, as we know, being proactive means being healthy.
#6 Obesity risk
A study in Britain has found out that “housewives” are more likely to be obese (38 percent) than were those who balanced children, a relationship and a paycheck with 23 percent. So, working moms indeed ARE healthier too, as it turns out.
#7 Better relationship with kids
When a mother has less time to spend with her kids, she isn’t as harsh with them as she would be if she saw every movement of theirs. She gets irritated less, and as a result, better relationships get built. The time spent together is more meaningful.
#8 Family quality time is much more appreciated
Moreover, weekends are even more valuable for families with working parents, and they always try to make the most out of them. It’s good to make plans for bonding family activities outdoors. This way, every member of the family has something to look forward to during the week.
#9 Kids follow our lead
We know that children learn by example rather than advice. But that works in our favor in this case. That is because when they see us being successful, they are motivated to be so, too. This means they’re more responsible in doing their homework, more independent in taking care of themselves when mommy is not around, and many other benefits like problem-solving skills that they gain. Easily said, when we see them be good kids, it makes us happy and calm.
Plus it’s a nice feeling to have them ask you questions thinking you know all the answers. It’s nice to see them look up to you!
#10 Social interaction
It’s essential for every parent to have adult conversations on a regular basis with people other than their kids. When at work, one communicates with colleagues and/or clients on a daily basis, and since your work schedule matches your friends’, you can see them more often for a coffee after work. One usually doesn’t realize how helpful it is to keep a level of social life intact. The baby-talk although cute, can get too much at some point!
#11 Letting go of perfection
Women innately have this feeling of wanting everything to be perfect. But when a woman has kids to take care of and a job to maintain, she becomes more humble and accepting that perfection is unattainable. Working mothers are more practical and find practical ways for things to work. These ways aren’t perfect, but it doesn’t matter.
#12 A sense of independence
Being a mother should not mean that the woman has to lose or hide her identity and intellect. Having your own job to go to and your own responsibilities can feel liberating in some way. Plus financial independence creates equality in between the couple.
#13 Better relations with husband/partner
You can’t afford to spend the time you do have together fighting. So you simply don’t. You’re more understanding to each other’s work problems and become better friends. Respect is also higher between working spouses.
#14 Financial security equals less stress
More money means more wellness for the family. Families with economic problems are more prone to having a financial burden, a study has shown. The tension that arises can inflict “a state of unease or generalized dissatisfaction” in the parent-child relationship. Moreover, marital relations can be hindered in these cases, too. Working mothers might have lots of things to worry about, but at least money isn’t one.
Among many other studies we’ve shown, this final one sums up the whole confusion whether working mothers are happier and healthier or not. Journal of Family Psychology has done a U.S. based, 10-year-long research following new mothers. They found out that those who had a paying job, whether full or part-time were in better health and less depressed than those who did not. There you have it then; their words, not ours!
Written by: Ujëbardha Bekolli
Ujëbardha Bekolli is a writer for mother-works.com. MotherWorks is a job portal designed to bring together stay at home moms and recruiters. The platform also brings helpful articles in the Blog section regarding mothers who want to return to the workforce.