Should m mothers work or stay at home?

If you are a group of mothers the question "It is better for mothers to work or stay at home?" Ask, you will find some strong opinions. Surprisingly, you will also find that each group is both insecure and proud in its own way.

Working mothers often speak of the guilt of not being there and the pride they have in their work, their identity as working people and their many hats. Mothers who stay at home tell that they feel devalued, but at the same time are proud of their children and their contributions for your Families, schools and communities to invest.

In terms of numbers, working mothers are in the majority. In the United States, 71% of mothers with children who are young enough to live at home have a different job than "mom". And in no less than 40% of households with children, mom is the only one who brings home a paycheck or earns more than her partner.

At the same time, however, more and more mothers stay at home with their children. After a low in 1999, when 23% of mothers stayed at home, trends show that the number of mothers staying at home is increasing.

Although most mothers work, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found that the majority of Americans (60% to be precise) felt that children were better off with a parent at home all day.

What is the answer? It has turned out that there is a science that supports all mothers – at work or at home. Let’s take a look at each side.

The benefits of mothers staying at home

A 2013 study showed that children benefit academically if one parent stays at home. The study found numbers from Norway that Americans can only dream of: subsidized, high-quality daycare and one year of maternity leave.

In 1998, the Norwegian government launched another drooling program called "Cash for Care", which grants families with children under three a generous payment for deregistration from the national daycare center. Of course, this means that someone should stay with the toddler at home. This could be mom, dad, grandma, or a family friend.

The researchers concentrated on the study not on the toddler but to his older school-age brothers and sisters. Researchers analyzed the 10th grade GPA and found that children in families who drop out of daycare perform better in school. The effect was not great, but significant.

And when the researchers looked for the causes of the impairment of grades, they concluded that the academic improvements were due to the subset of families in which one parent (mostly mother) left the workforce in response to the payments stay at home.

The benefits of working mothers

A 2014 study showed that it seems to be working better mummy. The researchers found that young mothers who return to work full-time and remain in the workforce after their first baby have a much better health status at age 40 than those who work part-time move into and out of the workforce or stay at home.

But that’s mother – what about the kids? Take part in a new Harvard Business School study that looked at both mothers and children – 50,000 people in 25 countries, to be precise.

The study found that daughters of working mothers stayed longer in school, were more likely to be superiors at work, and made more money than daughters of working mothers. In the United States in particular, daughters of working mothers earned 23% more.

The study found that adult sons of working mothers spent more time doing housework and caring for their own children. In the United States in particular, fathers who had working mothers cared for their own children seven and a half hours more than fathers with mothers who stayed at home.

Overall, women who grew up with a mother who worked worked better in the workplace, and men who grew up with a mother who worked contributed more at home.

But let’s not make it mom against mom. Instead of thinking about the original question: if it is better for mothers to work or stay at home, we should think about it from the children’s perspective.

According to studies, it is not always someone who cares for the children, but the quality of care makes the difference. In fact, it seems that if poor childcare enables mother’s work, it may not be worth it, but if a child is parked at home with mother in front of the television, it won’t work either.

Whether it’s mom, dad, a beloved nanny, a qualified childminder, or a loving grandma, it doesn’t matter if you ensure that your child knows that they are loved, safe, open-minded, and active.

The bottom line is not about the two groups fighting for the title "Mother". In this society, in which motherhood is equally placed on a pedestal and dismissed, we agree that “mother” is one Mrs that makes a contribution – be it economically or domestically or anything in between – to the life of her family and to the well-being of her children.

What do you think of work compared to mothers who stay at home? Post comments on the savvy psychologist’s page.

Cohn, DV, Caumont A. 7 Key Findings About Mothers Who Stay At Home, Pew Research Center. Available at:

Wang, W., Parker K., Taylor P. Breadwinner Moms, Pew Research Center. Available at:

Bettinger, E., Hægeland, T. & Rege, M. (2013). At home with mom: The effects of parents who stay at home on the long-term educational outcomes of children. Discussion Papers No. 739, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

Naughty, A. & Damaske, S. (2012). Relationships between mothers’ commuting and physical and mental health. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53, 396-412.


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Christina Cherry
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