Q: I have built a rewarding career, but feel conflicted about not being home more with my grade-school-age kids. Help?
I meet so many working moms wracked with guilt. Self-doubt, disapproval from others, and worry that work is interfering with their children’s well-being leave them feeling inadequate and guilt-ridden. While I don’t have a magic wand to do away with all of that, the results of the study, “Learning From Mum: Cross-National Evidence Linking Maternal Employment and Adult Children’s Outcomes,” led by Harvard Business School professor Kathleen McGinn, might help you feel better about heading to the office. McGinn and her team found that having a career has a positive—not negative—impact on children. Daughters raised by employed mothers perform better in their careers, are more likely to hold supervisory positions, and earn more money than those raised by stay-at-home mothers. A working mom sets a good example for sons, too. As adults, those sons pitch in more with their own kids and have more egalitarian attitudes in the workplace.
What about happiness? The study found that adult children of working mothers reported being just as happy as the adult children of mothers who didn’t work. Not only do these kids grow up to be high achievers, they are psychologically healthy, too. Contrary to the fear that children of working mothers are at risk, the results of the study reveal quite the opposite.
Dr. Samantha Boardman is a clinical instructor in psychiatry and an assistant attending psychiatrist at Weil Cornell Medical College in New York and the the founder of positivepercription.com.
A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Marie Claire.
The Ending of 'The Umbrella Academy' Season 3, Explained
The Netflix hit's finale resets its universe yet again.
By Quinci LeGardye
Lorde Is Now Blonde and It’s the All the Happiness We Need Right Now
By Deena Campbell
The Jeans Brands Fashion Editors Swear By
Your search for the perfect pair of jeans is over.
By Sara Holzman
This Mutual Fund Firm Is Helping to Create a More Sustainable Future
Amy Domini and her firm, Domini Impact Investments LLC, are inspiring a greater and greener world—one investor at a time.
Power Players Build on Success
"The New Normal" left some brands stronger than ever. We asked then what lies ahead.
By Maria Ricapito
Don't Stress! You Can Get in Good Shape Money-wise
Yes, maybe you eat paleo and have mastered crow pose, but do you practice financial wellness?
By Sallie Krawcheck
The Book Club Revolution
Lots of women are voracious readers. Other women are capitalizing on that.
By Lily Herman
The Future of Women and Work
The pandemic has completely upended how we do our jobs. This is Marie Claire's guide to navigating your career in a COVID-19 world.
By Megan DiTrolio
Black-Owned Coworking Spaces Are Providing a Safe Haven for POC
For people of color, many of whom prefer to WFH, inclusive coworking spaces don't just offer a place to work—they cultivate community.
By Megan DiTrolio
Where Did All My Work Friends Go?
The pandemic has forced our work friendships to evolve. Will they ever be the same?
By Rachel Epstein
Your (Not So Official) Guide to Returning to the Office
Allow us to help you you figure out work attire, meetings, and how to get through a conversation with that guy from marketing without letting on that you forgot his name (I want to say it’s...“Rod”? “Rob?” “Rorb?” It’ll come to me eventually.)
By Gabrielle Moss