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Study Shows Kids of Working and Stay-At-Home Moms Fare the Same
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A working mother's guilt isn't new and isn't rare. No parent with small children wants to leave them to spend the majority of their days on the clock. But they know that without putting in the hours, putting food on the table will be difficult, especially in this slowly recovering job market.

According to new research from the Academy of Social Sciences in the U.K., kids' learning and behavioral skills are not impaired if their mother is working for their first years of life.

The study, which reflects changes over the last 40 years based on 40,000 children, shows that their growth is neither affected by whether the mom works or stays at home.

Traditionally, many new moms tend to be concerned that going back to work leads to sacrificing the full potential of the child's development. These days, the luxury foregoing a job to stay home with the kids isn't one that many of them can afford. As the number of mothers in the workforce goes up, researchers are seeing that any impact it has on children is dwindling.

In 2011 there were about 5 million stay-at-home moms, less than the 5.1 million two years before, according to the United States Census. The census also revealed that most stay-at-home moms are younger than 35 with children under 5 years old.

While no evidence has been found to support notion that a working mother has a negative or positive effect on the child, that doesn't rule out the possibility of there being any effects at all. Other research has shown that mothers with the resources to harmonize their work and family life, they would.

One thing the study noted was that the apparent lack of family-friendly jobs and affordable childcare available. This can make it especially tough for single mothers to find a balance between work and home duties.

Options for a more flexible work schedule such as telecommuting or working on weekends, when fathers might be available, are suggested considerations. Though, companies like Yahoo! are making efforts to accommodate new parents by extending maternal and paternal leave. As the modern day moms continue to persevere with their multi hat wearing abilities, the good news is that kids aren't paying the price for their parents need to get paid, despite the common concern.