The London School of Economics recently published research showing that divorce rates are lower in families where husbands help with housework, shopping and childcare.
Career Women Make Bad Mothers. Got your attention? The headline sure did grab mine when I saw the billboard on the high street.
It was part of a recent media campaign in the UK launched to demonstrate the power of advertising. Manywomen’s groups were outraged and the ad was quickly withdrawn – and rightly so.
Why does the media have to pick on working mothers? “Many children have paid a price for the rise of two-income households,” says The Economist. There’s no mention of course of the multitude of households that have BENEFITTED as a result of greater financial security and increased happiness of the family unit. It’s no wonder why so many career women feel guilty about working! Where are all the POSITIVE messages about the many ADVANTAGES of combining career and family?
The question often asked is “should mothers work” and “what’s best for the kids? “ If life were only that simple. Family dynamics are complicated. Children are happy, when the family unit is happy. That happiness is individual and unique – one size doesn’t fit all. The definition of happiness also changes as life changes – businesses change, kids change, and your goals and aspirations change as you get older.
No matter what you decide, be confident in your decisions about the shape of your career-family lifestyle. There is no need for a guilt trip! While kids do need love, attention, encouragement and guidance, having a career doesn’t preclude a mother or father from providing any of these building blocks needed to raise good kids. In fact, I would argue that a career is a great training ground for improving key parenting skills – communication, conflict management, and commitment to name a few.
We often forget how much children learn by watching – and they do watch every move! It’s one of the key ways they learn about the world. Many career women have seen how their children learn to be independent. They learn to problem solve – a parent is not always around to sort things out. They learn social skills as they are often required to integrate with other adults and children in a variety of settings.
Children learn teamwork. They see mothers, fathers, grandparents, childcare providers work as a strong team, enabling parents to juggle the demands of work and family. My complete list of the many benefits that working mothers offer their families (and businesses) is too long to include in a blog. Suffice it to say, “Career Women Make BRILLIANT Mothers!”