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Children With Working Moms Are More Successful Later In Life, Study Finds

06/17/2015 07:15 EDT | Updated 06/17/2015 10:59 EDT
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mother and daughter hugging in kitchen

When it comes to our moms, we already have a lot to be thankful for, but here's another thing to add to the list.

According to research from Harvard University, women whose mothers worked during their kids' childhoods are more likely to have high earning jobs and supervisory responsibility at their own jobs compared to women whose mothers stayed home. The report also found men of working mothers were more likely to do household chores and take care of their family members in the future.

"There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother," said Kathleen L. McGinn, a professor at Harvard Business School who conducted the study. "The link between home and the workplace is becoming more and more critical as we have two-wage-earning families."

In 2009, almost 73 per cent of Canadian women were part of the employed workforce (these were moms with children under the age of 16 living at home). This number, however, is a decline from 2007 and 2008, according to Statistics Canada.

And even if they're spending their hours at work, the report found working moms were still doing more chores and taking care of family members per week compared to their partners.

To conduct the Harvard study, which surveyed 13,326 women and 18,152 men from 24 developed nations, researchers said that they didn't include how long a mother was actually working.

"It didn't matter to us if she worked for a few months, one year, or worked 60 hours per week during your whole childhood," McGinn notes. "We weren't interested in whether your mom was an intense professional, but rather whether you had a role model who showed you that women work both inside and outside the home. We wanted to see how that played out."

Previous studies have shown mothers who work have no detrimental effects on their children, the Guardian notes, while another study found working moms are happier in general because they have a sense of independence and financial control.

While women may feel some guilt going back to work or working in the first place with kids at home, researchers of this study say parents who work outside the home are not only helping their families economically, but also their kids in the long run.

That being said, as blogger Kristen Houghton notes, whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, supporting a woman's decisions to work or not work is better than condemning her for her actions. Any woman should be comfortable in her chosen role.

Did your mom work outside the home? Let us know in the comments below:

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