When you are a mother you need to make the choice of whether to stay at home with your children or go back to work. For some mothers, especially single mothers, this is not really a choice they feel they have. Many moms that choose to work feel guilty about it because they are not with their children as much. Fortunately for them, a new study from the Academy of Social Sciences in the UK shows that kids of mothers who work do just as well in literacy, math skills and behavior as those who have stay at home mothers.
In 2011, there were about 5 million stay at home mothers. This is down slightly from 5.1 in 2009 and 5.3 in 2008. Of married couples that had families with kids under the age of 15, 23% had stay at home mothers. Data shows that most stay at home mothers are under 35 years old, have children under 5 years old, and are Hispanic and foreign-born.
Researchers for the study looked at 40,000 different children over 4 decades. One of the studies that was done in 2000 and 2001, the Millennium Cohort Study, showed that there was no difference between children under five who had mothers that were at home as opposed to those who worked during their first year of life.
Although there were no significant differences, Heather Joshi who is a professor at the University of London’s Institute of Education, warned that it didn’t mean that there weren’t other side effects of a mother who worked. She also stated however that if the family has the resources to allow the mother to have a job, they should take it.
Unfortunately for mothers who want to work there is an uphill battle as childcare is expensive and can sometimes cost as much as the mother makes. Many mothers however have been able to make it work for them.