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Working Women and the Impact on Children

In: Business and Management

Submitted By iriscarter
Words 2745
Pages 11
Iris Carter
Bus: 500 – B12
Professor Valerioti
February 28, 2016

When women decide to have children, we have alot of decisions to face. We want the best for our children, so we have to decide whether employment would be the best decision. So women haven’t just been facing this dilemma in this century. In earlier centuries they were going through the same decisions as well. Deciding if working outside of the home was the best resolution for families, we will discuss. Society has it that if women work outside of the home, that it damages the development of their children. Now studies state that there is no harm expressively, spiritually or behaviorally to a child that has a working mother.
Women worldwide have been asking themselves this simple little question; is it better to stay at home with the children, or work outside of the home? Everyone will not respond with the same answer. Generally, this is a very personal choice for the mother and her family to make a decision if it’s best for her to stay home or go in the work field. Women, their first instance, are how this will impact my child when I leave him or her alone. Well, they have been recent studies to help us understand if it is a good idea for women to work or not and if it impacts the children.
In recent decades of studying, women have really taken over the workforce and it is still increasing. For example, in 1940 only 8.6% of women with children worked in the United States (Wladis 1). As recent as of 2010, 64% of American mothers with children under the age of 6 works outside of the home (Mann 1). Women have been joining the workforce for many different reasons. There are many career opportunities out there for women and if they were stay-at home mothers, they would miss the opportunity. This could mean successful careers, have better financial stability, and a great all around life for their families.
I was once a single mother, I took a great inventory of my life. My children were in school and doing wonderful. But I decided to go back to school to get a better paying job, and to just move up the latter in life for better opportunities. I prayed to God to see if this was good thing for me to do. Once I received clarification from God, I went back to school. It was a struggle for awhile. I did my motherly role every night. Sometimes it was 12 am or 1 am going to bed at night and then getting back up sometimes at 5:30 am in the morning. I think this impacted my children in a positive way. They saw their mother working extra hard and I instilled in them that education was very important. I think them seeing me work so hard and going to school, it made a huge impact in their life. I have one in college going to school double majoring in computer science and engineering. Another daughter getting ready to graduate to go to nursing school and a 9th grader that is being inducted into Beta Club and taking Honor classes. So I feel that working women and the impact it has on children is very positive. (Iris) On the other hand, having the mother at work could be the way the family can survive with getting food and necessities because of the economic hardships that many United States Citizens are facing (Opposing Viewpoints). Being financially stable can improve the quality of education, child care, and provide a safe and secure environment for children to succeed. It is said that in one study that having both parents that work can be the best environment that children will become collectively independent and often excel in education (Clark1)
People will often say if you didn’t stay at home with your children and you had to work, then you don’t love your children as much as the mother’s that stay at home with their children. I don’t believe that to have any truth to it. Of course if women work, even if they are working from their homes, it takes away from spending time with your child. Stay-at home mothers, as well as working mothers inside and outside of the home can debate over which role is better for the advancement of the child. This argument has been named "Mommy Wars" and has had books and several articles reviewing the facts in order to try to come to a conclusion on what is the best way to raise children (Opposing Viewpoints).
Recently, there have been some modifications in society’s outlook on working mothers. Women in modern age were thought to stay at home, take care of the home, while raising the children. More women today are entering the workforce more and more everyday and it has become more socially suitable for jobs to create flexible work schedules, have maternity leave, and be family oriented for creating a work life balance. In a Pew Research study in July 2007, it was found that 60% of women surveyed thought that part time work was the best solution and women are happy that so many employers offered flexible or part time work options (Opposing Viewpoints). In the same survey, 21% of women believed that full time work was better, and 19% of women thought that not working at all was best for their family (Opposing Viewpoints).
Whichever one a women decides to take, it is still stressful and exhausting to both stay at home mothers and working mothers. They all work and most men don’t understand this. Looking at some studies now it show that stays at home mothers are more likely to have signs of depression and anxiety from not having an outlet to release their energy (Rankin 1). Some women love to work outside the home because it gives them motivation, makes them happy that they can provide for their family, which makes them feel connected as being a great mother. (Iris). You have to have a mental break when you are stay-at home mothers. This can really be draining to your body physically.
While I was going to school, I tried to balance everything out. Sometimes it got hard but for the most part, I had a routine that I stuck with everyday. You have to have a plan for everything to balance out right including your stress level. As working women, our job is never done. We are an all around clock workers. The shifts never end. Working mothers can unintentionally bring the stress home and impact the family's relationship. Stress can cause a mother to withdraw and become distant with a child (Repetti 1).
One study was completed in 1995, by Rena L Repetti, and Jenifer Wood. These two professors work in the Psychology department at California U in Los Angeles California. They studied thirty mothers of preschool age children for five consecutive weekdays. These studies occurred at five different locations that have different average income earnings amounts. This study videotaped and documented the reactions of mothers when they were coming to pick their child up from daycare. They would survey the mother and ask how much stress they were under from work. On the low stress days, there was high communication and affection shown to the children. However, on high stress days communication was slightly less, but the biggest impact was the different in the amount of affection shown to the child. There was a significant drop in the percent of affection shown, concluding that stress has the ability of blending into the family life and interactions (Repetti 1). There is evidence to show that stress can lead to not wanting to interact with your children and this can affect your children. Sometimes this is hard, depending on what we have went through on our jobs or making a personal situations. It is very important to all mothers to try to keep our stress levels at a minimum. Why do we not take in consideration of what we want to do and what makes us feel happy. This will surely reduce our stress levels. There is research showing that one way to reduce stress is to make you happy, whether that is staying at home or working (Rankin 1). Mothers, do what makes you happy. If you are happy then your children will be happy. Mothers that work outside the home are not the cause of behavioral and development complications in a child. But it is extremely important to be emotionally attached to your child. At a young age, we must teach our children how to love, and build a loving bond between the two. If we show them that we care for them while they are young, then parent are less likely to have problems with intimacy and building relationships as an adult (Merry Interview 1).
In an interview with Karen Merry, Co-Founded of North Pointe Counseling Center, and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), she advised when there is not an emotionally safe and stable home there are five main areas that can become developmentally immature. The first one is self-esteem, if a child doesn’t have the abilities of knowing the value and worth of themselves, they will struggle with the thought they are either not as good as others, or they will believe they are better than everyone else. The next area is boundaries, not nurturing or protecting appropriately they can develop walls that block people out, or they can have no self-protective that opens more wounds for pain. Third, we have perception, teaching your child that there is room for human mistakes. We all are going to make mistakes. We are not prefect and if we believe we are, we start thinking that we are bad. Forth area is being independence, they can either be anti-dependent, and not feeling wanted, or they can be overly dependent and feeling wanted when they develop this issue. The last area that can become developmentally immature is when the child's spontaneity and playfulness is not nurtured with a healthy containment, they can either become out of control of being in control of others, or they could simply be out of control with no containment. These issues can arise whether the mother is at home or at work, the difference is that the mother has to be intentional on being connected to the child (Merry interview 1). "If a kid feels rejected they will have troubles regardless of whether their mother works outside of the home or not" (Mann 1).
Yes, a mother that works outside of the home needs to be extremely delegated on always improving the bond between her and the child(ren). Sean Brotherson, a Family Science Specialist, shares some tips that a mother can use and practice to help foster a strong attachment. He believes you have to make yourself available for your child. A child wants to know whether or not they can trust and rely on you. And he goes on to state this can only happen if you are physically present with the child. Next, increase your knowledge and experience with young children; each child you have will have different personalities. So you have to find ways of different techniques of how you can interact with them. Another tip is to provide a quick and consistent response to your child's needs, this could be if they cry or get hurt, they will hold their arms out to you. They want to know if there is anyone that they can trust, it is their mother. It is important to be able to interpret verbal and non-verbal cues that the child may give to you for what they need or want. Last tip is to avoid overstimulation to the child. There is only so much that a young child can absorb in a small period of time, if the child starts to squirm, look away, and no longer interacts it is best to let them have some quiet time, nap, or just hold them calmly while they relax and calm down. (Brotherson 2). All of these tips are very helpful to you, your child, and the both of you guys bond that will apparently go a long way. (Brotherson 3) It is also important for children to have a strong connection with adults of the same gender. For example, sons need to have a bond with a man to define their masculinity, while mothers help their daughters with their femininity (Merry interview 1). These strong bonds of attachment can help build a more in depth relationships during their adult life.
I agree with researcher Anne McMunn, PhD, a senior research fellow at University College London. Living with two working parents seems to have the best effect on children. Daughters that had a stay at home mother were twice as likely to develop behavioral issues by the age of five (Mann). Children in this study were reviewed at different stages of life including, infancy, three years old and five years old. The researchers of this study wanted to see if there were any risks or changes that developed behavioral issues later on in life (Mann 1) Anne McMunn, believe that these results, even though they were completed in the United Kingdom would have very similar results when compared to outcomes of the United Stated of America. She also goes on to say that "parents who do the best job are the ones who have interests outside of children, and working is certainly one of these interests, If you need to work or want to work, guilt is a wasted emotion." (Mann 1)
As I worked, I was very lucky because my mother was a childcare provider. I knew my children would be in great hands and would be nurtured the right way. I had a great support group from my parents, and their father. They all helped out in one way or another. Every working parent does not have that opportunity. They have to trust in a caregiver that they will take care of their child as they work and nourish them as their own child. This was suggested from researchers that conducted a United States study on 1,000 children with a age range from birth to age seven looking for any effects on children for working mothers (Clark 1). In the United States of American 80% of women return back to work within one year of giving birth because of the restrictions on maternity leave and time off (Clark 1). This means that most women need to find a caregiver before or soon after giving birth in order to be prepared to return back to work to ensure a smooth transition.
Overall, I feel that working women impacts a child’s life in a positive way. You want the best well being for your child if all possible. You want to be emotionally invested in your child’s success. The most important thing we can do for our children is bring balance to our everyday life. We know how to back away when life brings us downfalls, but we also know how to get back up when we fail and try something else that’s going to work. If it gets too much for us to bare, our support system then falls in place, our family and friends. So women choice wisely for what is satisfying to your family and what works best.

Works Cited
Brotherson, Sean. "Keys to Building Attachment with Young Children." Bright Beginnings. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012.
Mann, Denise. "No Risk of Behavior Problems for Working Moms' Kids." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2012.
Merry, Karen. Personal Interview 11-22-2012
Rankin, Lissa. "Owning Pink." Do Working Moms Raise Healthier Kids? Psychology Today, 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2012.
Repetti, Rena L., and Jenifer Wood. "Effects of Daily Stress at Work on Mothers' Interactions with Preschoolers." Journal of Family Psychology 11.1 (1997): 90- 108. Print.
Wladis - Hoffman, Lois. "The Effects of the Mother's Employment on the Family and the
Child." The Effects of the Mother's Employment on the Family and the Child. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 15 Oct. 1998. Web. 13 Nov. 2012."Working Women." Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale, 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.

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