Children of working mums don’t suffer

Mums who return to work in their child’s first year don’t harm their development, finds study

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Working mums can breathe a sigh of relief as a new study has found that children whose mums go out to work do no worse than those with stay-at-home mums. Despite differences in the way children develop, depending on the amount of time their mum is at home with them, the benefits to the mum and family as a whole balanced out any negatives.

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The study followed more than 1,000 children up to the age of 7. The researchers looked at a variety of factors that affected the child and family relating to their mum returning to full-time work.

“Family relationships, family income, the mental health of the mother all change when a mother is working,” said Jane Waldfogel, who worked on the study.  “So what we did was to look at the full impact, taking all of these things into account.”

After previous studies have found children with stay-at-home mums do better and recent criticism of working mums by parenting academics, this news will reassure women who return to work by choice or by economic circumstances. “Women should not feel guilty whatever choices they make – though that does not mean you have to make the choice to work,” said Sally Gimson, from the Family and Parenting Institute.

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If you’re planning on returning to the workplace after having a baby, make sure you’re prepared!

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