Those of us who work are less likely to suffer depression than stay-at-home mums, a study of 1,600 married women in America has suggested.
However, the work/home/happiness equation isn’t quite that straightforward, as the study also revealed women trying to keep up a high-powered career and a fabulous family life were more likely to experience depression.
It seems the happiest women in the study were those who worked but accepted they had to make compromises in their job and their family life. They had a healthier work/life balance, and were happier because of it, reports the Telegraph.
In contrast, those who expected to have both a career and family life without making compromises felt guilty and dissatisfied when they struggled to make it work like this.
“Women are sold a story that they can do it all, but most workplaces are still designed for employees without childcare responsibilities,” said researcher Katrina Leupp, a graduate student from the University of Washington.
“You can happily combine child rearing and a career, if you’re willing to let some things slide.”
Katrina added, “Employment is ultimately beneficial for women’s health, even when differences in marital satisfaction and working full or part time are ruled out.
“Employed women who expected that work-life balance was going to be hard are probably more likely to accept that they can’t do it all.”