I came across this intriguing article on the cool iParenting website. It discusses the differences in parenting styles between stay-at-home moms and working moms. The author of the article references a book called Mothers at Work: Effects on Children’s Well-Being by Lois W. Hoffman.
According to this, children of mothers who work (referred to as maternal employment) demonstrate some academic benefits that those with stay-at-home moms do not. The article begins with discussing parenting styles, then ends with the difference in affects on children between a mom who stays at home full time, and one who works outside the home.
Is the difference really in whether or not the mom stays at home?
I can certainly see that children may be encouraged to be more independent when a parent is working. Things like dressing oneself, getting ready in the morning become more important when everyone needs to get out the door. However, moms and dads who stay at home can also encourage independence and responsibility starting at a very young age.
And what about those stereotypical attitudes discussed in the article? Surely parents can help their children and guide them against developing discriminatory attitudes regarding women who work, or those stay at home.
The studies Hoffman writes about also apparently show that women feel more empowered when working.
As a mom who has made the choice to stay at home for now, I plan to get my hands on this book and read about the Cambridge studies.
Until then, I will feel a sense of empowerment when my 2 year old (who already has several pre academic skills like identifying shapes, counting beyond 10, and matches/names almost all the basic colors) is potty trained, and my infant sleeps through the night 😉