Working mums aren’t in it for the money

Working mums aren't in it for the money

Image: Getty, posed by models

A new US study has found that although working mums are busy, that’s the way they like it.

The study, which surveyed employed mothers, found that most would work even if they didn’t have to, however, they were also looking for new ways at being the ideal employee managing both motherhood and work commitments.

Unlike earlier research this study, which was published in Gender & Society, highlighted that the employed mothers emphasised the benefits they, and their children, receive from their paid work.

Carried out by Karen Christopher, an associate professor of Women’s/Gender Studies and Sociology at the University of Louisville, the study found that both married and single mothers said they found more fulfilment and gained self-confidence from paid work than in parenting.

This is the essential reason why they chose not to stay at home with their children full time.

Although the women studied said that they enjoyed their careers, they also put limitations on how much they work. In fact, many of the women said they sought out employment by looking for employers that did not demand long hours, this also included high-powered professions such as lawyers.

The study was conducted by surveying a group of young mothers, from Canada and the US of different racial/ethnic backgrounds, class and marital status. Most women in the study were born between 1970 and 1985 with 40 working mothers, each having at least one child under the age of five and over half the women had two children.

Although each mothers’ situation is different, associate professor Christopher said almost all of them wanted to work.

She said that while these mums are not spending intensive amounts of time with their kids, they see themselves as involved parents who are “in charge” of their children’s lives.

“About one-third of the 40 employed mothers expressed some ambivalence or guilt over their employment, but most employed mothers justified their paid work by saying it made them more fulfilled people, in addition to better mothers,” she said.

“So, these mothers are not only reframing what good mothering entails, they also frame employment in ways different than do earlier studies of mothers.”

In the US mothers’ employment rates have risen. In 2010, about two-thirds of North American mothers with young children worked outside of the home.

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