At last there appears to be a consensus on the perennial debate. When it comes to working mothers and stay-at-home moms, the working moms are happiest and healthiest, especially if they only work part-time during their children's infancy and pre-school years.
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Family Psychology, moms who worked part-time showed fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms, although there was no great difference in the depressive symptoms between full-time and part-time working moms.
Another boon for part-time working moms: they were equally involved in their children's schooling than moms as who stayed at home, more so than those who worked full time. They also displayed more sensitivity with their pre-school children and they provided more learning opportunities for toddlers than moms at home or working full time.
It seems part-time work provides the ideal balance for mom, though it typically doesn't garner the same level of benefits, training and career opportunities.
"Since part-time work seems to contribute to the strength and well-being of families, it would be beneficial to employers if they provide fringe benefits, at least proportionally, to part-time employees as well as offer them career ladders through training and promotion," said study author and professor of human development and family studies, also of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Dr. Marion O'Brien.
Part-time work is good if you can get it, and good if you can afford it. In these challenging economic times, part-time work may not be a realistic option for many families who rely on dual incomes to get by. Do you agree with these findings?