Good news for all those parents whose heart breaks every time they drop their kids off at daycare or leave them with a nanny and head off to work. According to a GfK Roper Consulting survey, kids claim to be much less affected by working parents than we tend to think they are. Which, at the very least, should relieve some of that maternal guilt.
These findings contradict every message we have heard on the subject recently, and probably our own personal beliefs as well. Every mother who works knows how difficult it is to be away from her children during the day – and often worries about what she or her kids are missing out on as a result. Which makes that decision whether or not to return to work all the more difficult after baby is born. Moms worry their kids are being short-changed as they try to balance their responsibilities, too often feeling like they’re not giving either job their full attention.
But while we’re feeling guilty, it seems kids are satisfied. According to Business Week, the survey showed that the kids polled (who were all between the ages of 8 and 17) are as content to have both parents work as they are to have one parent who stays home full-time. And not only does having two working parents create positive role models for kids, they’re really not feeling deprived at all.
Now don’t let these results make you think that we are neglecting our kids, or that they’re simply used to having parents out of the house and are happy to entertain themselves. The study also found that the amount of time parents are spending with their kids on average is up even in the past five years – now almost 31 hours a week. Whether this is due to more understanding and flexible companies or simply more working parents dedicated to making the time for their kids, it’s good news for everyone.
So stop feeling so guilty; the kids are fine whether you work or stay home. If we’re lucky, maybe this will help put an end to those Mommy Wars.