The days of moms being stereotyped as needing to stay home or in the kitchen are long behind us. In the old days, a woman was defined by her child-rearing abilities alone. But today, moms are multi-dimensional powerhouses who not only prove themselves in the workplace but also show up for their families in big ways at home. So what are the top three healthy lessons that strong working moms instil in their kids?
Take responsibility for what matters
Have you ever noticed how proud a little child is when they finish a puzzle or when they manage to dress themselves in the morning. They are constantly scanning the environment, looking for tasks to master and when they do, they feel amazing! So imagine what they are taking in when they see mom juggling multiple ecosystems (their jobs and their homes all at once). Working moms are responsible for more than just their kids, and they have to juggle a lot of different tasks every day. This is a very important ability to emulate as children will see their moms managing a lot themselves. And in time they too will come to understand that when they need to take on more responsibility as they get older, they will have first-hand evidence that they can also do a lot more than they think they can.
Everyone has needs
For the longest time, whenever people talked about being a mother, they mainly talked about what they had to give up in order to be one. Women were (and sometimes still are) thought to be “bad” moms if they didn’t give up everything for their kids and make them the centre of their world. But that shouldn’t be the main focus of being a mother. Working moms teach their kids that they are not their whole world, but rather a very important part of it. This lesson can be very helpful for kids as they grow up and learn that they are not, in fact, the centre of all things. It also shows them that their moms have other aspirations and things that make them unique in the world, aside from their role as moms. This teaches children that they too should pursue their passions in life. In this way, working moms teach their kids that you have to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. Often, this means doing something for yourself that has nothing to do with your family. At the end of the day, you are the only one who can make yourself happy.
Skills are valuable to the world
A recent study from Harvard found that daughters who had working mothers grew up to accomplish more at work, earn more money and climb higher on the corporate ladder than the daughters of stay-at-home moms. Not only that, but the sons of working mothers pitch in more at home, clocking almost twice as many hours on family and child care as men with stay-at-home moms. There is something so important about kids learning that their moms are highly capable humans who can make money for the family and buy them things because she has skills that people are willing to pay her for. By witnessing this and benefiting from it first-hand, they learn that getting skills is incredibly important if you want to be an important part of society.
The bottom line
Working moms work for so many reasons – many have to work in order to make ends meet but others choose to work because it brings them joy and dimension in their lives. There is often so much guilt associated with being a working mom but we forget that this route is also actually teaching our kids so many valuable lessons about the importance of skills, working hard, looking after yourself and taking care of what matters. This is something important to hold onto and savour, whenever that ‘working mom’ worry creeps in.