Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Working mom guilt is crushing. But kids of working moms turn out great!

One more reason for the Mommy Wars to end. Seriously, the balancing act of career and children is hard. But at least the guilt over how your job is screwing up your children for a lifetime can end. I can attest that it is imperative that moms have a way of supporting themselves, even if they marry a great guy who can financially support them and the kids. Because you do not know what the future holds and you may end up needing to become the supporter. And if you're unable to do that, horrible days are ahead of you. Because living in poverty is no fun.

I am grateful that when I fled my marriage, I did not need my ex's money to live, nor to feed the kids. I could do that all on my own. So if you're a working mom you are a powerful, positive role model and the odds that your sons and daughters end up educated and self-supporting increase. And that's a good thing. Here is my latest article via Divorced Moms.

Working Moms: Your Children Will Be Fine! 
By Lizzy Smith                    
June 23, 2015
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Fotolia_61877469_XS.jpgAs far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted a career. Not just a job, but I wanted to climb the corporate ladder, make good money, have a nice office, and even better job titles. I went to college, graduated, moved to Washington, DC on an internship on Capitol Hill, and then took my first (very low) paying job in an office environment. Like most every other entry level co-worker I knew, were all scraping by, working a second job on the weekends to help cover the cost of outrageous parking in the District, a professional wardrobe, pricey rent, and happy hour expenses. Still, it was an amazingly fun, growing experience. I met a ton of friends and did some cool things, like go to an official Inaugural Ball, attended many hearings in Congress, and even a reception on the South lawn of the White House.

A year later, I got a better job offer that actually included a livable wage. I had finally gotten on that corporate ladder and I started climbing it. I wore fun business suits every day, started traveling in my spare time, and then got married. Next stop was children.

With both of my daughters, I never stopped working. No gaps in employment, I was so happy about that. My resume was “perfect.” First, I didn’t feel I could afford to quit. Second, I got a lot of personal kudos from a job well done that I never got at home, and lastly, my identity was so tied to my ability to work and bring home an income, that I couldn’t fathom walking away from it.

…But the GUILT. My children, some told me, would be messed up in the head because I was too selfish by insisting I continue working fulltime. My priority was not motherhood, clearly, or I would make “better” choices. Truth was, my children both loved pre school and they were fine. I was the one who wasn’t doing so great. The balancing act is hard. I was exhausted, annoyed and pushed well beyond my breaking point. If I had help, like perhaps a sober husband who would pitch in (just a little), it would have made a huge difference. But in addition to taking care of my job, the kids, house, vacation house, all the bills, and much more, I had to care of my husband, too. Because caring for an alcoholic is almost a fulltime job in and of itself. Nonetheless, my children seemed ok. Should I have
felt guiltier than I did?

Apparently, the answer is a Big Fat No. According a recent study conducted by the Harvard Business School, daughters of working moms grow up to be more successful than their peers in the workforce. They are also more likely to be bosses, supervising other employees. This is actually fantastic news. How many additional studies point out that women who are divorced and have children are exponentially more likely to live beneath the poverty line? Yes, having earning power is critically important, especially if we have children. After all, it is our moral, ethical and legal responsibility to provide for them. With this in mind, consider this statistic: daughters of working moms earn 23 percent more than daughters of stay-at-home moms. That’s significant.

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