Parents who go back to work after having children, and mothers in particular, still struggle with prejudice and criticism. This is completely unfounded, however, because studies have shown that children from homes where both parents are employed have better prospects for the future.
Many young parents, and mothers in particular, are faced with the question of how they should juggle both having a career and having children. Many of them have a bad conscience leaving their children alone, but at the same time they do not want to give up their careers just because they become parents. Studies, education, professional experience, training – many have put a lot of time and effort into their professional development. Once they have reached leadership positions, they do not want to give up this accomplishment so easily. This is often the beginning of an internal flip-flop for young parents in high level careers – they oscillate between responsibility for their child and their own claim to professional activity and success.
Children benefit when both parents work
A publication by the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation has summarized and analyzed several studies on children and career. It turns out that children with two working parents are not further behind other children with one parent at home. On the contrary, the primary school ratings of these children are higher. Early childhood care does not harm children either. It is best to look after children at home for the first year of life, however after that a care period of up to 30 hours per week is okay. The key is high-quality care in small groups provided by qualified personnel.
Don’t have a guilty conscience!
Children feel the emotional condition of their parents. If parents who want to unite having children and having a career show a guilty conscience, this could be counterproductive to the development of the children. That is why you must make sure that you’re ok with leaving your child in qualified care for a few hours a day. Without the guilty conscience, you’ll be able to receive all the benefits derived from childcare – for both you and your children. Utilizing childcare facilities not only allows the parents their career aspirations, but it’s also a chance for children to participate in more leisure activities and attain better social development.
Remember, you are an example
The day-to-day habits of both partners are passed on early to children. Families in which both partners are working usually have a more balanced distribution of roles than families in which one parent is responsible for budget and the other for financial security. Both partners are more involved in the household and child rearing. In such families, young boys and girls learn that it is normal for both mom and dad to do their work in the household, in child-rearing and in their professions. Both male and female children can benefit from observing two equal and competent partners.
Professional parents are happier
Various studies have shown that parents, and in particular women, who do not give up their jobs are, on average, happier than those who stay at home because of their children. This satisfaction leads to a more balanced and harmonious family life – two important prerequisites for good school performance of offspring, and their healthy mental development. As a rule, the combination of children and career produces happy mothers and fathers with stable children. Provided the care of the children works smoothly.
Child and career: Companies are in demand
So much depends on how well professional activity can be combined with parenthood. Here, companies can do a lot to help their team leaders and executives with young families manage their children and career in the best possible way. A company owned daycare center creates a stress-free morning and contributes to longer working hours for the parents. Special emergency care systems are great when children become ill and the parents are stressed professionally. Many companies also rely on co-operation with other institutions to offer additional care during the summer and holidays, thus relieving the parents of additional stress. Companies that are open to flexible working hours, job-sharing and home office have a good chance to continue employing their executives with young families.