Maternal Employment’s Effects on Children

Topics: Childhood, Mother, Full-time Pages: 5 (1722 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Maternal Employment’s Effects on Children

Ahlam Alkhuzai

Eastern Michigan University


During the last years, the rate of maternal employment has significantly increased. Thus, the mothers’ role in family has been affected. When working long time outside the house or dealing with work’s problems and pressures, mothers can be easily affected, which consequentially affects their children. This research paper explores the impacts of maternal employment on children of working mothers in three main areas: children’s health, mother-child relationship and children’s personal development. Knowing the impacts of maternal employment helps mothers to decide whether the work is worthwhile and how they can circumvent those impacts on their children.

Maternal Employment’s Effects on Children
Work vs. family is one of the hardest decisions that mothers today have to take very carefully. Unlike the past, the majority of women are pursuing careers outside the house; therefore, most of their time is spent outside. Since mothers are the traditional cores of family’s structure, their domestic roles have effects on all family’s members. Mothers’ works outside the house would never replace their works inside it. Thus, many women are struggling to balance between being a career professional or supermom. In fact, the balance between them is not impossible, but it needs a lot of hard works and experiences along with helps from all family members. During the road to this balance, working mothers’ struggles affect their family in many ways, especially their children. The children’s health, their relationship with their mothers and also the children’s personal development are affected by maternal employment.

While working mothers spend most of their time working outside the house, their children’s health is negatively affected. The children health could be affected by many factors, and the quality of food they eat is one of these factors. In fact, connecting food quality and maternal employment could seem unreasonable, but Bauer et al. (2012) found that mothers who work in full-time jobs are more likely to offer less healthful food compared to those who work part-time or not employed ones. From this study, it is clear that the time is playing an important role for working mother ability to offer healthful food for their families. In particular, part-time and un-employed mothers, according to Bauer et al. ‘s study (2012), are able to find time to prepare healthy food and take care of their families’ diet while full-time working mothers are risking their children’s health. In fact, one of the potential risks of eating unhealthy food is childhood obesity. Moreover, maternal employment is related to the childhood obesity from another side besides food quality. Many studies showed a relationship between maternal employment and childhood obesity. In fact, Anderson (2012) found that even though there is not a direct relationship between maternal employment and childhood obesity, family’s positive routines are negatively affected by mothers spending more time working outside the house; moreover, he found a strong relationship between negative routines and childhood obesity. When they work more hours, mothers are spending fewer hours with their children, which means they do not participate in physical activities with their children, such as playing outside and learning new sports. Instead, children are wasting their time watching TV or playing video game, which do not require any physical actions. In fact, a study found that children rarely participating in physical activities seem more likely to be obese (Elliott et al., 2002). It is obvious that when child is setting in front of screen and not joining any physical activity, the fat in his/her body would not be burned which means gaining more weight and becoming obese. In general, when mothers are working more hours outside the house, that means less hours with taking...

References: Anderson, P. (2012). Parental Employment, Family Routines and Childhood Obesity. Economics & Human Biology, 10(4), 340-351.
Bauer, K. W., Hearst, M. O., Escoto, K., Berge, J. M., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2012). Parental employment and work-family stress: Associations with family food environments. Social Science & Medicine, 75(3), 496-504.
DeJong, A. (2010). Working Mothers: Cognitive and Behavioral Effects on Children. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 8(2010), 75-82.
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