Mothers who work part time especially those who have preschool children or infants feel healthier and are less likely to experience depression.
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A study of over 1,300 mothers across the US showed that mothers with either full-time or part-time jobs reported similar health and depression symptoms. Part-time mothers were, however, doing better overall.
Researcher at the University of North Carolina interviewed the study participants in 7 different occasions throughout a 10-year period.
According to their report in the Journal of Family Psychology, moms with part-time jobs were just as involved in their child's school activities as the stay-at-home ones and more involved than women with full-time jobs.
Moms who worked part-time also appeared to be more sensitive with their preschool children and provided more learning opportunities for toddlers.
“A mother's economic role is central to family life, and it supports her well-being and her parenting,” said co-author Cheryl Buehler. “Work offers mothers real important opportunities and resources to minimize social isolation and enrich their social development and well-being."
Researchers say having a part-time job gives mothers better tools, ideas, and strategies to raise their children.
“Since part-time work seems to contribute to the strength and well-being of families, it would be beneficial to employers if they provide fringe benefits, at least proportionally, to part-time employees as well as offer them career ladders through training and promotion,” co-author Marion O'Brien suggested.