Working mothers are in the news today because Rick Santorum acknowledged in his book, It Takes a Family, that “many women find it easier, more ‘professionally’ gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children.”
Once again assuming that women are incapable of thinking for themselves, Santorum went on to suggest that these self-reports of happy workplace engagement were actually the work of radical feminist brainwashing. If you can stomach the full Santorum monty, read Rick Santorum on Working Mothers in today’s Washington Post.
Mothers are Happy Working
As the Post article advises, Santorum was right about one thing – mothers are happier working and would do so even if they didn’t have to. And this finding applied to all of the women in the study, regardless of their class, race or marital status was.
The study published in the February issue of Gender Society was conducted by Karen Christopher, a professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology at the University of Louisville. She focuses on 40 mothers who had at least one child under the age of 5.
She found that the majority reported feeling more fulfillment from paid work than from parenting. “Most employed mothers justified their paid work by saying it made them more fulfilled people, in addition to better mothers,” Christopher wrote.
Resources to Help Working Mothers Work Even More Happily
I’m not a working mother myself. Not even yet a working grandmother (get on that, oh lovely adult step-children). But I’ve spent the last couple of weeks writing about biases against working mothers and ways to defeat them.
In honor of Presidents’ Day and in premature memorium of Mr. Santorum’s race for Pope the Presidency, here are all the “working mother” posts in one place.