Parents Perspective

Hooray! Working Moms Are More Accepted Than Ever

Working women
When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was the never the little girl who responded, "be a mommy". Up until middle school, I had my heart set on being the next big fashion designer and the thought of motherhood was secondary—if even there at all.

It wasn't until recently that the idea of having (eventually!) a family of my own grew on me. However, if and when that day comes, I plan to continue my career wholeheartedly.

And that's why new research from San Diego State University came as a great relief to me. The study, which was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, confirmed that millennials are more accepting of working mothers than any other previous generation.

In 2010, only 22 percent of surveyed 12th graders thought that a preschool-aged child would be negatively impacted if their mom worked—an all-time low compared to 34 percent in the 1990s and 59 percent in the 1970s.

The same increased support was shown when adults' perception of mothers reentering the workforce were examined. Only 35 percent of adults in 2012 thought a preschool-aged child would suffer if their mother returned to work, compared to 68 percent in 1977.

The study's author, Jean Twenge notes, "This goes against the popular belief that millennials want to 'turn back the clock,' or that they are less supportive of working moms because their own mothers worked. Instead they are more supportive."

In my opinion, the decline in belief that children suffer when their moms go off to work is because children are being exposed to a greater variety of household scenarios—whether in their own home, their peers', or through the media—than previous generations.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to watching this pattern continue as support for working mamas grows even greater—since one day I might just be one of them!

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who came to her senses in high school and realized fashion design was not her calling. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn.

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