The Powerful Impact of Working Moms on Their Daughters

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As a daughter of a working mom, I have immense pride in the powerful impact my mother had on my life. Whether it was watching her fill in as a ‘father figure’ or seeing her joyful face when students gifted her flowers on Teacher’s Day, these moments filled me with admiration for the difference she made in the world. Growing up with a working mom taught me so much about being an empowered woman striving to make her mark. If you too had a working mom, you can relate to her profound influence on shaping who you are today. 

Unlocking the Benefits of Working Mothers

A recent study from Harvard Business School found that women whose mothers worked earn 23% more than women whose mothers didn’t. Additionally, men whose mothers worked spent more time helping out at home. The researchers stated that growing up with a working mom – even if she is working part-time jobs – is an ideal way to narrow the gender gap.

I might as well have considered working for Harvard while being a 12-year-old having these kinds of thoughts (which had no data to back them up, after all). However, I do work currently, and I feel like all the realization I have had on life and its complexity came from seeing my mom deal with the struggle of managing work-life balance every single day. And I am sure that girls who grew up with working mums can relate.

As a daughter of a working mom, I can personally attest to the profound impact it had on shaping my character and values. These are some of the best qualities she cultivated in me – for which I can never thank her enough.

Here are some of the key qualities that working moms instill in their daughters:

1. Strength and Resilience

Watching my mom juggle the demands of work and family life daily taught me the true meaning of strength and resilience. I saw her wake up early, get me ready for school, and then rush off to her job, only to return home and immediately start preparing dinner, helping with homework, and squeezing in any leftover work. Her ability to power through the challenges with grace and determination was truly inspiring.

It’s as if those hands were the most fragile and that head of hers had rested enough to just immerse in the present moment. She was strong, she liked dynamics, and I simply loved seeing that image of her transmit through my eyes as I empowered my own being.

2. Independence and Self-Reliance

Growing up, my siblings and I took on more household responsibilities as our working mom had less time to do everything herself. We learned to iron, clean, and even bake birthday cakes on our own. This fostered a sense of independence and self-reliance that has served us well growing up.

3. Empathy and Understanding

Except from making a huge difference in the way boys contribute to the house, working mums also foster empathy in their little girls. I tried to do everything possible to ease my mother’s work for when she got back home because I could feel her tiredness in my own veins. But I also understood when my teacher left in the middle of the class because her child was sick or when my co-worker, who is now a mum to two sweet toddlers, experienced a mental breakdown.

Witnessing my mom’s struggles to balance work and family life made me more empathetic towards others in similar situations. I developed a deeper understanding of the challenges working parents face, whether it’s a teacher leaving class to tend to a sick child or a coworker experiencing a mental breakdown. This empathy has been a valuable asset in my personal and professional relationships.

4. Appreciating Quality Time

A Journal of Marriage and Family 2015 study indicated that whether you work outside the home or not, kids tend to spend the same amount of time with their moms. The difference was the quality of the time spent together. I can strongly affirm this.

While the quantity of time spent with my mom may have been less due to her work commitments, the quality of our time together was truly special. She made a conscious effort to make every moment count, showering us with affection and undivided attention. This has inspired me to prioritize quality time with my loved ones.

5. Inspiration and Motivation

Witnessing my mom’s resilience and determination in the face of challenges has been a constant source of inspiration. As I’ve grown older, I often find myself asking, “What would Mom do?” when faced with difficult decisions. Her journey has motivated me to push past my limits and strive for greatness.

The impact of working mothers on their daughters is undeniable. By instilling values of strength, independence, empathy, and appreciation for quality time, working moms are shaping the next generation of confident, compassionate, and driven women. As a daughter of a working mom, I am forever grateful for the powerful influence she has had on my life.

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