For all you working mums out there – the ones who, every time you drop off your child at nursery or with grandparents, feel full of guilt – there’s some interesting news.
New research suggests that, despite what you may think, you are doing a good job and are positively shaping your child’s development.
According to the research by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of Oxford, young children that spend time in nurseries develop better social skills and better everyday skills than those who are simply looked after at home by a parent. And those children that spend more hours being cared for by grandparents display better talking skills and social skills.
The Development And Happiness Of Very Young Children, by Prof Paul Anand of LSE, the Open University and Columbia University, and Dr Laurence Roope of the University of Oxford is published in the Social Choice And Welfare.
I went back to work when Master A was six months old. Every time I left him with his grandparents or, when he was a bit older, in nursery it was a wrench but it’s what my circumstances dictated – and still do. I have to work to support my son.
I can look back now and see that the different interactions he experienced from such an early age played a part in his development skills and have helped shape who he is.
He has amazing conversational and comprehension skills; he’s great at socialising; he’s not fearful of new experiences; and, probably, most importantly he is self-assured and independent. These positive characteristics and attributes have been with him from an early age.
After reading this research it made me think about his contemporaries those, in particular, whose mothers have never worked. And, yes, many of them don’t appear to have the same level of confidence, self-possession or sureness as Master A.
Although I still regret the hours I didn’t get to spend with him in the early years and those I don’t spend with him now and, given a time machine, I would go back and be a stay-at-home-mum, it is good to hear from academics that being a working mother does have its positives.