Depending on where you are in your pregnancy's development, you may be wondering whether to continue working after delivery or devote your time to your child. On the one hand, having extra income is always nice, and the longer you're out of the work force, the harder it is to get back in. On the other hand, it's nice to be able to spend your time with your child, taking care of him or her without worrying about daycare, babysitters or leaving him or her alone. Besides, if you can spend more time with your child, won't you be able to raise him or her better?
Perhaps. Then again, it's possible that working will inspire in him or her a sense of responsibility and obligation. Our parents are often our role models at one point or another, and the example we set can be important to our kids. At least, this is one interpretation of a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, as Business Insider recently reported. The research found that 0 to 4-year-old children raised by a mother working 10 to 19 hours per week will, on average, have a 2.6 percent higher grade point average than kids raised by non-working women. The effect becomes even more prominent the longer a mother works throughout the lifetime of her child.
Notably, the study was performed in Denmark, which has significantly different maternity leave and labor laws than the United States. Business Insider noted that women in the country have four weeks of paid leave before delivery, another 14 weeks after the pregnancy and then 10 weeks that can be split between the two times. Denmark also spends three times as much on child rearing (1.2 percent of its gross domestic product) compared to the U.S. (0.4 percent of its GDP), with fewer working hours on average.
So it's possible that the study's results are unique to Denmark. However, it's evidence enough that you shouldn't feel guilty about holding a job while you're raising your baby. You may very well be benefiting him or her in the long term by working part time.
Decide what's best for you
Of course, there's more to people than just their GPAs, and children may benefit in other ways from having their mother close by during those first few crucial years. The NBER's study focused solely on academic performance, without factoring in happiness or professional success, both of which are important in all of our lives.
A recent study published by the Pew Research Center discovered that most moms want to work part time while they're raising their babies (47 percent), while many wish to keep a full-time position (32 percent) and some don't want to work after having kids (20 percent). But while a pregnancy expert can help you decide your best course of treatment, only you can decide what's the best way to live your life.
Are you planning on working after your pregnancy? Is there a plan in place for watching your newborn? We want to know!