Maternal employment may lead to greater income, but it affects child development, which is evident in child behavior outcomes. The affects of maternal employment on childcare and childrearing are dependent on socio-economic, cultural, and environmental factors. The particular characteristics of a mother’s job influence her child and family. Job flexibility, demands, independence, and wages affect the mother in her various roles. Maternal employment changes family functioning, including interactions with the child. Job-related stress affects mothers’ perceptions and approaches to childcare.
The timing of the mothers’ employment has long-term effects on the cognitive development and study habits of the child. Maternal employment during infancy is vital to children’s development trajectories. The child constructs a view of the self and the social world as a respond to early maternal employment. This is usually a reflection of the experience on the childcare setting and the family.
The attitude and behavior of mothers towards parenting, and their perception on child care are critical to the early life exposure of the child. This affects the child’s behavior and health outcomes in later life. The relationship between the mother and the child is significant to the child’s behavior outcomes. Factors like social support, maternal attachment experience, the mother’s perception towards childcare, and the child and the mother’s stress and depressive symptoms all affect a mother’s interaction with her child. Maternal work conditions relate to maternal mood and impacts mother and child interaction.
Mothers are working in increasing numbers. An increase of women in the workforce and, by extension, mothers in the workforce, is inevitable in society and within many families. A mother’s increased income can provide her children with additional opportunities. Nevertheless, it is important to consider the different ways that this dual role will affect the children’s interactions with both their mother and father. Each family situation is different and they must determine not only if maternal employment is best, and if so, under what conditions. To successfully function in the changing family structure, mothers and fathers will need to adapt. The affects of mothers who work are complex and deserve further exploration and personal consideration within each family.