According to Ellen Weinreb, a contributor for Forbes, it does. She presents some solid theories about how it does help working women, but there doesn’t seem to be any measurable evidence that shows that women with children are better at their jobs. Weinreb, it seems, was trying to highlight the ways in which motherhood helps women in their jobs because usually we are only reading about how it does the opposite, especially in terms of climbing up the career ladder.
In a new survey commissioned to coincide with the release of the film I Don’t Know How She Does It, there was found to be a whole generation of women who “don’t know why she does it” instead of “how she does it.” The survey found that 44% of childless women feel sorry for working mothers trying to balance everything. A quarter think working mothers always look exhausted and one in five say it looks so difficult it makes them think twice about having children. Half of childless women over 30 look at stay-at-home mothers and think it will be difficult for them to get back on the career ladder and a fifth believe they’ve lost their identity. Meanwhile 26% admit they are fearful of the effect motherhood would have on their career.
Weinreb presents a defense for the constant talk about working mothers have to endure the guilt of spending so much time apart from their children. “Motherhood isn’t an automatic detriment to a career. While it certainly brings challenges, it can have positive effects on work as well,” she wrote. It can help women with in their work are better perspective on us leaving a sustainable legacy, flexibility and multi-tasking skills, more accepting of other’s imperfections and letting others grow. Relief is another thing working mothers get to experience. I thought the relief aspect was most interesting and extremely honest. Weinreb wrote:
This makes some mother’s gasp but honestly, some women feel stifled at home. Advancing their career is a choice that brings fulfillment, challenge, and stimulation. The office can be a break from the chaos at home. By balancing both work and home, we maximize our enjoyment on both turfs.
Being mothers, just like being women, doesn’t make us unfit for the workplace- it just makes us different, and in many ways, more accomplished. We shouldn’t constantly try to separate our parental lives from our careers, because they’re both part of who we are as individuals. Work and life can coexist and complement each other; they don’t have to be opposites.
I don’t agree that she said being a mother makes a woman more accomplished, especially if she is comparing a woman with kids to a woman without kids. Being a mother is a wonderful thing but I don’t think you can say because you have kids and a job that you are a more accomplished woman than a woman who has a career and doesn’t have children. But I do agree that motherhood can in some ways help you in your career and this is not highlighted enough. Stylist and designer Rachel Zoe recently said of her three month old son, that she thought her already stressful job would be even worse with the addition of an infant when in fact having a child “has just made it easier in a way.” Zoe said, “Once you have a baby, your time becomes way more efficient and focused.” Motherhood is not an illness but it can hinder or at least provide a road block to a straight, determined career path.