Professor of psychology at Arizona State University, Suniya S. Luthar, Ph.D., examined the work-life satisfaction in new mothers. Her research shows the most satisfied are those who wanted to go back to work and did, as well as those who wanted to stay at home and did. The study didn't address WAHMs, but she says from her own parenting experience, being a WAHM is “just not doable. It’s a distraction. One ear is always listening for them. The kid is looking for mom to feel safe…. You’re not going to get your work done properly, and you’ll end up being a mass of nerves and guilt.”
It’s not all bad, of course. I never have to miss anything my kids are a part of, and I do get to enjoy a lot of time with my little people. I have been forced to learn to compartmentalize my time and set clear boundaries, which is a good thing. I have had to learn not to feel guilty for working in front of my kids, though admittedly I still struggle with that sometimes. My husband more than pulls his own weight, so overall, the benefits outweigh the challenges.
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But there is one scenario that these numbers cannot possibly reflect — the number of moms who have successfully launched part-time businesses or side hustles out of their homes. Although there is no hard data on those numbers, more than 8.6 million U.S. businesses are owned by women. Undoubtedly, many of those businesses are run by mothers who manage their businesses’ affairs while also keeping an eye on the kids.
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