You would think that motherhood would negatively affect your productivity at work, but according to research, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“There is widespread conviction that motherhood is extremely costly in terms of professional career advancement. In particular, it is often argued that the only way for young women to make a challenging career is to remain childless,” researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis wrote.
Parenthood makes workers more protective
After examining data from 10,000 female economists, the researchers found that motherhood doesn’t affect productivity. In fact, motherhood actually makes working women slightly more productive than their childless peers, the World Economic Forum reports.
Not only did the researchers find mothers more productive than childless workers, they also discovered that mothers who had more children were also more productive than mothers of only one child.
What makes parents more productive? The researchers speculated that these parents planned ahead so that their careers wouldn’t be affected when they had kids. These women also probably worked harder early in their careers to prepare for parenthood. And this work ethic would carry over to their post-kid days.
“People will have less time to spend on their research when they become parents, but they might use their remaining time more efficiently,” Krapf explained to The Atlantic.
Parents are better managers
Parents are also better in managerial roles. According to research from Clark University and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, parents are better at multitasking, handling stress, and negotiating. In other words, parenting and management skills overlap.
“In a parenting role, you get a chance to do a lot of the same things you do as a manager,” co-author Marian N. Ruderman told Forbes. “You get to hone your interpersonal skills. You learn how to develop other people. It’s another opportunity to learn from experience.”
According to the study, simply having kids doesn’t make you a better manager — being an active parent does. Parents who perform better in managerial roles spend more time with their children and would sacrifice their other goals for their family.
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