Have you ever had one of those moments that make you wonder why someone would state the obvious?
I did while reading a Washington Post article on how our experiences as parents at work impact our ability to show up for our children.
Whilst we live and breathe these experiences daily as working mothers – it’s easy to take the obvious for granted. We often run on autopilot, so we don’t get the opportunity to stop and truly reflect.
To truly reflect on the fact that:
- The time we spend at work affects our physical and mental health.
- This then impacts how we show up in our home lives – how responsive and supportive we are towards our children.
- This then impacts our children’s wellbeing and development.
In her book Work Matters, Professor of Psychology Maureen Perry-Jenkins outlines her extensive research in this area.
And her findings are fascinating.
Her findings show that it’s not about if we work or not.
Instead, it’s our experiences while working that have the most impact on our children.
Maureen’s research delves into how families and workplaces interact to shape our children’s lives.
In her book, Maureen shares insights into how workplace policies and procedures impact parents’ stress and wellbeing and, in turn, the wellbeing of their children. And, as working mothers, we’re often the first to feel this.
Maureen also shares that job conditions such as::
- The relationship with your manager and co-workers,
- Time pressures
- Your degree of autonomy
All shape the lives of working parents and their ability to support their children’s development.
This book makes such a strong case for the workplace being a critical social setting that shapes our children’s development.
Our place of work creates a complex web of resources and limitations that directly shape our ability to care for our children. And these impacts are critical for our children’s future in both social and cognitive outcomes.
The right combination of circumstances, policies and people can help our children and us to thrive. But the wrong combination can be toxic.
Interestingly Stew Friedman, an organisational psychologist, shares in his research that children were better off when both mothers and fathers found work to be a source of challenge, creativity and enjoyment.
The quality of our work lives does influence the quality of our personal lives. But the data also shows that it affects the quality of our children’s lives too.
We do our best to compartmentalise and try to leave our work behind when we’re with our children.
But hybrid and remote working leave us more at risk of work-life bleeding (where the two bleed into each other).
And psychologically, it’s not easy to keep the two separate. So there is always an element of one leaking into the other.
That’s why I’m so passionate about my work – helping working mothers thrive in their work, life and motherhood.
My Empow-Her® approach uses the world-leading Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey to dive into the specific factors that support you in working well *and* living well.
When we have wellbeing in our work *and* in our lives, our children have the opportunity to experience the fullness of their wellbeing.
And that’s what I’m here for. So, if you know that the way you’re working isn’t working, let’s chat. Let me support you on that journey to work well *and* live well. Book a call here!
P.S. You can read the Washington Post article here