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Sons of working moms grow up to do twice as much housework, says study

They devoted eight more hours weekly to caring for their children, doing domestic work and helping other family members.

Sons of working moms grow up to do twice as much housework, says study

Mamas know how to delegate. Between responsibilities at the office and the responsibilities of managing the household, it's all but essential to enlist help from others. It turns out that is making a big impression on the sons of working mothers: According to a new study, the men who grew up with working mothers do twice as much housework as men who had stay-at-home moms.


As research shows, growing up with a working or stay-at-home mom affects children in different ways—with both experiences having ample positive outcomes. The latest study to affirms the perks of having a working mom was published in the journal Work, Employment and Society in April based on international surveys from more than 100,000 people across 29 countries.

They found that the adult sons of mothers who worked were more egalitarian in their own relationships. Specifically, in contrast to sons of stay-at-home moms, they devoted eight more hours weekly to caring for their children, doing domestic work and helping other family members.

And with the number of moms who remain in the workforce growing, this may help continue to move the needle on the still uneven balance of housework: According to Motherly's 2018 State of Motherhood survey, 57% of moms say they handle chores most of the time versus just 34% of moms who say these responsibilities are split equally with their partner.

Not only are these just good skills to have, but other research has shown that relationships are stronger when there is a more equal division of labor at home. (As one recent report found, splitting up the dishes has the biggest effect on partnerships.)

Meanwhile the same international report from April found that adult daughters of working moms do a bit less housework than their peers—probably because they are busy making 23% more money in jobs that are more likely to be in upper management.

Of course, the decision about whether to work or stay at home with the kids is always going to be a complicated one. But don't worry about how the children will be affected—because there are benefits either way.

"There's a lot of talk about why women work," Kathleen McGinn, the study's author and a professor at Harvard Business School, tells Time. "A lot of those questions presume that, somehow, it's detrimental to their families. That's a whole bunch of 'mother guilt' based on almost no findings."

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When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

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MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

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Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

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Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

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Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

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Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

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Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

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Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

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