Your Working Mom Guilt Comes From Your Parents, Study Finds
Maybe you feel guilty heading home before any of your co-workers, so you haven’t made your kids dinner all week. Or maybe your vacation policy meant you couldn’t swing a family trip to Disney this year. But as much as we want to blame oppressive company culture and long workday hours for a lack of a work/life balance, a new study says the problem may actually be rooted in our childhood experiences.
“We are not blank slates when we join the workforce—many of our attitudes are already deeply ingrained from childhood,” study co-author Ioana Lupu says. “We have found that the enduring influence of upbringing goes some way towards explaining why the careers of individuals, both male and female, are differentially affected following parenthood, even when those individuals possess broadly equivalent levels of cultural capital, such as levels of education, and have hitherto pursued very similar career paths.”
The research team at Queen Mary University of London conducted 148 interviews with 78 male and female employees from legal and accounting firms. One of their biggest takeaways? Women who grew up in “traditional” households where the father was a breadwinner and the mother stayed at home want to “work like their fathers but want to parent like their mothers,” according to Lupu.
For example, Eva, a female director…