Does Mom Working Equal Fatter Kids?

Yet another study has come out pronouncing yet another harm we are doing to our children by working. This time, it’s that how long we work somehow leads to our kids having higher BMIs, according to this article in the journal Child Development.

My response? One word: Ugh.

OK, you know I can’t stop at one word. But that pretty much sums up my frustration at being pegged with another societal problem (child obesity) because women need and want to work.

Am I more likely to stuff my kids full of Happy Meals and Little Debbies because I work, versus the stay-at-home mom? Who knows? Depends on how much I care about how nutritious and healthy my kids’ food is. And what kind of food my kids eat at their school or babysitter’s house. And how active my kids are. Maybe a kid whose mom stays home is watching TV for most of the day, while my kids are enrolled in gymnastics, soccer and karate. Or vice versa.

The point is, I just find it hard to believe whether I work or stay home really affects how fat my kids are.

And hey, where are the dads in these studies? I don’t see any big news about how dads working negatively influences their children. Hello, it’s 2011! Most moms work. It’s normal, it’s fine and our kids will turn out how they turn out. It all depends on how we raise them, no matter who’s getting a paycheck.

P.S. CNN was interested in my thoughts on these study results, so they kindly included me in their article today about it. Read it and weigh in, ’cause you know the anti-women, anti-working mom crowd will be hatin’ all over me.

P.P.S. Now NPR is quoting this very blog post in a story about the same study: How Long Moms Work Linked To Slight Increase In Kids’ Weight.

1 thought on “Does Mom Working Equal Fatter Kids?

  1. Hey Susan,

    Great post.

    I agree, let’s not place the blame on moms for yet another societal problem. What I would like to say is that, mom’s have alot on their plate there is no doubt, but how do THEY feel about how they are showing up. Many moms feel stressed and overwhelmed and don’t have the tools to help them make it through their busy day with confidence and peace of mind.

    Moms deserve to feel valued for all they do, yet the place where they are challenged the most is in valuing themselves and all they do. I like to have my clients write in their journals at night where they have “given” that day. For them to stop and look at what they have done and how they have served others during their day can be a real eye opener.
    Thanks for your commitment to moms living without guilt.

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