If you’re suffering from working moms guilt, check out the research and enjoy a moment of relief. I say a moment because regardless of what a study of tens of thousands of families finds, the data point that matters most to you is your own household. If your children are thriving — regardless of whether you work or stay home — you can read this research with interest, then set it aside and enjoy your family. If you know in your gut that your kids are upset at your heavy load of work travel or they’re acting out, it’s time to make a change no matter what the research shows.

When I first became a parent, I believed that a happy mom equals happy kids. Period. And while I still think that happy, fulfilled parents are more likely to raise well-adjusted children, my view has become more nuanced. There’s simply no substitute for connecting with a parent. Whether that’s a 5-minute dance party after your commute home and before dinner, or a full day bike ride and picnic, you can almost see your children’s confidence grow when you lavish attention on them.

So working moms, take comfort in this new research that shows what we know in our bones: the simple fact of us working won’t harm our children. But don’t let that become an excuse to grow distracted by your career and neglect your family.

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