Working moms often feel like they can’t compete with childless colleagues, but the latest research shows that having more than one child makes you more productive.
When researchers examined the effect of pregnancy and parenthood on the productivity of nearly 10,000 female academic economists from 75 countries, they found that women with two or more children were more productive than economists with only one child or no children.
The paper, Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labour, commissioned by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, showed that women who were committed to their careers as well as to their families were able to avoid any decrease in productivity, despite the time constraints of raising children.
While having babies and looking after toddlers and young children reduced a mother’s productivity by 17 per cent and at least 2.5 years, the study found that women who had two or more children tended to make up the deficit over the course of a 30-year career.
Researchers believe this may be because mothers with two children are more accustomed to juggling life and work and are therefore able to make better use of the time they set aside for themselves.
“While you have small children, it has an impact on you,” Christian Zimmerman, one of the paper’s authors, told the Washington Post. “But after that, it seems that the impact is the other way.”
“If you want to do research and be successful at it, being well organized is a significant component of that,” he said. “That may be all that is driving the results.”
In short, if you want a job done well and in record time, ask a mom.
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