Mothers in the workplace can be a prickly subject depending on the audience and type of position the mother fills or is seeking to fill. There are pros and cons to a mother being in the workplace for both the mother and the employer. Nonetheless there are many women who do so because the labor force participation rate for mothers with children under 18 years of age was over 72% as of 2019 per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The labor force participation rate increases for mothers with older children as they are typically able to work without childcare being an issue. This article will highlight the pros and cons for mothers and employers regarding working mothers.


A frequent complaint per studies and research on the topic of stay-at-home mothers is a feeling of isolation. As enjoyable as it is to be able to do “baby talk” with an infant or simple speech with a toddler/young child, there is a big difference between those things and having meaningful conversation with other adults. One pro for working mothers is a great reduction in this issue. Another pro is typically having more financial resources to spend on one’s children. For single working mothers, this is the only source of income but even for married working mothers the additional income can mean big differences in lifestyle and opportunity. The primary con of mothers in the workplace is being apart from their children. This separation leads to many consequences from missing out on key moments of growth/achievement to a child falling behind in growth/achievement. Almost 100% of working mothers report chronic tiredness from lack of rest between workplace work and house work.


There is not a lot of data showing specific pros to employers for employing mothers as opposed to employing a woman who does not have a child or a man. There are for sure some positions where being a mother is seen as an added benefit, such as a pediatric nurse or lactation consultant, but these positions are few compared to all positions across all industries, where ability to perform a job hinges more on corresponding education, experience, and technical knowledge. The most frequently reported con to employing mothers include a loss in productivity while the mother is out of the office on maternity leave or doctors’ visits related to her or the child/children any time thereafter (which statistics show mothers are more likely to do than fathers). Employers with occupations that require a high level of professional dedication (and education), such as doctors or lawyers, have a very difficult time hiring/promoting working mothers because of their need to balance work with parenting/motherhood.