At the NYT’s Motherlode blog, Lisa Belkin is reporting a follow up to a study that came out several years ago reporting that the children of working mothers were “cognitively delayed” compared to those of stay-at-home moms. Five years on, those same researchers followed those same kids and found those slight delays in some areas were outweighed by benefits in others, meaning that â€œthe overall effect of first-year maternal employment on child development is neutral.â€ (No word on whether the mothers of the study continued working in the face of those initial findings.) Study authors were pleased by the positive message of their conclusions: “We can say now, from this study, what we couldn’t say before: There’s a slight risk, and here’s the three things that you, Mom, can do to make a difference,” Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, the lead author, told the Washington Post. The three things? Make more money, be more responsive than stay-at home mothers and find high-quality childcare.
But even now that the path to going back to work during your baby’s first year is paved by such an easy-to-achieve checklist (ahem), at least one Motherlode is still suffering self doubt. Read about it on Slate’s XXFactor blog.