Ask any employed mother about the benefits of working and you'll probably hear a list ranging from intellectual challenge to--of course--a paycheck.
But what most mothers don't realize is that their careers affect their well-being, as well as the dispositions of their kids. Work can be an important source of a woman's identity. Women who meet their career goals feel a strong sense of meaning in their lives, which helps their children to be both mentally and physically healthy. Unhappy moms often have unhappy children unhealthy.
These children form a new class of kids--working children, the offspring of working parents--and they are given a new role in the family. They are encouraged to be self-sufficient as soon as possible, and learn to communicate in a world of adults. Early on, for safety's sake, their innocence has to be sacrificed because they need to know the truth about the dangers of the environments they travel in. Their childhood presents a new definition of quality time, and when they learn how to do another household chore, it improves the quality of all of the family members' lives.
Working children don't have the same innocence and leisure of former generations of children, but they do have spirit, and a sense of independence. They don't seem to mourn the childhoods they aren't having--they're too busy living the ones they have.