More American mothers than ever are working, and more workers are mothers. Yet their march into the world of paid work continues to evoke skepticism. One recent survey found that 48 percent of Americans believe that preschoolers suffer if their mothers work, while another found that 42 percent of employed parents think that working mothers care more about succeeding at work than meeting their children’s needs.

All mothers deserve our support — those who care for children at home and those who have joined the work force. But many working mothers, confronted by a stubbornly ambivalent society, continue to believe that they are shortchanging their children. They shouldn’t. Research tells us that kids do just fine when mothers work. So working mothers, here’s a gift for you: a few reasons to stop worrying.

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