Moms are a constant source of support and warmth.
Now, while that is completely true, contribution of mothers goes way beyond these things. It can be life-changing in very quantifiable manner.
Twitter user Prashant Singh used the occasion of Mothers' Day this year, to explain this with an interesting anecdote:
Happy Mother's Day. Today I want to share a little personal anecdote. I wanted to do it for long, but I stopped myself because I was lazy, it was weird, and the conclusion I wanted to present was not statistically verified.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
He and many of his college friends, met for a reunion decades after graduating. Some even had kids who were now going to university.
A few years back, I was at my college reunion. It was a decade and a half for me since I left college, and some of the attendees were out of college for a little more than two decades. Some had kids going to college already.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
Anyhow, as the evening progressed, the effect of alcohol started manifesting itself in the form of philosophical discussions. Who went on to do what? Who is happy? Who is not? Questions like that.
One person said "I feel so inadequate. I don't know what to tell my kids. Everything I knew about life is proven wrong. Money, health, work, married life, there is no pattern to make anything work reliably. I don't know why some people turned out the way they turned out."— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
While talking, the group found a theme for their discussion. Unpredictability. The conventional notions of A leads to success and B does not, were thrown out of the window.
Most introverts who never ventured beyond hostel are at leadership positions running IDCs. The guy who was most progressive and who had a steady girlfriend for the entire college life is going through a divorce. There seems to be no correlation with anything.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
So they sat down to figure out what that one factor which made people successful in their personal and professional lives was.
Everyone had their theories to explain the variance. "It was the ability to speak English fluently" , " It was the fact that they did masters degree after college. ". "It was the fact that they married intercast." " It was because their parents were rich."— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
All of these cases were true, but there was an exception to each one of them.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
Unable to come to a solid conclusion, they decided to do what one does in these situations: Make an Excel sheet. They went all the way through and zeroed down the list to 8 people, who had achieved the most in life.
We filtered these records for people who have done well professionally, Financially, happily Married, well-traveled, happy person to be around and progressive mindset. Etc.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
The list was of 8 people. ( I was not there in case you are wondering. )— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
It was relatively easier now. They just had to find the common factor among these 8 people. Which, they figured, was working moms.
Yes, all these people were raised by mothers who were working when they were growing up.
Everyone was surprised by the data set before us, for there was little common in those 8 people. None of us have thought of them as a cluster in our wildest imagination. They were rich and poor, People from Big cities and villages. There was ONLY ONE thing common in all of them— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
Each one of the eight people had a working mom. I repeat: working women raised each one of these folks. Co-relation was no fluke, for we did reverse lookup too, ten people in the base dataset had a working mom. So 8 out of 10 made it.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
After this, it was easier to come up with factors that may have contributed to these people's success and prosperity.
I am sure that those eight people ( 2 of them were there in person) credited everything from god to luck to family to hard work for their success, but they never attributed their success specifically to this factor.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
Prashant concluded the thread by saying that we tend to undermine/ignore women's contribution to the society and data research might throw more light on the subject.
I am sure if we do more such data analysis, there will be more insights.— Prashant Singh (@pacificleo) May 10, 2020
Until the time we, as a society, learn to appreciate unsung (S)heroes. I salute them. Happy Mother's Day. Thank you for making the world a better place.
In that context, here is a Harvard study (also shared by him), which shows that children of working moms turn out be as happy and successful and those raised by mothers staying at home. Which should help in alleviating the parenting guilt women often carry.