No Couch Potatoes for Part-Timers

03.04.10 Study says working mothers are more conscientious on the days they do spend at home, which leads to better habits.

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Children of women who work part-time tend to be healthier than those with moms who work full-time or stay at home, Yahoo! Health and Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.

Researchers in Australia found that children of part-time working moms had a healthier weight, which they directly related to watching less TV, snacking less on junk food and being more active, according to AFP. These children watched one hour less of TV per week than the kids with mothers who worked full-time outside the home and the ones with stay-at-home moms.

This runs against an earlier study, which Crib Notes reported, that said children whose moms work are less likely to lead healthy lives when compared to those with stay-at-home moms.

The newest study, published in the journal Social Sciences & Medicine, also discovered that moms with part-time jobs were better able to balance work and family demands, the AFP reports. The findings suggest that part-time moms are more conscientious on the days they do spend at home caring for their children.

There's no easy answer when it comes to staying home or going back to work after you've had your baby. It's a personal decision and you have to do what's best for your family. If you're weighing your options, check out our expert Working Woman's Guide to Pregnancy to help navigate their return to the work force and how to balance work and home. Thinking about staying home? Here are some of our tips on how you and your family might make it on one income. If you're on the fence about getting back in the work game, take a look at this list of pregnancy-inspired careers and see if they inspire you to make a career change.

Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.