October 9th, 2008
There’s a popular adage that says, “God couldn’t be everywhere at the same time, that’s why he made moms”. How true, I used to think, cause my mother was always there when I needed her, even for the most trivial things. Then one fine day, she announced her decision to take up a job; we kids had all grown up and left the nest, she was lonely at home and this position allowed her to make use of her time fruitfully.
At first it felt strange when I got to mom’s place to find the door locked, a feeling that slowly gave way to a slight hurt and anger. How come mom was not there when I needed her? But this selfish thought vanished the moment I saw what a changed person she had become, just a week after she had taken charge of her life and decided to live rather than just exist. I realized I had almost been a victim to the prejudice that blinds most of us – that moms are meant to stay home and look after the kids and cook and clean for dads; if not, they’re not good mothers. Au contraire, I do beg to differ now. Here’s how working moms affect their children in positive ways:
- Children learn to be independent and think and act for themselves without being spoon fed at all times.
- Working moms are good role models for their daughters and sons – daughters because they will grow up wanting to be like mom and achieve the kind of success that she has, and sons because they grow up respecting women and their need to achieve self-satisfaction rather than just act as caregivers for the rest of the family.
- Mothers who work have more self esteem since they feel a sense of accomplishment with what they’ve done with their lives. This makes them happier people to be around. Moms who stay at home tend to get exasperated with the kids’ constant presence and their naughtiness, a situation that leads to yelling and screaming and lots of stress and tension.
Mothers who work are successful in all aspects of life when they stay involved in their children’s lives no matter how hectic work life is. It helps when fathers are supportive and responsibilities are shared rather than dumped on mothers’ slender shoulders. Providing your kids a wonderful childhood means juggling both work and home in a successful balancing act – it’s not easy, but with time and effort, it can be done.