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Ups and Downs in the Life of a Working Mother


Working Mother - Balancing career and child care

This blog post has been contributed by Sagarika Sadhukhan.

It is the dilemma facing every working mother – how to devote enough time to their children, while juggling career demands with household chores. A mother who successfully manages both an outside job and parenthood provides a role model for her child.

In most families with working mothers, each person plays a more active role in the household : for eg, the father is more likely to help with household chores and child rearing as well as bread winning. Parents all wish for the best start for their child. Unfortunately, many think, quality child care can be expensive and often hard to find. Many parents end up spending a large share of their paychecks for child care and still are not happy with the quality of the care their children receive.

Also Read : Getting More out of 24 Hours

Parents can improve their children/child’s care programs by becoming actively involved. Taking an active role in your child’s care not only helps ensure a child’s well-being, but also may reduce any guilt or misgivings you may feel about working. Having quality child care and a good relationship with the caregiver also can ease some of the worry.

Now, a new study has disclosed that in India, those who work outside the home spend on average two hours to three hours a day looking after their families – including meal times. Apart from this they also try sharing time with their children. But psychologists said it was more important how the time caring for children was used, and that less time than 81 minutes could be enough if it included fun activities which were sufficiently bonding. The report examined how much time parents spent involved in childcare as a “primary activity” – covering things like meals, dressing, playing, and reading bedtime stories to children, and excluding time when the parent’s main focus was on another task.

Of all parents, fathers with jobs spend the least time on such care – just 43 minutes a day. Across all 21 countries, the research showed distinct differences in the type of childcare that women and men provide. Mothers spent 60 per cent of their time on physical care, such as dressing, feeding, changing nappies, providing medical care and supervision. But fathers were much more likely to spend time on educational and recreational childcare – helping children with their homework, reading and playing games. They spent 40 per cent of their childcare time on this compared with 27 per cent of women.

Also Read : The Working Mother’s Dilemma

With both parents working, the need for mutual support and communication is even more important. So focus on your work and family equally. Lets all remember “Women aren’t superhuman – we all end up feeling guilty but sometimes after a long day at work it can be hard to face the beginning a jigsaw puzzle,” but as a working parent, you are bound to be concerned about the loss of time with your child, especially if he is very young. You may worry that you will miss some of your child’s important milestones, such as his first step or word. You may even feel jealous of the time your child spends with the caregiver or the other family members. These are all normal feelings. But then at the end of the when you are hugged and kissed by your baby at home the guilt is gone and you are just as fresh as an evergreen tree .

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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.


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